You are all set to hand over your project to the best custom software development company from the ones you shortlisted. But are you sure your requirements will be perfectly met, you’ll get regular updates on the work done, and the software development project will wind up on time? Is there a way you can ascertain if the development team you chose has all the tasks streamlined and the process under control? Well, that’s where the software development lifecycle (SDLC) plays its role.
In this blog, we’ll tell you the importance of the software development lifecycle, its phases, and why it’s essential to choose the right methodology.
Importance of Software Development Life Cycle
The software development life cycle (SDLC) defines the series of steps that a development team should follow for building and maintaining a software product. It starts with the decision to develop software and ends when the software is secure against all threats and exploitations. SDLC has several phases. It is actually a roadmap of the software development process which explains everything precisely.
But why is the software development life cycle important for you?
Software development processes are complex. Even when project managers try their best to meet deadlines, there’s enough probability of poor planning, rushed decisions, and deadline breaches. However, you don’t want any of these. The software development life cycle outlines all the events and actions in the software development process. Stakeholders, especially developers, have an understanding of what they should do next. Thus an SDLC allows businesses to experience the bliss of predictable software development.
Some other key benefits of a software development life cycle include:
- Provides visibility to all the parties concerned about the software development project
- Business owners gain more control over the project
- It ensures predictable and on-time deliveries of tasks and objectives throughout the process
- There’s less possibility of exceeding budget and deadlines
- It ensures that all goals and expectations are met at the end of the software development process
An SDLC is one of the only ways to ensure that all demands and necessities of business owners and end users are fulfilled. It’s the outline of how the desired software product will be achieved.
But, how does a software development life cycle work?
This is a frequently asked question to us as a custom software development company. SDLC improves the quality of development and focuses on reducing the time it will take. This ultimately helps in lowering the overall cost. Since it requires following a specific plan, removing the typical pitfalls of the software project becomes easier while achieving divergent goals.
To get into the depth of how SDLC works, you must understand its different phases.
Phases of Software Development Life Cycle
You may realize that the phases of SDLC are similar to the software development process. The former is an outline of the latter and states the goals to achieve, while the software development process is all about implementing the SDLC in 3D.
Phase 1- Ideation and Requirements Gathering
This phase focuses on ideating the software product and gathering business requirements to document everything. This step is all about brainstorming, realizing, and noting the requirements of and from the software according to the point of view of the industry experts, stakeholders, and potential customers.
Once this is done, the project owners outline the scope of the project, followed by the resources required, budget, deadlines, potential risks, and quality assurance practices. All these details are secure as formal documents which we call Software Requirement Specification. This document is, therefore, an important reference for project managers, business analysts, developers, and quality assurance teams.
Phase 2- Designing
This phase transforms software development requirements into robust design. It’s time to finalize the high-level and below-level design elements of the software. The decisions regarding software architecture, its look and feel are all to be made during this phase. The designing phase may involve several design documents, coding guidelines, tools, frameworks, runtime, best practices, etc. Everything should align with the goals mentioned in the software requirements specification.
Phase 3- Software Development
This is the phase when the actual software is built using program codes. It’s one of the most time-consuming phases of the software development life cycle but a lot more predictable than the design phase. Based on the design documents, software developers write the codes for various components of your software. Different tasks are distributed among the team according to their specialization and skills.
Front-end developers work on creating the interface and establishing its communication with the server. Further, the database administrators add other important details. There are various tools, frameworks, and coding guidelines that ensure you get a high-quality software product. At the end of this phase, stakeholders have the software and the Source Code Document. When you hire custom software developer, you can look for specializations based on the tools, frameworks, or languages that you want to use for your software.
Phase 4- Testing
Once the software is ready, it’s time for a quality check. Just imagine you’ve got a new pair of pants stitched but the zipper doesn’t work or it doesn’t fit you well. In the same way, if the software fails to do what you expect from it, all efforts would be in vain. Thus quality assurance is an important aspect. When the developers complete their tasks, the Quality Assurance (QA) team measures the quality of the software by conducting various tests. A brief about them is given below:
- Functional Testing: It ensures that the software follows all the requirements mentioned in Software Requirement Specification.
- Performance Testing: This checks whether the software can work well even under a workload. It focuses on the responsiveness, speed, and stability of the application in different situations.
- Unit Testing: It involves individual testing for each component. If there’s an error or flaw in any of them, the software developers would fix it.
- Security Testing: It aims to verify the software system’s security from all perspectives.
- Usability Testing: This test involves checking the user-facing components to ensure that the software is intuitive and easy to use for the users.
If any bugs are reported at this stage, the software developers would fix them, and the component will be tested again. Quality assurance is an ongoing process that continues till the software is completely free from bugs.
Phase 5- Deployment and Maintenance
In this phase, the software product is released in the market for beta testing. The support team collects user feedback and makes necessary fixes accordingly. The deployed software requires continuous maintenance and strengthening with new feature sets, better functioning, etc.
While it is extremely simple to outsource app development to IT firms, not all of them provide post-implementation support. You may have an excellent app, but what if it develops technical flaws that cause your customers to have a negative experience? An incident like this can harm your reputation as well as cost you money. To understand why support & maintenance are crucial for your software,
Most Popular SDLC Methodology
SDLC methodologies are basically, structured approaches to software development. It is a combination of production and design philosophies along with human activities to get better software outcomes. The most common SDLC methodologies are:
In today’s time, Agile is the most popular SDLC methodology consisting of the best development and managerial practices. Its major focus remains on project teams and how they collaborate with each other. We won’t go too deep into this sea of concepts, but let’s touch the shores so that you can make better initial decisions for your project.
What is Agile Development?
Agile is one of the most popular SDLC methodologies used by software development teams. It’s even a part of university curriculums and programming boot camps. This methodology comes from the 12 principles of the Agile Manifesto. It focuses mainly on:
- Satisfying the clients with early and continuous delivery
- Better collaboration between business and technical teams
- Creating an environment of growth for skilled individuals
- Smooth and streamlined communication
- Reviewing the team’s performance and making necessary iterations
Agile development lets teams empower engineering effectiveness and support better collaboration. It improves cross-functionality and gives more freedom in problem-solving. It achieves these goals by letting the teams define the tools and skill sets required to complete a project and then supporting them for the same.
Custom Software Development With Narola Infotech
At Narola Infotech, we understand the perks and follow agile development ourselves. We are thriving as a custom software development company New York, India, and on the East Coast of the USA over the last 17+ years. We are a team of 350+ skilled and motivated developers, designers, and quality analysts, who leave no stone unturned when it comes to satisfying clients with a reliable software product.
Our methodology aims to deliver the right product by providing small chunks of functionality incrementally and frequently through small cross-functional self-organizing teams, allowing for frequent customer feedback and course correction as needed. Our agile teams have a natural mechanism for responding quickly to change because requirements, plans, and results are continuously evaluated.
If you have any queries or software projects to discuss that you want to build/upgrade with us, feel free to connect.