3 Facts About the Life Cycle of Systems Development
Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), as its name suggests, is the whole process of developing and maintaining a program. It starts with planning and often never ends, as software always needs constant updates and patches that keep it running. Unless the program becomes unnecessary and outdated, of course.
But what is SDLC from a business perspective? Well, it’s sort of a business plan, but for a program. It’s the strategy your team will be utilizing to maximize efficiency and quality on every step of the development. It can also be considered a model of project management. Generally speaking, it’s how you organize the process of creating an app, including the aspects to focus on and in what order.
We asked professional software developers from Develux to provide us with some valuable insights about SDLC. So, here is the list of the most important things you should know about it.
Depends on Methodologies
A methodology in the IT world is the precise algorithm of the whole development process. It tells you what to do step-by-step and which aspects of your app will be impacted by it. For example, Waterfall is a simple linear instruction, while Extreme Programming is a very complex formula with repeating processes and constant work.
Choosing the right SDLC methodology determines the time it will take to develop software as well as the absence or presence of potential issues. Because using the wrong approach can lead to heavy losses due to the incompetence of the workers and their inability to follow a certain strategy. Some methodologies require a lot of experience to be used efficiently.
Also, keep in mind that the difference between strategies can mean the difference in quality and expenses. That’s why it’s so important to analyze them carefully and find the right methodology for your system development life cycle.
The most known and utilized ones on the market currently are:
- Agile Methodology
- Waterfall Model
- Spiral Model
- Rapid Methodology
- Extreme Programming
- Lean Methodology
It’s highly recommended to conduct deep research or pay a professional service like Develux to provide you with a 100% precise answer on which one suits your company and requirements the best. Like mentioned before, it can either lead your app to success or bring your company to bankruptcy.
Divided Into Stages
The life cycle of systems development is usually divided into 7 stages:
Planning is crucial in business. Software development isn’t an exception. Before you even start working, you should already have a detailed plan. Choose the methodology and it will outline the basics. But things like dividing the work between teams and other operational details should be included in the plan by managers.
Find the main goal of the project and make sure everyone knows it, it’s a part of planning too. It will let everyone know what to focus on in programming, designing, and testing. Also, a plan is very important because it determines the general look of the program, the positioning of parts of the interface, and all of the features.
Analysis may look the same as planning a bit, but in reality, it’s quite different. Analyzing the requirements and the goals of the project provides the precise answers to the questions like “how optimized should it be?”, “what are the system requirements?”, “how many prototypes and with what features should there be?”, and so on.
It includes all the technical specifications and intricate details. The analysis stage is what could be considered the planning one, but for the developers themselves, as it provides every single bit of knowledge they need to do every little detail right.
The design stage includes exactly what you guessed – designing the basic form and functions of the software. Developers usually start with basic UI/UX prototypes that show what and where is located and how to access it. Also, they create a system interface, for the code itself and to make the maintenance as easy as possible.
If the application needs a network connection (and almost all of them do nowadays), then they establish that connection. Don’t forget about security too, even if they don’t implement it at this stage, devs often outline what it will look like and how it will work.
Now, it’s time to write the code. The development stage consists of only one thing – programming. Coders create every part of the software that is required and will be shown in the prototype. Some unimportant features may be missing in the prototype, as its main purpose is to show the client the main ones. But it must be always debated and included in the contract.
This is the hardest and the most nerve-racking part of the life cycle. That’s because complex apps may require months, if not years, in development due to their size. Also, it’s the labor-intensive part, and it’s always very consuming in terms of resources.
After the code itself is ready, it’s time to test it. You can’t be sure everything works right until you try it yourself, right? And in software development, nothing is right after the product is done for the first time. There are always bugs and missing features. To fix what needs to be fixed and add what needs to be added, companies test their programs multiple times and often, hire professional QA specialists for this matter. The product must fit the quality requirements, after all.
Implementation and Integration
If everything works as intended, it’s time to put the whole thing together. Because before this stage, all the parts were kind of separated. Also, it’s where you can integrate third-party software or services into the application. But that’s possible if such necessities were predicted beforehand and the code presupposes it.
From now on, it’s a matter of keeping the product updated and fixed all the time. Software isn’t like machinery, it won’t break on its own. But the program doesn’t exist on its own in an empty space. It works on an OS, interacts with other apps, and connects to networks.
It means, even the slightest changes in other systems impact its performance and can lead to malfunctions. Updates need to be made regularly too so that everything fits modern standards.
Is the Key to Success
So, now that you know how it works in detail, it’s easy to understand the importance of the life cycle. If you follow the basic algorithm of the program creation or choose the right methodology for your needs, you maximize the efficiency of every step of the process by eliminating unnecessary parts and focusing on the core aspects.
That, in its order, saves a lot of time and money, which can be spent to improve the performance even further. For example, by motivating workers by increased payment, incorporating more expensive techniques, or buying more modern equipment. There are countless ways to utilize extra resources effectively. And if you choose the life cycle strategy correctly, you’ll have a lot of new additional resources.
Nowadays, every top-level software development company knows everything about the SDLC. They know what methodologies to use for particular needs and how to combine them. It’s just like building something with Lego – you can do it without instructions, but using the correct algorithm takes you to the goal immediately and without unnecessary and counterproductive complications.