How to get the top efficiency of the development process for your software solution, that is, to obtain high-quality (scalable, easy-to-maintain, and easy-to-read) program code and ensure its profitability and relevance for many years? Then you will certainly have to pay attention to how your development life cycle is organized. We will talk about this in detail below.
The software development life cycle is the period of time that begins with the decision to create a specific software and ends with its deployment and maintenance. At the same time, the quality of the product and its profitability for the business depends on how well its stages are planned.
Formally, the development cycle of software can be divided into six main stages. In the next paragraph, we will overview each of them.
Six Stages to Perform
So, how can you plan the cycle of software development to get the best results? Let's find out right now.
This is the first stage of the development cycle software process, which involves the formation of requirements for the project. The more clearly they are formulated, the better. Let's look at how this has to be performed.
Traditionally, this stage lies on senior team members’ and stakeholders’ shoulders – those who own some share of the project. In particular, in the process of its implementation, they will have to technically and economically justify the feasibility of its implementation.
To do this, all responsible personas need to conduct a thorough market analysis: identify the main competitors, analyze their strengths and weaknesses, determine who your target audience will be, draw up a client profile (usually, there are several of them, although it all depends on the specific tasks that your software should solve), as well as identify the best business strategy (both short- and long-term) for its promotion.
In addition, it is important to assess the possible risks that may be faced and think about ways to eliminate related problems.
For this step, some useful tools can be used like SWOT analysis, different risk assessment techniques, target user profile creation, project road mapping, etc.
After performing all these tasks, you will have:
- clearly-formulated, achievable, and time-limited project goals;
- requirements (technical and non-technical) to the project, drawn up in the form of documentation;
- list of criteria for assessing the quality of the final result (including generally accepted quality standards);
- the product roadmap, which defines the sequence of subtasks to be completed;
- list of team members responsible for the implementation of specific subtasks;
- strategies to eliminate the most likely problems.
After the goals are clear, the requirements for the project are collected, and the project itself is divided into subtasks with the distribution of roles for their performers, you can begin to build the architecture of your future software. Along with individual requirements, you will also need to adhere to certain development software standards to ensure that your project is scalable and upgradable and that the code is easy to read.
Based on this, you will need to choose the optimal technology stack that will be used to implement the product and the development methodology. You also have to develop the diagram, data models, and wireframes for the user interface, which will serve as a kind of starting point for the work of the development and design team. Finally, you will need to detail strategies to deal with the potential problems identified in the previous step in the context of the chosen methodology and technology tools.
As a result, at the end of this stage of the development cycles, you will receive the following:
- technological stack and approach to software development selected, taking into account the business and technical requirements for the project;
- diagram describing the links between the individual functional components of the project;
- data models that you will use in the project;
- user interface design sketches;
- a list of standards that must be followed;
- a step-by-step guide to eliminating potential risks.
Modern software has a fairly complex architecture, so for its implementation, it would be most expedient to choose Scrum or Kanban methodologies by dividing the entire project into small, time-limited subtasks, taking into account their priority. Also, these methodologies imply a non-linear execution of these subtasks, which also allows you to bring the project release date closer.
Also, regular code reviews will help you, which will allow you to make sure that the atom meets generally accepted quality standards and is well-structured and understandable for other developers.
Finally, don't forget about unit testing, which will help you fix bugs before the final build and thus help ensure the cleanliness of the code at the stage where it is the least resource-intensive to maintain it. Also, version control tools will come to your aid to ensure productive collaboration on the project and, in particular, on its edits.
When this software development phase is completed, you will receive a completely ready-made code base for your project that meets all required software development standards.
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Now, you will need to perform testing that will cover the entire program code and design of the product. To do this, you will have to create a plan that will include the types of testing (functional, load, security, etc.), the time allotted for them, the tools for their implementation, as well as the names of the team members responsible for their completion. In addition, you should develop test scenarios that will be based on the technical documentation for the product.
Ultimately, your QA specialists will have to prepare and execute a series of test cases (either manually or using automated testing tools), based on the results of which the program code and design will be transferred back to developers and designers for revision and bug fixing, or accepted and can be released. TestRail and similar tools are quite sufficient for this purpose.
At this stage, you need a detailed deployment plan for your project. It should contain a step-by-step installation guide for all required deployment environments, a list of settings that need to be made for the software to be ready for use, as well as instructions for restoring default settings.
In addition, you will have to test your project again on deployment points to make sure that everything works as it was originally intended, taking into account compatibility with other software solutions that are already included in the user's system. Finally, you will need to process feedback from end users: after deployment, some of them may have encountered certain problems while interacting with your product.
Upon completion of this stage of the software cycle, you will receive customized software that can be freely used by representatives of your target audience.
The last step of a software development lifecycle process is the maintenance procedure, which must also be carefully planned. In particular, you should receive information from two sources: by self-revision of the documentation for the project and through feedback from end users. You may also face the need to optimize your project if the load on the part of users begins to grow and your software can no longer handle user requests with acceptable speed indicators.
As a result, you will have a streamlined improvement scenario for your project that has to be uninterrupted until you decide to decommission it at all deployment points.
If you follow the sequence of actions described above, you will be able to achieve high quality, profitability, and other positive characteristics already at the first release of your project. If you want to entrust the execution of each software development stage to seasoned professionals, please feel free to contact us.
What are the key stages in the software development life cycle?
The software development life cycle typically consists of six main stages: analysis, design, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance. These stages are essential for planning and organizing the development process to ensure high-quality and scalable software solutions.
How important is the analysis stage in the software development life cycle?
The analysis stage is a critical phase in the software development life cycle as it involves forming clear and achievable project goals, identifying requirements (technical and non-technical), assessing risks, creating timelines, and developing a product roadmap. Proper analysis helps in setting a solid foundation for the project, ensuring that the software solution aligns with the business needs and has a higher chance of success in the long run.
What methodologies can be used in the development stage of the software development life cycle?
Scrum and Kanban are popular methodologies that can be used in the development stage of the software development life cycle. These methodologies involve breaking down the project into smaller, time-limited subtasks, prioritizing them, and allowing for non-linear execution, which can accelerate the project release date. Regular code reviews, unit testing, and version control tools are also important practices during the development stage to ensure code quality and smooth collaboration among team members.
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