Software Development Life Cycle Methodologies
Jumping into a software development project without a plan is a recipe for over-budgeting and costly failure. That’s why companies rely on software development life cycle methodologies.
In the planning phase, developers gather input from customers, sales departments and market analysts to define the product requirements. The team then creates multiple designs for the product architecture and selects the most viable one.
This phase involves gathering and documenting all the information needed to define a software system. This includes interviewing stakeholders and users to understand their needs and expectations. It also involves evaluating and prioritizing requirements.
Effective requirements gathering can reduce the likelihood of costly changes and rework later in the process. It can also help ensure that the software system meets user needs and expectations and addresses business objectives.
This phase can involve creating functional prototypes that mimic the final product’s appearance and functionality to a degree. It can also include non-functional prototypes that focus on validating requirements such as performance, security, scalability, and usability. This information is then documented as a software requirement specification (SRS) or use case document. This documentation provides a roadmap for the development phase.
The design phase converts the requirements gathered from the previous step into software for the project. This can take many forms, from low-fidelity prototypes to a final software system specification (SRS) or product specification document. This is an important part of the process, since it ensures that the final software will meet business goals, be feasible to create, and address user needs.
Another popular model is the iterative approach, in which development teams implement and test a small set of software requirements and then enhance each version. It’s a good option for projects that require flexibility in their requirements and can handle frequent cycles. In contrast, the Waterfall model has a very rigid progression and is best for projects that have well-defined requirements. It is not a good choice for iterative software development, however, because of the risk of delays and cost overruns.
After gathering requirements, technology professionals move into the design and development phase. If the system is replacing an existing one, they examine that software to identify any deficiencies and then proceed to define what the new software will do.
The developers convert the requirements into a software design plan using their preferred framework. This will include a timeline, team resources, and budget requirements.
A key part of the coding process is making sure the code is correct and follows all the required standards. This will help avoid issues during the testing stage, which can save time and money in the long run. The Lean model encourages project teams to look for opportunities to cut waste by skipping unimportant meetings and reducing documentation. This allows them to focus on creating a better product in less time.
Technology professionals start the building phase by converting code requirements into software design. They may take existing software into consideration or work from scratch. The goal is to create a clear definition of the software’s end-to-end specifications.
Programmers then convert the design into program code. They can choose between Spiral, Iterative and Waterfall methodologies. The Iterative model allows developers to identify additional requirements as they go. This suits larger projects but requires good management and oversight.
The Spiral method takes a hybrid approach by blending aspects of Agile and Waterfall methodologies. It’s also flexible and adaptable to the unique needs of each project. Finally, the Lean methodology is based on manufacturing production and leans heavily on collaboration between developers and stakeholders. This ensures that every aspect of the project is reviewed and approved by all parties.
The software deployment phase involves making the finished product available for users. Thorough testing and quality assurance measures are typically carried out during this stage to ensure that the software solution will perform as intended and meet customer requirements.
Depending on the type of software, the deployment process may use different techniques such as big-bang or rolling releases. For example, the blue-green deployment method uses two identical production environments, where current code is running on the “blue” environment while a new version of the code is deployed to the “green” environment. Traffic is then switched between the two versions, and performance is monitored.
A well-executed software deployment phase minimizes risk and ensures a high-quality end-user experience. It also makes it easier to update the software with bug fixes or other enhancements in the future.