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Software development life cycle (SDLC) — A quick overview

Software development life cycle (SDLC) — A quick overview

Monday January 15, 2018,

6 min Read


SDLC Refers to Processes used to plan, create, test and deploy an information system

Contains 6 phases they are


Design Software Solutions




Maintain Software Solutions

SDLC Steps

Gather Requirement: Understand the user requirement

Design: Design the UI and back-end Structures

Development: Developing the system in the selected platform and structure

Testing: Testing the systems against the requirements

Deploy: Given to the users in a production and utilize the system

Maintenance: Bug Fixes and other updates needed in the system

SDLS Methodologies

SDLS have various Methodologies which each project can choose from

Waterfall model

It is an old traditional model. Waterfall model contains 6 phases which happens on after another in a waterfall flow

Requirement — Business needs analysis

Design — Design solution to meet requirement, determine hardware and system requirements

Development-Develop each segment based on design

Testing-Test all segment

Deployment-Deploy software to the market

Maintenance- Fix the bugs with release

Spiral model

The spiral model is a risk-driven process model generator for software projects. It is the combination of linear and iterative. Spiral model minimizes the risk by breaking projects into smaller segments. Each cycle begins with identifying stakeholders and what success looks like and its end with only a review

A spiral model has 4 phases described below:

Planning phase

Requirements are studied and gathered

Risk analysis phase

In the risk analysis phase, a process is undertaken to identify risk and alternate solutions

Engineering phase

Actual development and testing if the software takes place in this phase

Evaluation phase

This phase allows the customer to evaluate the output of the project to date before the project continues to the next spiral.

Incremental model

The incremental build model is a method of software development where the product is designed, implemented and tested incrementally (a little more is added each time) until the product is finished

When to use-

Large projects where requirements are not understood

Working in unfamiliar technical arenas

Changing the requirement due to rapidly changing technology

Business user can be moderate to heavily engaged

Need functional requirements turned into something tangible quickly


The Prototyping Model is a systems development method in which a prototype is built, tested, and then reworked as necessary until an acceptable prototype is finally achieved from which the complete system or product can now be developed. Prototype gives a visual to the user of their wants and needs. It promotes user participation and communication. It allows progress even when unclear requirements.

When to use

Project objectives are unclear

High pressure to implement something

Frequent requirement changes

Minimal resource constraints

No strict approval processes needed

Innovative, flexible design that needs to accommodate future changes


Agile SDLC model is a combination of iterative and incremental process models with focus on process adaptability and customer satisfaction by rapid delivery of working software product

Concept- Projects are envisioned and prioritized

Inception- Team members are identified, funding is put in place, and initial environments and requirements are discussed

Iteration/Construction- The development team works to deliver working software based on iteration requirements and feedback

Release- QA (Quality Assurance) testing, internal and external training, documentation development, and final release of the iteration into production

Production- Ongoing support of the software

Retirement- End-of-life activities, including customer notification and migration

When to use

The project is unpredictable and will have changing requirements

Using or creating leading-edge technology

Organization as an experienced Scrum Master

Business has experienced resource that can dedicate time to the project

Pressure to pressure a tangible product quickly

Development team doesn’t have resource constraints

Rapid Application Development

Rapid application development is both a general term used to refer to alternatives to the conventional waterfall model of software development

The phases of the rapid application development (RAD) model are:

Business modeling: The information flow is identified between various business functions.

Data modeling: Information gathered from business modeling is used to define data objects that are needed for the business.

Process modeling: Data objects defined in data modeling are converted to achieve the business information flow to achieve some specific business objective. Description are identified and created for CRUD of data objects.

Application generation: Automated tools are used to convert process models into code and the actual system.

Testing and turnover: Test new components and all the interfaces.

Advantages of the RAD model:

Reduced development time.

Increases reusability of components

Quick initial reviews occur

Encourages customer feedback

Integration from very beginning solves a lot of integration issues.

Disadvantages of RAD model:

Depends on a strong team and individual performances for identifying business requirements.

The only system that can be modularized can be built using RAD

Requires highly skilled developers/designers.

High dependency on modeling skills

Business Case and its Usage

A business case is a decision-making tool used to determine the effects a particular decision will have on Profitability.

Why a business case is used

Intended to convince key decision makers of the merits of a particular course of action.

When the business case is used

A business case is done on nearly every action but not always in a written format. The business case is created prior to the project being started. This frames up the return on investment prior to taking the action.

Who creates a business case?

A business case is generally created by a business executive a business manager, or business analyst.

5 phases of an Effective Business case

1. Initial Analysis

2. Determine Potential Solutions

3. Write the Business case

4. Review Business case

5. Present the Business case

Initial Analysis

Thoroughly understand the problem or opportunity

Determine high-level requirements

Identify data needed to support the business case (ROI)

validate with decision makers the high-level return is worth the potential investment

Analyse likelihood project will be approved and if you should continue

Determine Potential Solutions

Identify all possible solution to the problem


* Costs

* Timetable of project

* Time before a return on investment is realized

* Risks

Write the Business case

Executive Summary

Problem statement


solution Options

cost Benefit analysis


Review Business case

validate problem statement justifies a call to action

Ensure all valid solutions are given

Double check cost-benefit analysis calculations

Objectively dissect your recommendation

Correct any spelling or grammatical mistakes

Ask another person to closely review the document

Get project buy-in of two keys stakeholders

Present the Business case

Remind yourself, they haven’t seen this before

Clearly define the problem and business need to act

give your recommendation

Explain the return on investment

Touch on each risk, but unless asked, don’t dive in deep

Mention your stakeholder backers

Close the Presentation summarizing the benefits and ROI

Project stakeholders

People that are directly or indirectly affected by project they called stakeholders

What is a stakeholder?

Project team members





Professional Organizations

Any individual impacted by the project

Any individual to support the project

Why identify stakeholders

It increases the chances for success

Additional ideas

Varied perspectives

aims buy-in

Increases credibility

How to identify stakeholders to my project

walk through an anticipated scope

Get ideas from stakeholders as you identify them

Assigning Stakeholders Responsibilities

RACI Matrix( Responsible Accountable Consulted Informed)

A critical tool to understand and align the responsibilities of stakeholders.

They can be used for

* Alleviates power struggles

* Reduces lack of ownership

* Sets clear expectations

Article Credit: Emstell