The Major Stages of the Software Product Development Process
The market is dynamic and growing so fast that it does not leave us any variants besides being flexible and innovative. Do you need some changes to keep the leadership and competitive advantage? Just think about the implementation of new products and software solutions that will boost your position in the market and reach a new audience. We offer you a multi-step algorithm on how to start the product development lifecycle that will increase your position in the market. So, we’ll walk you through the whole process.
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What are the Peculiarities of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)?
Jumping into software development without a strategic plan and a clear understanding of this process is a recipe for failures, delays, and overbudgeting. Instead of rushing into a project, we recommend you use SLDC strategies to produce high-quality software cost-effectively, safely, and quickly. SLDC is a big-picture breakdown of all stages involved in software production. It helps to create a predictable framework that guides a team through all 7 stages of the product development life cycle. Thus, let’s absorb deeply into each phase.
Stage 1 - Planning
The planning phase is a step that involves making a plan for an upcoming project. The value of this stage is that it helps to define a problem in depth, its scope, and determine objectives for a new software product. At this phase, it is recommended to develop an effective outline for every development life cycle to catch possible issues before they can influence the product development process. Planning is a must to ensure that there is a guide that will lead to new software and secure resources spent on its development. In addition, this phase also presupposes setting the project schedule. Planning contributes to idea generation that requires a good plan and a set of strategies to start a big thing. There is no single standard for how to plan a software development process, but it is important to establish a further direction of growth. Let’s get this show on the road to see how another stage of product development works.
Stage 2 - Analysis
The analysis phase includes gathering all the specific details and idea screening necessary for creating prototypes. At this stage, developers should establish prototype model requirements, find alternatives to existing prototypes, and conduct research to understand the needs of end users. In addition, at this phase, it is important to create requirement specifications for the hardware, software, and network which will be built. Marty Cagan believes that it is hard to predict in advance what technology product will work and deliver the results which we expect; therefore, finding out an idea is more difficult than implementing it. For this reason, analysis is required to prevent overdrawing resources or funding. This strategy should involve business analysts as they can evaluate possible risks associated with software product development. However, let’s move forward to another stage.
Stage 3 - Design
The design phase is one of the key development stages. The purpose of this stage is to design the upcoming product and create a document that will show how to code the product.
This step involves outlining the details for such specific aspects as databases, network, and network requirements, system interfaces, and user interfaces. At this stage, developers create a more logical structure of a product to implement later in a programming language. To move to the next phase of SDLC, development managers will create a design document that will serve as a key guide for building software. Now, we are ready to present the development step.
Stage 4 - Development
The development stage is the main part of the product life cycle, and at this phase, developers write codes and build applications by considering outlined specifications and earlier design documents. Theoretically, the development phase should be clear and straightforward, but in practice, developers can shift from the established path. However, the main task of the product development stage is to ensure that engineers follow coding guidelines and utilize different tools such as interpreters, debuggers, and compilers. Thus, the key purpose of the software development stage is to build new versions of the product by translating the design into codes.
Stage 5 - Testing
It’s not enough to build a software product as it must be tested to ensure the absence of any bugs that can have a negative impact on the end-user experience. At this stage, the task of developers is to find out bugs and defects that should be tracked, fixed, and retested. Therefore, it is significant to define the quality standards in the requirement document to avoid contradictions. The testing stage can be extremely short or, on the contrary, take a very long time. However, in general, its duration depends on the level position of developers and the complexity of the software product. All levels of testers are usually involved in this phase. The role of engineers here is to play the role of the customer, but the final decision and product approval belong to the product owner. Let’s see what will be after testing.
Stage 6 - Implementation
The implementation phase implies that the overall designs created for the software will blend into one scheme. At this stage, it is significant to integrate different designs into the primary source code and leverage training environments to detect possible defects. When this step is completed, the software product is theoretically prepared for the market and end-users. Software testers and quality assurance specialists contribute to this step by setting standards of code quality in advance and joining to track mistakes. Their common efforts lead to better final performance. Thus, integrating testing drives quick marketing solutions and improvement of software product quality. It’s high time to maintain a received product, and let’s see how to do this.
Stage 7 - Maintenance
When software reaches the target audience, it does not mean the end of the SDLC as now the main task of developers is to maintain the software. End-users may report possible issues, and it is necessary to handle them by improving product quality and increasing customer satisfaction. In addition, developers also bear the responsibility for implementing required changes that may be needed after deployment. For example, these improvements can include handling residual bugs or managing other issues according to users’ feedback.
All in all, software product development is a complicated process that requires responsibility, creativity, time management, research, and continued improvement. Anyway, implementing the product development lifecycle can bring benefits to your business. Use this guide to build your product or contact us to make this process faster and more efficient and receive the desired outcomes!