The term software development may be familiar to most people, though only a few may know what it means. While most companies and software developers rely on this process to facilitate operations, it is challenging to decide the best software product development process. As such, this article highlights the software’s basics, including the software development life cycle, why the process is vital, and the 7 effective software development process steps in 2021.
What Is Software Development Life Cycle?
Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is the whole process of an application company to make the software available and usable. The process involves seven vital phases until the software or hardware hits the market. The methodology might be cumbersome for new developers but forms the key part for any company to finalize its project.
SDLC is also important for any company because it gives an overview of the entire system, targeted goals, deadline, and required resources. It also allows the organization to tighten its management and documentation.
7 Effective Software Development Steps
As mentioned above, the Software Product Development process involves seven phases to complete. Each step defines the tasks for team members and outlines all the materials needed to conduct it. If one phase fails, the entire process may stop, or the final product may not meet the client’s expectations. Moreover, some steps may overlap, but they all lead to one goal; completely functional and reliable software.
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Therefore, these steps include:
1. Idea and Concept Implementation Stage
Any software product starts as an idea of one or more team members. Therefore, the first phase of the development process is generating the idea. Here, the team members define their goals and objectives, do some research on other software products, discuss the audience you are targeting and be analytical as they put their users’ stories together.
The team also tries to answer questions like, will they complete the project within the time frame? Will they stick to the budget, or will the project need external funding?
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Do they need to hire experts or use in-house professionals? Concepts and ideas should be carefully thought of and brainstormed for them to be executed. It is also important to figure out the standing out of your products.
2. The Feasibility Analysis and Planning Stage
The feasibility analysis stage is when the organization experts outline complete specifications and requirements for the project. The most vital requirements are the system rules, security codes, and choosing responsible people to access the system. It is a very important part of the app development process since it helps determine the technical aspects and economic factors that impact the development of the software.
The stage also helps identify any risks and how to mitigate them during the process. Remember, catchy designs and clean codes are needed to help in building up an actionable solution. However, this is not enough as the team also needs to understand the project deeply and collect the requirements.
3. The Designing Phase
In the third stage, the developers outline the requirements and categorize them into two major phases; the logical and physical designs. The first logical phase shows how the components will fit and their general hierarchy in the design.
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The physical design step gives details, such as database schemas that show the individual’s fields and tables in their databases. Different departments review both designs to check their workability. For large organizations, the designs will be reviewed by the enterprise architect as the software development manager. Some companies also allow the designs to be reviewed by customers to ensure everything meets the expectations.
4. Development and coding
Once all the key elements such as the proof of value, specification document, and design document are accepted, the team can now move to the development and coding phase. The step aims at meeting specific requirements outlined in previous steps. The engineering team can also use codes from previous projects to minimize the development time.
Since the testing process starts from this stage, the product developers must have individual codes and build tests that can run automatically and ensure the software works as expected. The codes are also arranged in ascending order for easy retesting.
5. Quality checking and Testing
Testing and quality checking are the critical steps in the software product development process. Tracing, testing, and fixing bugs are highly recommended. It is important to know that final depth testing is compulsory after the product has been developed successfully.
er can use simple mobile testing apps like releasing the product into beta testers in a small group. Alternatively, developers can use UX tools to keep track of how users interact with the product. However, 100% surety is needed when distributing software in a buggy to the customers to avoid ruining reputation and loss of revenue.
The organization’s quality assurance team tests the software through system integration, functionality testing, and interoperability. User acceptance testing is also done to ensure the codes’ cleanliness and meet the solution’s business goals. The testing stage ends with verification and validation of the software to make it successful.
6. The Deployment Phase
The deployment step is when the software is finally installed on the system. The deployment stage also follows a step-by-step guide where the tested product is moved to the production stage with its data. The new releases will show only the changes made during the deployment. The stage may also be simple or staggering, depending on the complexity of the software. When the product is deployed, customers can now see and download or try it out.
7. Maintenance, Enhancement, and Upgrades
The product needs to be maintained, polished, redesigned, upgraded, and enhanced according to the feedback from the customers and quick growth in the IT sector. It is also the right time to modify the application’s functionalities to meet the customers’ needs and add new features that meet users’ suggestions.
The Bottom Line
The Software Development Life Cycle is more effective if it involves the right team, materials, and functional process. As such, the article has outlined the vital steps for a software product development process in 2021 that every developer needs. However, the steps are adjustable depending on the complexity of the project and the available time.
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