It is easy to start developing software but hard to finish it. The reason behind this is not our talent but planning. Software development lifecycle helps with the same, it provides a step by step plan to efficiently develop the software.
A famous quote by Benjamin Franklin.
If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.
Software development lifecycle may not be useful if you are creating a very basic software application like a Todo app or a minimal side project.
But in the case of complex projects, it is more important than coding. There are various phases of the software development lifecycle and each deals with specific problems.
What is Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
It is a step by step process to develop a software application.
Software development is a long term process and we need to properly plan and organise all the process in development. It helps in tracking and managing the overall progress of the development.
According to a study, more than 68% of IT projects fail. In most of them, the only reason is improper software development life cycle.
If you are working on a simple personal project then only the human mind is working on the project. But in the case of big ones, several peoples handles them and there must be a way which connects and manage all the activities together.
SDLC is very helpful in this scenario. It brings everyone in the team to one platform from where they can track what they are working on.
Why SDLC is important?
Suppose you are a team manager of an IT project and you have to build a software (say a web-based commenting system). Now, you cannot head over to your team and instruct them to directly start coding the software.
Everyone in a team has a different level of imagination, creativity and knowledge.
[IMAGE WITH UNBALANCED DEVELOPMENT]
SDLC comes into play at this point. You will choose a proper software development lifecycle and start implementing the phases step by step. Each step will plan what you have to build and all the team members will have a common objective.
It is good to say this line.
Team management is not an order and get model.
You require a proper way to manage your team and get the best of them.
Here are various benefits of the software development life cycle.
- Clearly Defined Objectives
- Well defined roles
- Breakdown of work
- Resource Management
- Time Management
How do the SDLC works?
It starts with planning and never ends.
Yes, it is a continuous process. The first version of the software is always buggy (that's why we have issues section on GitHub :). That is why we monitor, fix bugs and release again with new versions.
To keep the software alive with time we constantly need to update it with new features by following the SDLC. And we know each new features comes with new bugs. Again the SDLC continues with never-ending cycle.
Phases of the Software Development Life Cycle
This is the first step of the software development life cycle. The planning stage is a very critical step and it acts as a foundation to develop.
A good plan takes you 50% closer to the completion of the project.
The planning phase involves the following aspects.
- Cost Estimations
- Time Estimations and setting Deadlines
- Resource Allocations
- Design Pattern to follow
The planning phase is carried out by senior members of the team. There are several sources of information which they consider in this phase like feedback from customers, market research and competitors analysis.