What is SDLC? Software Development Life Cycle Phases, Process, Model


SDLC (or Software Development Life Cycle) is a series of steps used to create software applications. These steps break down the development process into tasks that can be assigned, completed and measured.

What is the Software Development Lifecycle?

Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) is the application standard business practice to build software applications. It is typically broken down into six to eight steps: Planning, Requirements, Design, Build, Document, Test, Deploy and Maintain. Project managers may combine, split or omit steps depending on the project’s scope. These are the essential components for any software development project.

SDLC can be used to improve and measure the development process. This will enable a detailed analysis of each stage of the development process. SDLC allows companies to maximize efficiency at every step. Software and developers are increasingly in demand as computing power grows. Companies need to reduce costs, deliver software quicker, and meet their customer’s requirements. SDLC is a tool that helps companies achieve their goals. It identifies inefficiencies and high prices and fixes them so they can run smoothly.

How the Software Development Life Cycle Works

The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a simple diagram that depicts each activity involved in creating a software program. This helps to eliminate waste and improve the development process’ efficiency. Monitoring ensures that the project stays on schedule and is a viable investment for the business.

Many businesses will break down these processes into smaller chunks. Technology research, marketing research, and a cost-benefit analysis are all parts of planning. Other steps may intertwine with one another. Because developers must remedy faults during testing, the Testing phase can run concurrently with the Development phase.

7 Phases of Software Development Life Cycle

Phases-of-Software-Development-Life-CycleSource: phoenixnap


The Planning phase is where project leaders assess the terms of their project. This involves calculating labour and material costs, setting a timeline with goals and creating the team and leadership structure for the project.

Stakeholder feedback can be part of planning. Anyone likely to profit from the application’s success. Get feedback from potential customers and developers.

The scope and objective of the application should be clearly defined during planning. It charts a course and equips the team to produce software efficiently. It also establishes limits to prevent the project from expanding or diverging from its initial goal.

Define requirements

Defining requirements is part of the planning process to determine what the application is supposed to perform and what it needs. A social media program, for example, would necessitate the ability to connect with a buddy. An inventory program may require a search feature.

The resources required to complete the project are also defined in the requirements. A group might, for example, create software to control custom manufacturing equipment, and the machine is required for the process to work.

Design and prototyping

The Design phase shows how a software application should work. The design phase includes:

  • Architecture: This describes the programming language and industry practices. It also includes any boilerplate or templates.
  • User Interface: This describes how customers interact with the software and how it responds to their input.
  • Platforms: This is the list of platforms that the software will run on, including Android, Windows, and Linux.
  • Programming: This includes the programming language and methods for solving problems and performing tasks within the application.
  • Communications: This describes the communication methods the application can use to communicate with other assets, such as a central server or other instances.
  • Security: This refers to the security measures to protect the application. It may include SSL traffic encryption, password protection, and secure storage of user credentials.

Prototyping is a step in the design phase. In the Iterative software development approach, a prototype is similar to one of the early versions of software. It gives you a general concept of how the program appears and functions. Stakeholders will be able to see this “hands-on” design. Use feedback to help you improve your app. It is less expensive to make changes in the Prototype phase than rewrite code in the Development phase

Software Development

Software Development is the actual writing of the program. One developer might write a small project, while several developers might work on a larger project. This phase can be used to manage access control and source code management. These systems allow developers to track code changes. These systems ensure that different projects work together and meet the desired goals.

The coding process includes many other tasks. Many developers need to brush up on their abilities or collaborate with others. It’s vital to find and resolve problems and flaws. Waiting for test results or generating code so an application may run are typical tasks that slow down the development process. SDLC can anticipate these delays, allowing developers to focus on other tasks.

Software developers appreciate explanations and instructions. Documentation can be formal, such as wiring a guide for the application. You can also make comments in the source code explaining why a developer uses a particular procedure. Even software companies that aim to make it intuitive and easy to use can benefit from the documentation.

Documentation is a brief guided tour of the application’s main features displayed on the first launch. Video tutorials can be used to demonstrate complex tasks. Written documentation such as user guides, troubleshooting and FAQ’s can be used to help users with technical queries or solve problems.


Before making an application available to users, it’s vital to test it. Much of the testing of the Software Development Lifecycle testing phase can be automated, like security testing. Another testing can only be done in a specific context; consider developing a simulated production environment for complex deployments.

Each function should be tested to ensure that it functions properly. Different application elements should also be evaluated to ensure that they work together seamlessly—performance testing to eliminate any processing hangs or lags. The testing process assists in reducing the number of faults and glitches seen by consumers. As a result, there is a higher level of user satisfaction and a higher utilization rate.


The application is made available for users during the deployment phase. Many companies prefer to automate this phase. It could be as simple as setting up a download link and a payment portal on your company website. You could also download an app on your smartphone.

It can be challenging to deploy an application. One example is the conversion of a company-wide database into a new-developed application. Because of this, upgrading a database used in various systems can be more challenging.

Operation and Maintenance

The development cycle is practically complete and is currently being utilized in the field. However, the period of operation and maintenance is still crucial. If users find flaws miss during testing during this phase. These issues must be addressed, which may result in new development cycles.

Models like Iterative development propose extra features in future releases in addition to issuing patches. A new Development Cycle can be started for each new release.

SDLC Models & Methodologies Explained


The Waterfall model is the most common development method. The project overflows over into the following step once each phase is completed. This is a tried-and-true strategy that works. The Waterfall model allows each step to be examined for continuity and feasibility before going on to the next. It is, however, limited in pace because one phase must end before the next can begin.



Developers created the Agile model to prioritize client needs. This strategy places a heavy emphasis on the user’s input and experience. This eliminates many issues with prior programs that were obscure and difficult to use. It also allows the program to respond quickly to customer comments. Agile aims to respond to a changing market by releasing software cycles fast. This necessitates a well-coordinated staff with outstanding communication skills. Depending too much on user feedback can potentially lead to a project straying off track.


The Iterative development model allows developers to create a basic version of their software quickly. They then review the application and improve it in small steps (or iterations). Large applications often use this method. This approach can quickly get an application functional and up and running to meet business needs. This process can be too complex and may require unplanned resources.


The DevOps security system integrates operations and the software’s people into the development cycle. This model is similar to Agile and aims to improve usability and relevance of software applications. This model has a significant advantage because it allows users to provide feedback on design and implementation. It requires active collaboration and communication. Automation can help reduce costs.

Other Models

Many other SDLC models are only variations on these main steps. For software development, companies adopt LEAN manufacturing methods. Testing, verification, and validation are part of the V-shaped development process. The spiral effect allows you to pick and choose models for each process stage.

Best Practices Of Software Development

There are a few other valuable techniques, models and stages of software development. These can be used during any stage of the development process.

Source Control

Source Control is a security plan that protects your working code. Source Control is a security plan that secures your working code. It involves keeping it in one location with log access and secure access. It could be a physical space where files can be stored and accessed from a single room within the building. This could be a virtual space that allows users to log in using an encrypted connection to a cloud development environment.

Source Control applications also include a change management system that allows you to track the work of individuals and teams. Backup systems are essential for storing development progress.

Continuous Integration

Continuous Integration was born out of the need to avoid making mistakes. Continuous Integration works to ensure that each component is compatible throughout the entire development cycle. Before CI, teams could build their projects. When developers merged the applications, this created significant problems. Continuous Integration helps prevent duplication of work and conflicts by ensuring that all teams use the same programming languages and libraries.

SDLC Management Systems

Each phase of the software development cycle is controlled and managed by a software development cycle management system. Each stage, as well as the entire project, benefits from management systems. They also include methods for analytics, bug tracking, and task management. These measurements, also known as key performance indicators (KPIs), can be utilized to improve areas of the cycle that aren’t doing well.

Conclusion: The Process of Software Development

SDLC allows you to see what’s going on and where you can make improvements.

Like many business processes, SDLC aims to improve and analyze the creation of software. This provides a scalable view and can be used to manage production dates, coding, and day-to-day operations.