The software development life cycle (SDLC) serves as an IT infrastructure that identifies the work to be conducted in every stage in the software development process. In SDLC, there is a structure followed by the development team within the different software teams involved in the project. The different teams prepare a detailed plan citing all the necessary data regarding the development, maintenance, and specific software to be used.
The software development life cycle lists the systematic tasks to do in achieving the software quality and the overall development process. This is popularly known as the software development process.
Different SDLC methodologies
If you are new to SDLC, you may wonder what's the best SDLC method to use for your existing software project. Below are six methodologies or models you can choose from.
All these approaches differ in several ways from each other. However, they all work for a common goal. This is to assist help dedicated development teams in attaining high-quality and cost-effective software as much as possible.
Having an in-depth understanding of these six most common SDLC methodologies may assist you in selecting which is the best approach for your existing software development project.
Agile.For a decade, the Agile model has been widely used. Recently, this has been the main driving force used by many software development enterprises. Some big firms consider the Agile methodology valuable as they apply it to their existing projects, such as non-technical initiatives.
Using Agile, ‘fast failure’ is an advantage. This model is being employed in continuous release cycles. Each process highlights mini, incremental adjustments from the initial launch. In every iteration, the product is evaluated. The Agile model assists companies to resolve small project issues before they even turn into bigger problems in the future that are difficult to manage. Also, it involves stakeholders to provide their feedback and suggestions in the development process.
Aside from using this methodology, most teams also apply an Agile infrastructure called Scrum to assist companies in structuring more complex development projects. Scrum groups conduct their tasks in “sprints.” This commonly lasts about two to four weeks in accomplishing the assigned tasks. Scrum meetings are held daily to assist the entire team in monitoring the project’s progress from start to finish. The ScrumMaster is in-charge for letting the team focus on its goal.
Lean. This software development model is based on lean manufacturing standards and principles. The seven lean principles include eliminating wastes, amplifying learning, deciding with ease, delivering quickly, empowering the team, establishing integrity, and looking at things in its entirety.
The Lean process deals with what should only be worked on at a time, so multitasking is not possible. Also, project teams are also focused on seeking opportunities to minimize waste at each activity of the entire SDLC process, from eliminating unnecessary meetings to cutting down documentation.
Ideally, the Agile model is an SDLC’s Lean method with several notable variations. One of them is prioritizing customer satisfaction. This is the top priority of Agile, which builds a flexible system where project teams can instantly address the stakeholder feedback within the SDLC. Meanwhile, Lean stresses waste reduction as an approach to provide more overall value for the customers while assisting them to improve satisfaction rate.
Waterfall. The Waterfall model is recognized as the earliest structure among SDLC methods. Also, it uses a very straightforward approach such as completing one phase before shifting to the next without going back. Every stage is dependent on past phase details with its own project plan.
Waterfall’s pitfall is rigidity. However, it can be understood and managed easily. However, initial delays can hamper the whole project schedule. With limited room for changes as soon as one stage is finalized, issues are difficult to be resolved until you reach the maintenance stage. This model does not provide much flexibility compared to other models, especially for long-term and ongoing projects.
The more rigid approach consists of the Verification and Validation model or commonly called V-shaped model. This linear development method comes from the Waterfall system. It’s described by a specific testing stage for every development phase. Like Waterfall, every phase starts only after the previous stage has been finalized. This SDLC model is very useful as long as your project has no hidden specifications.
Iterative. This model uses repetitive processes. Rather than taking popularly used requirements, project teams employ a set of software, then testing, evaluating, and considering the specific tools to be used. A new software version is developed in every stage or iteration. Each task is repeated until the entire system is ready to use.
One benefit of the Iterative model compared to other SDLC methods is providing an early working project version in the process. When making modifications, it is less expensive to do. With regard to its disadvantage, repetitive processes can reduce resources instantly.
Spiral. In terms of flexibility, the Spiral is one of the most flexible SDLC methods. This model is part of the Iterative model. With its repetitive approach, the project uses four phases like planning, risk analysis, engineering, and evaluation. It passes through a ‘spiral’ process until it is completed, enabling several rounds of refinement.
The Spiral model is best used for huge projects. This helps the development teams to produce a highly customized software product while integrating user feedback in the early stage of the project. Another benefit of the Spiral model is risk management. Every iteration begins by anticipating potential risks and identifying how to prevent or mitigate them.
DevOps. This SDLC method is quite new. This model has emerged from the two trends such as Agile app and Lean practices so operations can work. There is a shift in business toward identifying the value of collaboration between development and operations staff in every stage of the SDLC process.
In a DevOps model, both developers and operations teams collaborate as one team while promoting innovation and deployment of higher-quality and more reliable software products, including their good performance. Product updates are minimal but frequent. The best features of the DevOps model are discipline, ongoing feedback, process enhancement, and automation of manual development activities.
For Amazon Web Services, DevOps is described as the integration of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that boosts the organization’s capacity to provide apps and services at high velocity. This evolves and enhances products at a quicker pace in the corporate world using conventional software development and infrastructure management processes. Compared to other SDLC models, DevOps is both an approach to planning and implementing task and a philosophy that seeks significant mindset and cultural changes in an organization.
Selecting the best SDLC model for your software development project needs careful planning. Always remember that the right approach for project planning and guide is only one ingredient for success. Even more essential is creating a solid team of experts willing to complete the project despite any unexpected problem or setback.