Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC): Stages, Methodology, Processes


Software development is quite a complex task today, as there are many different models on which the software creation process is based. All varieties require a comprehensive, structured approach. Therefore, the development team working on a high-quality digital product that is valuable to the target audience selects the optimal development method in accordance with business objectives.

Any software development process’s life cycle needs to be discussed in more detail. Let’s take a closer look at what SDLC is and how to choose the best methodology for a particular corporate software correctly.

Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC): Stages, Methodology, ProcessesSoftware Development Life Cycle (SDLC): Stages, Methodology, Processes
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The software development life cycle is a process that consists of specific stages, starting with the need for software development and ending with the discontinuation of software support by the development team. Product managers use this process to create various types of digital products.

This is a kind of principle and optimization strategy which divides the overall business goal into several smaller ones to achieve a high-quality final result. SDLC also involves defining and organizing the tasks to facilitate and correctly complete software development. With this tool, it is possible to predict the results of certain actions and prevent errors and problems. The entire process is based on active communication between the development team.

Using SDLC provides the opportunity to:

  • Visualize the labor-intensive software development process;
  • Properly manage a business project;
  • Manage the risks of exceeding project deadlines, going beyond the agreed cost;
  • Create plans, predict the delivery of various products throughout the project implementation period;
  • Quickly determine the stage of development at any given moment.

To understand the software creation and development life cycle, it is necessary to look at the stages of such a process.

It’s important to understand that the product manager participates in all steps of the software life cycle. The specialist is active in all 7 stages of SDLC:

  • Idea generation
  • Definition of requirements
  • Architecture (design) creation
  • Development of the digital product
  • Software testing
  • Software deployment
  • Support

All SDLC stages can end with the closure of the project, but this process is not considered mandatory and is individual for each specific case. Let’s take a closer look at each stage.


The development of any digital product always starts with generating an idea that will solve a pain point or problem for the business’s target audience. In some situations, this process can be formal or occur in an informal setting.

Once the idea is generated, it is analyzed and evaluated. Based on this information, one option is chosen, which will be further elaborated by the development team.

Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC): Stages, Methodology, Processes
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The definition of Modern SDLC methodologies implies that at this stage, the “idea” takes a more specific, meaningful form. To define the initial requirements for the software, specialists from different areas need to be involved:

  • Clients
  • Customers
  • Representatives of various departments (sales, developers, analysts, testers)
  • Experts on identical digital products

The information obtained at this stage is passed on to business analysts who work on it, detail it, and transform it into a specific technical task. In addition, at this stage, specialists define the product quality conditions, carry out market analysis, create a verification/validation plan, and set out the software’s acceptance criteria.

Design Development (Architecture of the Future System)

At the system design stage, specialists create the “skeleton” of the future project. Designers adhere to the requirements outlined in the technical task and agreed upon with the client. With this document, specialists define such aspects as:

  • Technologies
  • Workflows
  • Toolkit
  • Connection with various project components
  • Database structure
  • Data flows, other elements

This step provides the opportunity to define the design specification, which will contain a detailed description of all aspects of the work in a technical format. To understand how the stage of developing the architecture of a digital product goes, you can take a training course from DevEducation for future UX/UI designers. Professional teachers will tell in detail about the intricacies of the process, qualifications, and knowledge that may be required to create high-quality software.

Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC): Stages, Methodology, Processes

Development of a Digital Product

To start implementing the idea, developers must receive SRS requirements and future DDS design specifications. Based on such data, software creation will be carried out. The cost and timing of the project implementation depend on the quality of requirements and specifications.

You can learn the nuances of the process by signing up for a FrontEnd course by DevEducation. During the training, the corporate teachers will focus on the smallest details of developing a digital product, work through all important aspects, and implement the technical task correctly. By choosing the FrontEnd course by DevEducation, each participant is guaranteed a successful start in the IT field.

Software Testing

All types of SDLC imply that the testing stage begins after developing a digital product. This stage is based on the requirements that were defined earlier (SQA, SRS, DDS) for the finished software. Testers carry out the product quality check, so specialists form a report when deviations and errors are detected. Based on such information, all shortcomings will be corrected and rechecked, tested again.

The process will last until the software’s quality meets the client’s high demands. Testing is a fascinating process, which is why the profession of a QA tester is highly popular today. You can learn the basics and intricacies of this direction at DevEducation. Sign up for a course and get training in QA.

The course is designed to take into account modern trends in the IT field, so it allows beginners to master the field of study they choose.

Product Deployment

The software’s handed over to the customer only after it is successfully tested. At this stage, specialists set up working environments, installation, configuration, and launch of the new digital product. The development team can cope with the implementation of these tasks because they know the smallest details of the project.


Once the digital product is officially launched, it begins to function, adjust and will be supplemented with new features. The support stage can be visualized as a repetitive set of steps:

  • defining specific requirements
  • development
  • conducting testing
  • deployment

This stage of the product development lifecycle is considered the most important and prolonged. Software development quickly turns into a terrible nightmare without such processes, standards for software creation, working procedures, and ideal communication. In addition, specialists may face many problems, never-ending plans, enormous technical debt, and the failure of the entire project. As a rule, the vast majority of new projects and startups die at this stage.

Additional Step – Project Closure

This stage is the last in the life of the software. It implies taking the digital product out of operation and replacing it with a more modern analog or version. The most vivid example of closure is the update of the Internet Explorer browser to the more modern Edge version, and WinXP to Win7.

How Long Can Software Development Take?

The implementation period of a project depends on its scale and customer requirements. For example, creating a simple product may take several months – these are small web resources and startups.

Complex projects, such as software for modern space equipment, are implemented over 10-15 years. In most cases, active development of a digital product is carried out over 5-8 years.

SDLC Models

This term refers to a generalized description of tasks and actions carried out during development, implementation, and product maintenance. In simple terms, this is an abstraction of the actual software creation process, in which most minor nuances are absent. This is necessary so that the development team can conveniently select a model for a specific project being implemented.

SDLC models can be conditionally divided into 3 basic types:

  • Sequential. This model implies a strict sequence of all stages, a gradual transition after the completion of the previous one to the next.
  • Iterative. This option suggests that the software goes through several iterations, which contain all stages of development, until it meets all the customer requirements and can be released to the market.
  • Agile. This model is based on the iterative principle of creating a digital product, while the structure of the process can be adjusted depending on the tasks and the degree of software readiness.

The development team chooses the optimal option for themselves, considering the features of the project and customer requirements. Specialists select the most suitable life cycle model because the project’s success, the duration of its implementation, and other important factors depend on this.

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