What IT Project Managers Should Know About System Development Life Cycle!

Are you an IT project manager who’s planning to develop a project? If not now, do you ever see yourself managing a team in the future? Look no further, we're here to help. Read on as we discuss the most frequently asked questions regarding the system development life cycle.

What is the System Development Life Cycle?

Most accomplishments in the field of software and the system industry were materialized due to careful planning as well as implementation. If you want a project to succeed, you should devise a development plan, or use one that’s already popular. For a long time now, the system development life cycle has been considered an effective way to manage projects.

The system development life cycle is a structure for the processes associated with a project, including the details of tasks in every stage. It serves as the basis for each activity involved in development, maintenance, and updates. It ensures the quality of the software project and the development process.

SDLC is a step-by-step plan. Every phase matters and is consequential to succeeding ones. There are seven key phases: planning, analysis, design, development, integration and testing, implementation, and maintenance.

Is the System Development Life Cycle Important?

When you want to accomplish something, you have to be prepared before executing your plan. Similarly, if you want a software project to succeed, it's best to outline each activity and objective before anything else is done. It may seem unnecessary at first, but you'll thank yourself later on, especially when you’re dealing with multiple tasks, deadlines, and roadblocks all at once.

With a system development life cycle, the entire team will be fully aware of, and knowledgeable about, the project's entirety. This strategy provides all the project details, including the technical specifications, project phases, tasks, goals, regulations, and deployment plan.

Of course, it’s essential during planning stages. It allows the team to lay out the goals, timeframe, and budget. All these factors are critical to the project's overall completion, emphasizing the advantages of using the system more often. The SDLC life cycle ensures that your team doesn’t jump right into the action without weapons and tactics.

What are the Phases Under the System Development Life Cycle?

There are seven different phases that constitute the system development life cycle. Each stage is critical and consequential to the succeeding ones. At a glance, these phases include: planning, analysis, design, development, integration and testing, implementation, and maintenance.

Planning

The project manager will discuss the project requirements and its feasibility with the stakeholders. During this stage, the managers will allocate resources, a budget, and staffing needs. They will also conduct extensive research on different areas that the project covers. Moreover, the risks and challenges will be forecasted to ensure the project's success.

Analysis

During the analysis phase, the team will consider the project's functional requirements. Functional requirements refer to the features and functions that enable users to accomplish tasks. In this stage, the team will also strategize on how to meet user expectations and needs in order to apply them to the final product.

Design

After analyzing the functionality and user requirements, it's time to move on to designing. The team will apply all the data to create resources for the project. These resources will satisfy the functional requirements. In detail, these are the technical specifications, product features, operations, and many more. Think of it as the blueprint for the software, or the system in development.

Development

The development is where the real work begins. The team will apply all the data and designs generated in the previous stages during development. All activities include production, design implementation, and other related tasks. During phase revisiting, it can also signify modifications and updates.

Integration and Testing

After development, it's not a good practice to release the product without further review and testing. In this phase, the team will consult user input to assess if the final product meets all needs and requirements or not. And, if the project has multiple components, an officiating member will integrate them to function as one.

Implementation

After testing and integration, it’s time to release the product to the public or client. Naturally, all the functional requirements are working for users. If it's a system deployment, the team will upload all the old program's files and components. All the efforts and measures from the testing and design phase will reflect on implementation.

Maintenance

The final phase is where users can try new featurA Detailed List of the System Development Life Cycle Phases
es from the system. It also includes maintenance by developers for any issues and updates. Lastly, if it's in the contract terms of agreement, the client can request additional features if they’re feasible or appropriate.

Related Content: A Detailed List of the System Development Life Cycle Phases

What are the System Development Life Cycle Models?

Currently, there are several systems development life cycle methodologies.

  • Waterfall Model. This is a traditional and most straightforward form of SDLC. It works by unlocking a new phase after completing the previous one. Reverting changes isn't allowed unless you’re in the maintenance stage.
  • Iterative Model. This is a different and more active approach. After every stage, the team will test, review, and modify the output. It's a segmented process that reduces costs and the time for future changes.
  • Spiral Model. This is a flexible form of SDLC. The team can accept input from users or stakeholders, even during production. It is excellent for creating customized software or systems that require constant client feedback.
  • V-Shaped Model. Similar to the Waterfall model, the V-Shaped method only allows employees to complete the phases in sequence. The only difference is that after each phase, there's a different testing stage.
Related Content: The V-Model: Another Take on the System Development Life Cycle
  • Agile Model. Agile is where the team does concurrent tasks and cycles. The team will release and test frequently, but in small updates. It is popular among large groups and companies that need to accommodate more projects, and accomplish deliverables.
  • Big Bang Model. If you're only managing a small project, using this model is acceptable. Although, less time allocation for planning isn't ideal for complex development.

Besides these primary methodologies, others include the RAD Model, Rapid Application Development, Prototyping, and DevOps. There are many choices available to lead your project into success, but it’s important to be systematic and mindful during each phase and decision.

SDLC in 2021

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Topics: sdlc methodologies, system development life cycle