All About SDLC: Which Stage is the Most Important?

Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a systematic process used by the industry to ensure the software’s quality. It consists of an intricate scheme describing how to build, maintain, track, replace, alter, or enhance specific software. Overall, the SDLC process aims to produce superior software that meets or exceeds customer expectations while reaching completion within the established timeframe and budget.

Each phase of the SDLC methodology has its own processes and deliverables that feed into the next phase. The entire methodology is divided into seven system development life cycle stages:
  • Requirement collection and analysis
  • Feasibility or Requirements Analysis
  • Design and Prototyping
  • Software Development (Coding)
  • Software Testing
  • Installation/Deployment
  • Operations and Maintenance
Let’s go over these seven phases to see how SDLC works, so you have a better understanding of this complex process.

Stage 1: Requirement Collection and Analysis

The requirement stage is conducted by a senior team member, with additional input from stakeholders, the sales department, and domain experts within the industry. This information is used to conduct a product feasibility study in the operational, technical, and economical areas. During this stage, the team is given a clear picture of the project’s scope, along with its anticipated issues and opportunities.

Stage 2: Feasibility or Requirements Analysis

Once the requirement stage is complete, it’s time to define and document software needs. This phase is conducted with the help of the Software Requirement Specification (SRS) document that includes everything that must be developed and designed during the project’s life cycle.

The five main types of feasibility checks are:
  • Economic: Can the project be completed within the set budget?
  • Legal: Does the project comply with cyber laws and other regulations?
  • Operation: Can the team create operations outlined by the stakeholder or client?
  • Technical: Can the current computer system support the software?
  • Schedule: Can the project be completed within the given time frame?

Stage 3: Design and Prototyping

In this phase, the software specifications need to be turned into a design plan or a prototype. The product architects need to create a plan called Design Document Specification (DDS), which the stakeholders have to review and give feedback on. Based on certain parameters, such as risk assessment, budget and time constraints, design modularity, and robustness, the best product design approach is selected.

Three types of design documents are developed at this stage:
  • Low-Level Design (LLD): This is a component-level design process based on HLD that follows a step-by-step refinement process. It goes into the separate modules and features for each program.
  • High-Level Design (HLD): This is a general system design that consists of a brief description of each module. This indicates the interface relationship and dependencies between them, an outline about their functionality, database tables and complete architecture diagrams.
  • Detailed-Level Design (DLD): This is the most detailed technical document. It describes user stories, state transitions, logical sequences, error processing algorithms, and more.

Stage 4: Software Development Stage

It’s now time to turn everything into a working code. This is the earliest phase in which the final product starts to take shape. Developers are most involved during this stage. They work alongside the product owner and software testers to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Stage 5: Software Testing

The software testing phase puts testers to work. The testing team will check for code quality to ensure it meets all the requirements for optimal functionality. If they find any bugs, they relay them to the developers, who then fix the bugs and send back the software for re-testing. The process continues until the software works properly.

Related Content: 4 Best Practices For Faster Software Development And Testing

Stage 6: Installation/Deployment

Once testing is over, the final deployment process starts. At this stage, the product owners work with the marketing team to produce marketing material and documentation, such as user manuals, guides, and more.

Stage 7: Operations and Maintenance

During this phase, the main focus is to ensure that the software continues to meet all requirements and perform as per the specifications that were outlined in the first phase.

The following three activities occur during the maintenance phase:
  • Developers watch software for bugs. If they find one, they create a bug report. A sign that everything is working well during this time is when developers can identify and resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
  • Developers upgrade the application to the newest version of the software.
  • Developers add new features to the existing software to enhance its functionality.

Which SDLC Stage Is the Most Important?

Among all system development life cycle stages, have you ever wondered which is the most important? For Bydrec, every single phase is crucial, so nothing should be left out or rushed. All SDLC stages should be valued equally.

However, many software development experts suggest that the requirement collection and analysis stage is the most important aspect of SDLC. This is when the project team begins to understand what the stakeholders expect from the project. The project team must first understand the stakeholder’s needs because this information is critical to developing a software product that meets their expectations and needs.

Software Development Life Cycle Models

Now that you have a better understanding of how SDLC stages work, here are some SDLC models that you can utilize for your project:

Waterfall Model

This is the oldest and most straightforward of all methodologies. You finish one stage and then move on to the next. Each stage relies on the information from the previous one and has its own project plan. It is probably the easiest to understand and manage.

Related Content: The Time Tested Waterfall Model and Why It's so Great

V-Shaped Model

Also called the Verification and Validation model, it is characterized by a testing stage for each development step. This methodology is useful when the team knows all the requirements because you can’t go back and make changes.

Iterative Model

This model implements a set of tested and evaluated software requirements, and the team pinpoints further requirements. This model tends to repeat a few processes over time.

Spiral Model

Just as with the iterative model, it is based on repetition. The project passes through four phases, like a spiral, until it’s completed. This allows for multiple rounds of refinement.

Big Bang Model

There’s a short amount of time spent on planning when using this methodology because it follows no specific processes. This model is typically used for small projects with few software developers.

Agile Model

The Agile model produces ongoing releases, with additional changes from the previous one. The product is tested at each iteration. Since this model depends greatly on customer interaction, the client should provide clear instructions and requirements for a successful project.

Related Content: 4 Top Trends in Agile Development

Utilize SDLC Stages Like a Pro

Do you want to learn more about several system development life cycle stages? How about finding the right SDLC model for your project? At Bydrec, we can offer guidance and high-quality solutions. Get started by contacting us today.


Topics: sdlc methodologies, system development life cycle