The System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a multistep process organized methodically. This process is used to model or offer a framework for technical and non-technical activities to deliver a quality system that meets or exceeds a business's expectations or manage decision-making progression.
At Bydrec, we've identified nine common pitfalls to avoid, which will help make your next software development project more agile and cost-effective and result in a better product.
Problems always pop up unexpectedly, from timed development stages to hidden stakeholder lethargy. While it's all too easy for project managers to fall foul of the nine common problems outlined below in the software development life cycle, getting a handle on pain points can improve management practices and streamline future software development undertakings. Ultimately, a pain and problem-free project result in lower costs, a better product, and fewer headaches for the project team.
1 – Planning Timeframes
A well-planned timetable is one of the cornerstones of a successful software development project. And while project management tools are great, even the most advanced tool won't save you from unexpected hitches. Smoothing the way for the development team necessitates careful prioritization, clear values, and an ability to predict the true impact of team actions.
2 – Prototyping Too Infrequently
Early-stage prototyping and mid-stage reiterating are vital to smooth project progress, especially in Agile development methodologies.
3 – Failing To Preempt Problems
There's one good reason why Project Managers don't spend enough time planning for problems because they don't want them to happen! Sadly the head in the sand technique isn't as effective. A better strategy is risk management. Risk management can be accomplished visually in a work flowchart, which is then checked against resource conflicts and module needs. Once known, you can plan around these potential problems – lengthening lead-ups, prioritizing specific pathways, and freeing up assets just in case. Building pauses into the SDLC around these possible hurdles can be a great point to build in mid-cycle quality testing.
4 – Failing To Allocate Tasks Appropriately
Software development is a competitive arena, and sometimes everybody wants to be the hero. But 'heroics culture' – e.g., pulling 20-hour shifts and moving heaven and earth to get the project done – can wreck a project. It's better to be prepared and avoid the need for heroics in the first place. Creating a sensible schedule in which activities and duties and wisely allocated is the best approach. In terms of team organization, be wary of putting one person onto two projects, anticipating equal investment in both, and ensuring you're delivering enough staff and support for each team.
5 – Neglecting to Engage Stakeholders
Even the best project manager can struggle when faced with challenging or disinterested stakeholders. Attempting to keep stakeholders happy and still respect scope and spend can seem impossible. If you're managing the project's requirements, try maintaining stakeholders' engagement by exchanging out text-heavy obligations documentation for more streamlined tech such as a prototyping tool. Within this, you can add stakeholders as a user and have them work in partnership on needs, and everyone has access to the version history – everything is traceable. Plus, confirming the implementation of each requirement within the tool will keep your stakeholders in the loop.
6 - Communication During Initial Phase
As stated previously, one of the most significant problem areas appears during the requirements gathering or defining stage and relates to communication challenges between the participating parties. Methodology such as the Waterfall model leads to an issue where if misalignment of the finished concept is not dealt with at the early stages – the next phase of the process is either put on hold or the parties continue unaware problem being exacerbated in the latter stages. Other methodologies can help mitigate communication issues, such as Agile development, but the end-user involvement must be expanded for each reiteration required. Proper time spent in the initial phases in any methodology is vital to accomplishing the project, whether it be turning down end-users due to known history of communication problems (Requires understanding of the end-users history) or aligning your interests and goals before starting the project.
7 – Management and Scheduling
Work culture can lead to poor management situations. Sometimes, new personnel is put in the role of project manager by leveraging relationships, a simple confusion of a person's skills, and even budget limits from projects being mismanaged by inexperience, bringing to rise issues such as poor estimation of the time required for each phase or forcing workloads into unrealistic time frames due to budgetary constraints.
8 - Development and "Late Requests."
Only a problem when the initial communication issue is being kept in check, but they are not continuously limited solely to this. One more challenge is that occasionally end-users decide to ask for a feature to be added in due to changes in their vision or recognizing it too late. A simple appeal on the end-users behalf can have significant implications for the development team. This may be due to the program being developed so that the proposal will require reworking from the bottom up. This is a challenge that is not always preventable but mitigated by safeguarding all requirements are fully assembled and having the end-user understand the implications of having "late requests."
9- Time to Test
Testing is key to confirming that the program works as per the initial vision and ensures all security measures and bugs are tested. The challenges that arise from the testing phase usually result from terrible management (Whether it be a lack of time allocated to testing due to bad management or budget constraints), wildly underestimating the time required to test the product thoroughly.
In the end, Software development has an excess of reasons it can go wrong, but out of all of them, the majority come from the above-mentioned common problems. Seeking to overcome them through proper management, properly defining and restating requirements, and controlling time will help keep your SDLC in check and on the right path.