The Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is important because it provides structure to the challenges of moving from the start to the end of your project without missing a step. Think of it as the spellcheck of the software development world–it can immediately flag errors in the software creation process before they are identified in later SDLC phases.
But of course, it’s so much more than that. SDLC lays out a plan that can help developers get things right the first time. Several stages are involved in the SDLC, including planning, design, analysis, testing, building, deployment, and maintenance.
Below are six different SDLC methodologies or models that you need to know:
The waterfall approach is one of the oldest SDLC methods. Unfortunately, it has become less popular in recent years. This model introduces a rigid structure that demands all system requirements to be defined before the project begins. Only then can the development and design processes can officially start.
If the waterfall approach has an opposite, it would be the agile methodology. Instead of seeing design, testing, and requirements as major sequential stages, an agile model considers them as ongoing processes that need the involvement of customers, the management, and developers.
In this methodology, work is broken into 2- to 4-week segments called sprints, in which teams will deal with the major needs of the customers as they perform necessary testing.
The iterative model takes the waterfall approach and cycles through it multiple times but in smaller increments. Instead of stretching the whole project across the SDLC stages, each step is made into several small projects that can produce value as the product moves through the cycle
In the spiral methodology, teams can adopt several SDLC models according to the risk patterns of a specific project. Widely considered as a combination of the waterfall and iterative approaches, the challenge that comes with the spiral method is knowing the right time to move on to the next stage.
DevOps belongs to the newer group of SDLC methodologies, and it's currently being adopted by many IT organizations and software companies. As the name implies, the DevOps model’s premise is to bring development teams together to streamline support and product delivery.
The lean method is closely connected with the agile approach. Both models focus on the speed of product delivery, as well as continuous improvement. One major difference is the lean model is rooted in the best manufacturing processes. Any excess effort and waste are considered the biggest risks to a business or organization.
Which SDLC Model is the Best?
When it comes to software development, there is no one-size-fits-all SDLC model. Each of the above-mentioned SDLC methodologies provides a unique process for the wide range of project challenges you will encounter in software development.
When trying to find the right one, it’s important to consider not just the expected outcome, but also the parameters by which your project will be executed.