What is SDLC? Software Development Life Cycle Phases, Methodologies, and Processes Explained

Various SDLC methodologies have been developed to guide the processes involved, including the original SDLC method, the Waterfall model. Other SDLC models include rapid application development (RAD), joint application development (JAD), the fountain model, the spiral model, build and fix, and synchronize-and-stabilize. In the incremental model, developers can break down the software requirements into different standalone modules. Incremental software development contains multiple steps like high-level design, implementation, testing, and maintenance.

system development life cycle meaning

The Big Bang model is an outlier among SDLC approaches since it does not adhere to a set process and spends very little time on planning. One may say that the Iterative model is the embodiment of repetition. When developing software, it is common practice to implement a subset of requirements first, then test, analyze, and identify any missing ones.

Strategic Planning for/of Information Systems

The Spiral model is one of the most adaptable SDLC approaches since it borrows from the Iterative model and its emphasis on iteration to guide the project through its four phases repeatedly till completion. Once a stage is complete, there is minimal room for change, thus problems cannot be addressed until the maintenance phase begins. The necessity for adaptation or the persistence of the project is not a good fit for this paradigm.

The main problem with this model is that the requirement to correct errors should be known upfront and at an early stage. Otherwise, the whole process may continue in the wrong direction, which could negatively impact the cost of production. The code is tested to make sure it is free of bugs, adheres to the client requirements and correctly interfaces with other software products together with the underlying hardware.

What is the Software Development Lifecycle?

In most use cases, a system is an IT technology such as hardware and software. Project and program managers typically take part in SDLC, along with system and software engineers, development teams and end-users. An SDLC model maps the complete software development process from its initial planning through maintenance and eventual retirement and replacement of the completed application.

  • Compared to other SDLC models, this one has the benefit of providing a working version early on and making it cheaper to add changes.
  • Developers write code and build the app according to the finalized requirements and specification documents.
  • The spiral model is used by software engineers and is favored for large, expensive and complicated projects.
  • The systems development life cycle (SDLC, also called the software development life cycle or simply the system life cycle) is a system development model.
  • It can be applied to networks and online services, but is most often used in software development.
  • For example, as the system analyst of Viti Bank, you have been tasked to examine the current information system.

Those who undertake testing should be made aware of the need to observe confidentiality of the information used in the testing process. Audits shall be performed internally within IT to monitor development progress. A security specialist shall be appointed to provide security advice for the project—this is usually the Information Security Manager. This generic SDLC model, designed by the National Computing Center of the United Kingdom in the late 1960s, was described in 1971 by A. Centralized finance (CeFi) is defined as a financial ecosystem where centralized authorities control financial assets… Doomscrolling or doomsurfing is the term used to describe social media users habitually scrolling through their newsfeeds…


Think about what you want to build and where your technology passions are. Another idea is that you could test solutions on the market to better understand the pitfalls of existing software. Perhaps you would engage in a conversation with managers who lead hourly worker teams. SDLC consists of six steps which I have diagrammed here for your reference. One particularly powerful and popular framework is called the Software Development Life Cycle process (SDLC).

system development life cycle meaning

Big Bang is a high-risk approach that should be avoided for projects of significant size or complexity because of the possibility that the project will need to be restarted if initial needs are misinterpreted. However, if the customer is unsure about the project’s direction, it could move in the wrong path, as this approach relies significantly on communication with the client. In contrast to other structured SDLC approaches, Waterfall’s approach to completing each stage before moving on to the next is the simplest and most time-tested.

Phase 3: Implement (or Code)

In spite of its strengths, this model requires good planning and early definition of the complete and fully functional system. There are numerous ways to describe these changes over time, but the bottom line is that the software development life cycle began as a carefully staged process. First, developers will take one final look at the new system and then work with content writers and quality assurance professionals to create detailed documentation. Including this, the development team can prepare for the product launch at this stage itself. In the design phase, developers focus more on the threat modeling process to detect and eliminate possible threats or prepare a mitigation plan.

system development life cycle meaning

The system life cycle begins when the SDLC delivers the final product, that is, when the implementation phase begins. The objective of this activity is to extend as long as possible the life cycle of an existing system. When this is not longer feasible or efficient, the system life cycle terminates and a new SDLC commences. In SDLC, documentation is crucial, regardless of the type of model chosen for any application, and is usually done in parallel with the development process. Some methods work better for specific kinds of projects, but in the final analysis, the most crucial factor for the success of a project may be how closely the particular plan was followed.

System Development Life Cycle

The system development life cycle or SDLC is a project management model used to outline, design, develop, test, and deploy an information system or software product. In other words, it defines the necessary steps needed to take a project from the idea or concept stage to the actual deployment and further maintenance. Software Development Life Cycle is an application of standard practices for developing premium software. SDLC consists of steps such as requirement analysis, estimating feasibility, designing, coding, document, test, deployment, and maintenance.

system development life cycle meaning

An important goal of the SDLC is to quickly and efficiently produce high-quality software in a series of phases that are called steps. The number of steps in an SDLC will vary depending on the business and its system development life cycle meaning software product goals. For example, at the most basic level, software is designed, developed, tested and then released. Typically, there will be between five and seven steps—although there can be more.

Possible Drawbacks of SDLC

In the planning stage, the team discusses what can go wrong during the development process and derive solutions. Moreover, the team decides and documents the technologies, restrictions, workload, budget, and interaction with third parties. Developers and operations teams collaborate closely, and occasionally as one team, under a DevOps paradigm to speed innovation and deploy higher-quality and more reliable software products and functionalities. Apart from technical components of information system development, the SDLC includes process and procedure creation, management change, user experience, policy formulation, impact, and compliance with security standards.

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