What are the Key Phases of the Software Development Life Cycle?


The Software Life Cycle Model is the period of time that begins when a decision is made to create a software product and ends at the time of its complete finish. With forward-thinking ideas and a combination of technologies, companies create and deliver unique value to their customers, streamline internal operations, gain a competitive advantage and improve business performance. This cycle is the process of building and developing software by the full-cycle software development company.

There are different stages of IT product development, where each stage requires specific skills and the involvement of different specialists. Many features of project management and project development phases (life cycle phases) are general, not only on the subject area but also on the project’s nature. Therefore, it’s necessary to consider several general project management issues and stages of product development.

Planning stage

It is an important phase of the software development cycle from which the workflow begins. It is important for the client that the project team plunges into the business’s details and understands more thoroughly for which market the product is being prepared and how valuable it is.

Collecting and analyzing requirements is one of the most important phases of software development. At this stage, you need to define the project’s requirements for the project team and the client as accurately as possible. To do that, you need to involve business analysts.

Design stage

During the design phase, programmers and system architects, guided by requirements, develop a high-level system design.

At this stage, you need to clarify the design side of the project. The technologies used in the project, team workload, constraints, timeframes and budget are determined. The specified requirements select the most suitable design solutions.

The approved system design determines the list of developed software components, interaction with third parties, the program’s functional characteristics, the databases used, and much more. Design, as a rule, is enshrined in a separate document – a Design Specification Document (DSD).

At this stage, to simplify the visualization of the design process, so-called notations are used – a schematic expression of the characteristics of the system being developed.

Implementation or coding stage

When the program is tested, and there are no more serious defects left in it, it is time to release it and transfer it to end-users.

After the release of the new version of the program, the technical support department begins to work. Its employees provide user feedback, advice and support.

If there are any bugs after release, team members should report in the form of bug reports to the development team, which, depending on the severity of the problem, either immediately releases a fix or postpones until the next version of the program.

Testing stage

This stage is followed by checking the system’s performance, identifying, fixing and correcting errors until the product reaches the required quality standards. During this period, various inconsistencies and bugs needed to be fixed before the launch of the project.

Launch stage

When a product is tested and ready to deploy, it is released to the market. Sometimes a product is deployed sequentially as part of a customer’s business strategy. The product can be initially released in a limited segment and tested in a real business environment. Then, based on feedback, it can be released as is or with suggested improvements.

Maintenance stage

The release of a software product on the software market is associated with sales to the mass user. This stage should be as short as possible. Standard marketing techniques promote software products: advertising, increasing the number of sales channels, creating a dealer and distribution network, pricing policy – selling with discounts, after-sales service, etc.

An ongoing program of marketing activities and software support is required. Typically, for each software product, there is a sales curve that reflects the demand.

To conclude, all stages of the software life cycle presented above apply to any development model, but their duration and order may differ. The SDLC shows what is happening and where the development process can be improved. Like many business processes, SDLC aims to analyze and improve the software creation process. It creates a scalable view of a project, from day-to-day coding to production date management.


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