It is ready to accomplish all those things envisaged when the original business idea popped into your head.
How smoothly that process goes depends on how well the project life cycle is designed and completed. Without thoroughly completing a highly organized workflow, success in such projects is unlikely.
But what exactly do we mean by a custom software development life cycle?
What stages do development companies go through to deliver the end product?
It’s important to understand the stages of the software development life cycle before you hunt for your development partners so that you can ask the right questions and set the right expectations from the start…
The software development life cycle and its phases
Every software project is unique but most pass through the same workflows, regardless of the industry.
Likewise, every development team varies its approach and works in a slightly different way according to its development model. The best teams, however, incorporate a similar series of phases into their processes to ensure that all boxes are ticked before the final product hits the market.
This is known as the custom software development project life cycle, a process that brings structure and organization to the entire range of activities, tasks and processes related to software product development and maintenance.
Every stage is essential to the process of delivering an end product that meets the business objectives of the software and aligns the project budget and demands with quality assurance and deployment time.
The five basic phases are outlined below.
1. Ideation, research, analysis and planning
Great ideas are the lifeblood of business innovation. It’s exciting times when these ideas flow in an organization.
However, without the necessary research, analysis, preparation and planning, the end product may not be fit-for-market and could fail to meet the key business objectives.
You must create a strong foundation for your software project with a concrete product concept based on stringent market and product research.
Well before the design or development stage, we must establish the business requirements. From there, the scope of work can be outlined and a feasibility study conducted to confirm that each element of the project is viable with the existing market and competition.
Based on the initial idea and the outcome of the research and analysis, your software development team can submit a final product concept and a full justification of the requirements.
If the software development project is viable, how can it be built to be market-fit from the start?
Your development team should outline the types of methodologies and processes to be used, as well as a proposal that addresses the resources necessary, potential challenges (and how to overcome them), and the costs of the project.
2. Product design
Once feasibility has been confirmed, the second step in the software development project lifecycle is for your development team to design and present the scope of work in the design documentation.
This is often in the form of a dynamic visual prototype, which makes it easy to see how the end product will look, work and be brought to market.
It should incorporate all aspects of the project, the scope of implementation and testing, and create a final plan that will be used for the software development process.
Stakeholders can then review the documentation for design flexibility, risks, timelines, strength, and budget constraints. Upon approval, the project can move to the development stage.
3. Development and coding
During the development phase, your software project team generates source code that fits the design requirements specified in the previous stage and aligns with the pre-agreed demands and expectations of stakeholders.
The team uses project management tools and methodologies to build the complete and high-quality product you need.
As well as being the most important phase (where you finally see your ideas taking concrete shape), it is also usually the longest and most resource-intensive phase in the entire software development life cycle.
The best development teams regularly monitor the quality of the work and project life cycle, keeping clients informed about progress while they focus on their core business. Regular product demos and reports can help to provide timely project progress reports.
4. The testing phase
Regular testing of the software should be part and parcel of the software development life cycle.
When the coding seems complete and all in order, the product must be placed in a solid testing environment to ensure that the source code is perfect and bug-free and that the product is fit-for-market.
This process includes performing manual and automatic tests and simulating the behaviour of potential system users similar to the real user experience. Testers use different methodologies and various frameworks to test the code at different levels.
If the tests find errors in the source code, the product returns to the development team for amendments to be made.
After successful testing, the software product is finally ready for implementation. During the deployment phase of the software development life cycle, the team will publish the apps to the relevant platforms, such as Google Play and the App Store.
They will also create application installers for desktops or laptops, install internet systems on servers shortlisted by clients and ensure that the software is compatible with different operating systems and platforms.
Beyond this, end-users and analysts may provide feedback that can improve the features and/or performance of the software over time. Regular updates and upgrades are normal after new software is deployed so the project life cycle may extend past the initial deployment phase.
From business idea to app deployment
Nobody wants to release an application plagued with bugs or that misses the original business goals.
Unless your development team can follow the protocols and comprehensively and skilfully address each of the phases described, your custom software project could run into problems.
With the complete software development life cycle addressed, projects can run more efficiently and are more aligned with business goals, while also easing iteration management and helping maintain quality.
So, if you’re considering a custom software development project, please contact the experienced, reliable and approachable team at Milo Solutions.
We’ll align your software development project with the overall business direction and manage the entire project development life cycle through every stage.