Properly defining the scope of a project is crucial for the project flow, because developers should understand what they need to create and come with a clear plan on how to do it. Learn more on how to properly plan a software development cycle.
From the article you will learn:
- about the necessary stages of a software development project;
- about the benefits of using the stage model.
The software development cycle describes the stages of software development and the order in which these stages should be implemented. The consequences of the actions taken at each stage are visible in the next steps. We can distinguish several permanent stages for practically every project.
Stages of software development cycle
IT projects always have variable and permanent elements, that are taken into account when developing a solution. It is worth to know the basic ones, to be aware of the type and scale of the upcoming work:
1. Defining the scope of a project
After the project is launched by the client and their contractor, the project manager on the contractor's side designates a project team consisting of specialists possessing the necessary competences. Together with the client, they define the scope of the project by gathering the requirements and performing analyses.
At this stage, developers prepare the system's project and define its general architecture. The manager makes decisions on the approach to software development and the pricing model. Next, the project team carries out the implementation and integration of the required functions.
Testers check the software to make sure that its quality is acceptable and the product serves its intended purpose. In the next stage, developers fix the reported errors.
4. Delivering the product to the client
After the testing and fixing the errors, the final version of the software is delivered to the client.
5. Maintenance and support
The project team can deal with the implemented application even after its release, improving it at the client's request and constantly solving the problems appearing within it. It is possible thanks to SLA agreements within the application and signed warranties.
Examples illustrating a software life cycle show that the client can get a high quality product that meets their expectations, provided that the project team will follow the good practices – stage by stage. Properly defining the scope of an IT project is crucial for the project flow, because developers should understand what they need to create and come with a clear plan on how to do it. Neglecting the needs of clients, stakeholders or users can cause a project failure. At the beginning of the development stage, the project team chooses a programming approach and a pricing model. After implementing and integrating all the required functions, test engineers ensure the software quality. After delivering the software to the client, developers actively support the delivered product and maintain the solution, usually within two types of SLA support models - 8/5 and 24/7.
Software development cycle – a case study
The project was initiated at the request of a company that specialises in providing IT solutions in the field of web content management. While discussing the project, the contractor receives the information that the client has to improve the current Content Management System (CMS) in order to create a completely new product with an advanced user interface. The purpose of this change is to provide a highly intuitive and efficient CMS for creating websites, intranets and mobile solutions for companies. The manager decides to develop the platform using the Agile software development methodology, which allows for a gradual evolution of the system.
The team starts working with open source tools, introducing fixes that allow for making own definitions, implementing own pieces of code and technological solutions independent of the open source technologies being used. Next, in short iterations, the team expands the CMS with a responsive administrator interface and a visual editor that provides many options for designing layout templates, and thus gives the ability to adapt to needs. Additional improvements are real-time updates and providing a secure access to content.
At the stage of stabilising the project, the test automation specialist ensures that high quality of the system is maintained and it works as intended. The non-standard framework created with this project in mind facilitated a continuous and efficient testing. Next, the product is finally being delivered to the client, and the main feature of the obtained software is its flexible architecture. The last stage is support and maintenance of the platform. Cooperation between the client and the software outsourcing team tightens during the months following the product implementation, and in time changes into a strategic and friendly relationship.
Remember: the software is for the client and its end customers!
The key issue to keep in mind when creating software is the fact that the product is created for the client. On behalf of the client and to meet the client's needs. Therefore, the goal of the team of developers dedicated to the project is not only to create the software, but above all – to meet the client's expectations. Thanks to obeying the implementation of the software development cycle stages (described above), it is possible to meet both these objectives – that is, developing the software in accordance with the specifications received from the client, as well as establishing friendly business relations that promise further cooperation.