Software Development Life Cycle can make your business agile and the teams certainly more productive. In the software development sphere, you never come across a situation where deadlines are unimportant. Time is hardly ever on the side of a project, and deficiencies in time management could result in low productivity and even project failure.
In addition to cutting costs, meeting deadlines is a crucial cog in the Software Development Life Cycle. Hiring an offshore development team is a sure-fire way of saving both fiscal and temporal resources, given that with an offshore development partner, you don’t have to spend on hiring, training, and bringing an in-house team on board. While software development outsourcing is still one of the best ways to beat project deadlines, following the Software Development Life Cycle to the T can ensure the success of your development initiative and accelerate ROI. Now that you know what’s on offer let’s get to it.
Stages in a software development life cycle:
- Requirement Gathering
This is the first stage of the Software Development Life Cycle. IT pertains to the step where you gather input from stakeholders, industry pundits, sales teams, and even target customers. This is also the stage where you can scrutinize your current web presence to detect flaws/vulnerabilities and subsequently work upon them.
In this stage, development teams identify critical parameters like the development budget, feature requirements, feasibility analysis, and end business goals.
This Software Development Life Cycle stage aims to create a detailed design plan that incorporates all specifications gathered in the first two stages. Every stakeholder contributes to this stage as aligned feedback and suggestions can go a long way in creating intuitive,high-utility software. This stage also lays down the ground rules for following a streamlined procedure to collect and present inputs in the final design doc.
This is the actual software development phase. Development teams are now deployed to build the software with the blueprint/design and requirements document created over the past stages.
Testing is one of the most crucial stages of the SDLC. IT ensures that the software is bug-free and functions according to the requirements laid out earlier. In this phase, testers put the software through the ropes to locate and identify bugs, errors, and unnecessary features so that the final product is error-free and streamlined.
Deployment is the final phase of the software development process. Ideally, the software is deployed to a live environment in this phase. The deployment phase may be divided into alpha and beta testing phases to ensure that the software developed works well in true-to-life situations.
How Can the SDLC Boost the value of your Software Development Initiative
Now that we’ve gone through the stages of the SDLC let’s find out more about how this structure can benefit your development project. Some of the apparent advantages of following the SDLC include:
- Establishing Well Defined Goals
Clichéd though it may sound, many enterprises make the mistake of hiring sprees without a clear idea of the requirements of their project. Many companies get starry-eyed when they realize the cost–efficiencies an offshore development team can offer. With a myopic view of saving money, they hire overtly populated teams where many resources are not expressly required for project success. A large team does not necessarily translate into an effective end-product or faster development.
Thanks to the SDLC, a clear understanding of your project’s requirements and goals can help you choose a streamlined team that understands its deliverables, matches quality standards, and develops a solution that fulfills your requirements.
- Establishing Clear KPIs
In many cases, the commissioning enterprise may not know that they are behind schedule. Large projects demand large amounts of code and other collateral. However, a project manager deciding the project’s progress based on “lines of code written’ is malpractice.
A developer may write 1000 lines in a day, but if those lines of code do not create or augment a feature, they are of no business utility. Working software (a la the Agile methodology) should be the only metric of judging project progress.
Other efficient methods are
- Velocity- The value of the work done in a specific period, e.g., x feature additions, x bug removals, etc.
- Cycle time- the time is taken to accomplish a pre-defined set of tasks.
- Work In progress- clear communication of work done and work pending within a specific timeframe
With the SDLC in place, establishing and then working towards KPIs becomes easier.
- Streamlining Teams
As we mentioned earlier, a large team doesn’t mean faster development or better output quality. In many instances, a team with too many members could result in slower progress and convoluted communication channels. On the off chance that you require many developers, given the scale and scope of your project, splitting up your resources into teams that are subsequently deployed to specific areas of the project makes the most business sense. Development times shrink to optimal levels as each component gets built almost simultaneously. With The SDLC in place, it becomes easy to estimate the number of resources you require for your development initiative.
- Reduce work in progress
Multitasking capabilities are always appreciated. However, in a development project, it is best to assign expertise in a specific segment to its counterpart in your project. With adequate monitoring and on-floor support, strive to reduce WIP as much as possible so that you can speed up the development process.
Using a “Kanban Board” can help given that it offers a visual and hands-on representation of the tasks at hand and limits the number of columns, thus motivating developers to work better and faster. Thanks to the SDLC, agile methodologies can be deployed in the development phase to enhance the value of development efforts resulting in high-quality software.
- Scope Stabilization
It is extremely common for larger software projects to change in scope and scale with feature additions and removals, retargeting, UI/UX changes to incorporate a trending feature, and so on. Such last-minute changes can greatly hamper the speed of development. The commissioning enterprise may feel that adding specific features wouldn’t require much work. However, that is not the case.
With an unclear feature set, a project can easily get stuck in development limbo with constant feature adjustments and subsequent code adjustments, resulting in massive increases in costs and development time. Following the SDLC and then committing efforts to the process can eliminate redundant feature addition requests. IT goes without saying that if business teams identify a must-have feature, the flexibility offered by the agile development methodology facilitates iterative development.
- Testing Automation
While manual testing is still the Gold Standard, given that we still don’t have ‘strong AI,’ automation applied to your software project can help you strike the perfect balance between overall quality and speed of delivery. While the entire software development lifecycle cannot be automated, components like testing can, and this is increasingly encouraged. Automated testing administrations can significantly boost development speed by eliminating the need for developers to repeat steps through manual testing constantly.
- CI/CD pathway
The SDLC aided by DevOps and Agile methodologies allows for Continuous integration and continuous delivery, both of which can assist developers in integrating their code more than once a day and shifting it to a shared repository for review/testing. A well-built CI/CD pipeline placed seamlessly within the SDLC can boost development timeframes and help developers locate errors. A CI/CD pathway offers faster development by automating a bevy of manual tasks and allowing developers to work upon real-time feedback.
- Reduce technical debts
Not following the SDLC can result in significant technical debt. Suppose your development partner/team does not sport an aligned approach that facilitates a fast turn-around. In that case, complexities may arise in your system that costs money and time to rectify post-deployment. The best and most ethical method is to solve issues before the release and maximize phase-specific efforts during the SDLC
- Manage work hours
Accelerated development speed should never result from an overworked team. Undue pressure
would only result in demotivated resources and decreased code quality which is counter-productive. As the project owner, you need to ensure that while your team is performing optimally, you are not overworking them to the point of a collective burnout.
Continuous coding while burning the midnight oil is not an optimal or positive environment for your team (including hard-core professionals who live and breathe code). Creating buggy software to increase development speed is a sub-optimal trade-off. Following the SDLC offers teams a recovery period to recharge and return to the project with fresh energy.
- Lean approach
Following the SDLC facilitates the adoption of a lean approach. This can work wonders for the speed of development by focussing on what matters, e.g., Working software vs. documentation. If certain tasks lie at the periphery of your project’s goals, they can be set aside while core development processes are undertaken. Matching coding speed with quality is an ideal skill of a developer. Development teams with the right skills and resources outpace other less lean teams by almost 2X.
So there you have it. You now know how your enterprise can boost the value of your software development initiative by following the SDLC.
Capable teams, the right methodology, and a lean approach combine to offer high-quality outputs delivered in record time. However, strategy lies at the core of every development project. If you do not have clear goals supported by rigid timelines, it is easy to overstep budgets and experience release delays.
This would adversely affect your team’s morale and hence their productivity. Once armed with a well-established, you can rest assured that your development initiative will sport world-class quality and have a significantly reduced time-to-market, both pertinent markers of project success. We trust you found this article useful. Until next time, happy coding.