Software development

What Is the Software Development Life Cycle? SDLC Explained

When it comes to software and system development, understanding the various stages involved in the process is crucial. The System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a widely recognized framework that outlines these stages, enabling developers and project managers to deliver efficient and high-quality systems. In this article, system development life cycle steps we’ll dive into the details of the SDLC, exploring the different steps involved and their significance. In addition to these reasons, it’s also extremely valuable to have an SDLC in place when developing software as it helps transform an idea project into a fully-fledged, functional, and fully operational system.

system development life cycle steps

SDLC or Software Development Life Cycle demonstrates what is going on in the project and where your development process may be improved; in other words, it provides a Bird’s Eye View of the overall process. SDLC, like many other business processes, seeks to examine and improve the software development process. A software life cycle model (also termed process model) is a pictorial and diagrammatic representation of the software life cycle. A life cycle model represents all the methods required to make a software product transit through its life cycle stages.

Systems development lifecycle

Developers have to follow the coding guidelines described by their management and programming tools like compilers, interpreters, debuggers, etc. are used to develop and implement the code. Once the requirement analysis is done, the next stage is to certainly represent and document the software requirements and get them accepted from the project stakeholders. The development team must determine a suitable life cycle model for a particular plan and then observe to it. The maintenance phase involves monitoring the system’s performance, addressing user feedback and issues, implementing updates and enhancements, ensuring system stability and security, and providing ongoing support to users.

It’s important to test the software before making it available to users. Developers test for defects and flaws in the product and then fix those issues until the product meets the original specifications. Another testing can only be done in a particular environment; for complicated deployments, simulated production is used. The actual development of the product begins at this level of the Software Development Life Cycle.


Well, for any system to work as intended, it needs to be thoroughly tested and tested again until the results match the expected outcome. Having covered the major SDLC methodologies offered by software development companies, let’s now review whether they are actually worth employing. The last but not least important stage of the SDLC process is the maintenance stage, where the software is already being used by end-users. It is often incorrectly equated with the actual development process but is rather an extensive prototyping stage.

  • Implementation requires careful planning and coordination to minimize disruptions and ensure a smooth transition from the old system to the new one.
  • These design documents are designed to provide enough information about the software so that product designers may create it with minimum help.
  • The Big Bang model is incredibly flexible and doesn’t follow a rigorous process or procedure.
  • The project’s specifications and intended results significantly influence which model to use.
  • Although the system development life cycle is a project management model in the broad sense, six more specific methodologies can be leveraged to achieve specific results or provide the greater SDLC with different attributes.

The implementation of a lifecycle for a system opens up a lot of possibilities, including the ability to plan and organise structured phases and smart goals beforehand. These can be solved during the maintenance phase when the whole system is refined to improve performance, or to meet new requirements. Sometimes staff will need additional training to meet this goal, new procedures must be put in place, or updates must be made.


We’ll also go over the roles of system analysts and the benefits your project might see by adopting SDLC. During the Analysis stage, the focus is on gathering and understanding the requirements of the system. This includes conducting interviews, studying existing processes, and identifying stakeholders’ needs.

The gathered information serves as a basis for designing a system that meets users’ expectations and addresses organizational challenges. During this stage of the system lifecycle, subsystems that perform the desired system functions are designed and specified in compliance with the system specification. Before releasing the mockups into final production, you’ll need to test it to ensure it is free of bugs and errors.

systems development life cycle (SDLC)

Users will face issues that were not discovered during testing at this time. These mistakes must be rectified, which may result in additional development rounds. Once when the client starts using the developed systems, then the real issues come up and requirements to be solved from time to time. Before embarking on a new project, it’s important to identify how the SDLC will cover and satisfy the overall requirements to deliver the best results. Next, you can select the best SDLC methodology or a combination of methodologies to help you address the best approach to execute the SDLC.

SDLC and SAD are cornerstones of full life cycle product and system planning. The system development life cycle component of the course introduces aspects of methodology, the unique phases, and the roles that IT professionals play in the various stages of a project. Students learn how to collect and document requirements, translate them to application design, and trace each project artifact to its original scope. Phase 8 of the systems development life cycle is the post-implementation review. This phase identifies whether the system meets the initial requirements and objectives.

SDLC Phase 2: Systems Analysis

This led to a high number of bugs that remained hidden as well as increased security risks. A software development lifecycle (SDLC) model conceptually presents SDLC in an organized fashion to help organizations implement it. Different models arrange the SDLC phases in varying chronological order to optimize the development cycle.

system development life cycle steps

During this phase, you determine what you want to do and what tasks to solve. While it is possible to build a very large sea vessel without any sort of methodology, chances are that it will not go smoothly and it will probably not work properly. This happens in software as well – you can write a very robust system but may not be able to configure it to work successfully for real users. Different sections of the software should also be tested to ensure that they operate together seamlessly-performance testing, to eliminate any processing glitches and bugs. SRS (Software Requirement Specification Document) is the go-to resource for product architects looking to create the greatest architecture for a new product. Typically, many design approaches for the product architecture are offered and documented in a DDS – Design Document Specification based on the criteria stated in the SRS.

System Development Life Cycle Phases (SDLC)

Time and again, it’s been proven that projects not only benefit but thrive by following a standardized set of steps to achieve a final result. Cue the Software Development Life Cycle which allows the team to work on manageable phases until the project is released. By doing so, teams establish a systematic fashion to go about creating new solutions to existing problems in a controlled and standardized manner. Ideally, System Analysts are highly skilled and knowledgeable in multiple operating systems, hardware configurations, programming languages, and software and hardware platforms. They are usually involved from the beginning stages of a project and up until the post-evaluation review of the solution. The spiral model combines the iterative model’s small repeated cycles with the waterfall model’s linear sequential flow to prioritize risk analysis.