When a customer initiates a new project, they may inquire about the project’s estimated completion timeline. It is not feasible to provide a precise time frame, as software development is an iterative process. However, it is assured that the project will not endure indefinitely.
When inquired about the availability of a product, the most precise answer is “when the product is in production and operational as intended.” This outcome differs from “completing the project” since the latter does not ensure the product’s readiness for use.
A software development project is a continual process. Despite the completion of development and successful deployment of the software, the journey does not culminate there. To remain competitive, it is crucial to keep our program up-to-date with the latest technological advancements. Regular software maintenance and updates are indispensable to ensure its relevance.
Hardware architecture alterations, API modifications, and the integration of novel technologies can all affect device stability. Additionally, an unsolved programming language problem can be as impactful as any of the aforementioned factors.
The complexities of the market cannot be addressed by determining machine models alone. Traditional programming techniques are inadequate for developing software that will endure for an extended period. Software development and biological processes share similar attributes: both evolve and adapt to their surroundings, much like living organisms. Therefore, it is necessary to take into account the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).
This article delves into the two most prevalent Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) models: the agile and V-shaped models. We will explore the basics of each approach, compare their inherent pros and cons, and advise on the types of projects that are best suited to each model.
Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Explained
The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a widely-employed framework in the software industry that provides a systematic approach to the development process. It is a beneficial instrument for comprehending, tracking, measuring, and enhancing the development process and is one of the most extensively implemented business models used in current times.
This is an iterative process, where modifications are made after the completion of a set of steps, based on the lessons learned during the process. In technical terms, this is called a cybernetic loop.
While both Waterfall and Agile approaches to software development use the term “Software Development Life Cycle,” these two approaches differ in their implementation, despite sharing similar attributes. This is due to the fact that the approaches are based on pre-existing models.
The System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) serves not only as a means to ensure successful project completion but also as an efficient way of communication between the development team and the client. It streamlines the process of conveying the project’s current status and sets milestones to maximize efficiency.
For organisations looking to reduce expenses, enhance software release quality, respond to market changes quickly, and scale their operations, it is essential to implement a dependable Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). The SDLC facilitates these objectives by identifying and resolving inefficient areas for maximum performance.
What Are the Different Models of the Software Development Life Cycle?
Ranging from the established Waterfall method to the more advanced Agile methodologies like Scrum and Kanban, there is a vast selection of options to select from. Providing a comprehensive overview within the scope of this article is unfeasible.
Understanding the underlying reasons for disparities between teams is crucial. When individuals from distinct teams are assigned to separate projects, it is probable that the groups formed will have varied approaches to the assigned tasks.
In examining Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) methodologies, I find it helpful to picture them on a spectrum, with Agile methodologies – which are more participatory and less rigid – on one end, and Waterfall techniques – which are less user-involved and more structured – on the other.
This article will juxtapose and differentiate two theories that exist on opposite sides of this continuum.
Examples of Life Cycle Models in Software Development
The V-Shaped Model
The V-model of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a linear approach in which every aspect of the process is performed in a V-shaped sequence. This methodology’s key aspects are the verification (or static) and validation (or dynamic) stages, both of which depend on code execution. At the foundation of the model, the coding phase merges the two strands of the life cycle: the verification phase on the left and the validation phase on the right.
Conducting the testing protocols in a rational sequence is vital. As the product advances, the distance between the verification (on the left side of the model) and validation (on the right side of the model) narrows, ultimately converging at the “Coding” node at the model’s bottom, creating a ‘V’ shape.
- Comprehensive discussions for analysing customer needs and desires.
- The process of creating the system and defining its hardware and communication specifications is referred to as system design.
- The system’s structure is modular, and specific components manage individual assignments.
- Module design: specifying and dividing each module.
- Performing unit testing, which involves executing test plans formulated during module design to identify and resolve code-level problems.
- After the unit tests are accomplished, testers will progress to integration testing to verify that all modules work efficiently and communicate seamlessly. This is achieved throughout the Architecture Design phase.
- The comprehensive program functionality is assessed during system testing, which should be contemplated while structuring the system.
- User Acceptance Testing (UAT) simulates a real-world environment for actual users. It verifies that a product is suitable by affirming that it fulfils user needs and expectations.
- The hierarchical structure simplifies maintenance and tracking.
- Issues are detected at an early stage.
- Sequential model of self-governance where each step is completed before proceeding to the subsequent one.
- Ideal for uncomplicated tasks with precisely defined parameters.
- Concise, uncomplicated, and effortless to execute.
- This methodology prioritizes early and frequent checking to minimize issues in later stages of the development cycle.
- The absence of flexibility makes it inappropriate for more intricate, object-oriented undertakings.
- Challenges occur when requirements are unclear or subject to frequent modifications.
- Managing multiple tasks simultaneously is extremely difficult.
“Agile” Methodology for Software Development
The rigidity of the V-shaped model is evident, while Agile accommodates the unpredictability and changes inherent in software development. Although there are different Agile frameworks, they share enough similarities to refer to the same software development life cycle (SDLC).
The Agile software development life cycle typically comprises six phases.
Initially, we enter the ideation phase where the product owner determines the project scope. In situations where the owner is managing multiple projects, they prioritise the most essential one. The team and customer will collaborate to identify critical project parameters, and relevant documentation will be prepared to ensure a clear implementation path.
The iterative nature of Agile makes it suitable to begin with minimal requirements and incorporate additional ones later on.
The subsequent phase is the initiation stage, where the product owner forms the development team by utilizing current employees and/or hiring externally, as necessary. The aim at this point is to guarantee that the team possesses the pertinent skills for the project at hand.
During this period, the team will develop an interface mockup and an initial architectural plan. The product owner may decide to present these to the customer to obtain their feedback, recommendations, and consent for any requisite modifications.
After that, we proceed to the Iteration phase, which is the most time-consuming stage as substantial progress is achieved during this period. In this phase, the design is translated into code, incorporating the UX designer’s annotations, customer feedback, and product specifications.
The iterative technique is crucial to the Agile methodology, where concentrated development sprints are carried out, followed by testing and feedback cycles to detect and correct any product issues.
The succeeding stage is the release. Once all required Quality Assurance tests have been satisfactorily completed, the team will progress to production. Although some minor issues may arise upon launch, our staff members are ready to quickly fix them. During this period, users will receive training.
Once the configuration is complete, the Maintenance phase may begin. As the program is now operational, the team’s emphasis is on providing maintenance to resolve any unforeseen issues and ensure the system operates as intended. Upon request, supplementary training can be supplied. Additionally, new releases can be introduced for continuous improvement.
The ultimate stage is Retirement, which only happens when the program is no longer maintained. Our team members are accountable for making arrangements to close down the system and, if needed, to assist with a seamless transition to the new configuration.
- Flexible development that evolves with changing times
- Throughout the development process, problems are quickly detected and resolved.
- Suitable for intricate projects with multiple variables
- Customers and end-users play a vital role.
- New features can be added at any stage of the process.
- Insufficient guidance may result in “feature creep,” and it takes discipline and expertise to avoid it.
- Highly susceptible to misinterpretations.
- Not a suitable option for businesses that must comply with strict regulations that require specific timeframes.
Ultimately, the winner is…
It is not surprising that both the V-shaped model and Agile approaches are effective for software development. Ultimately, the project’s success depends on the specific requirements and the skill of the team. All things considered, it’s better to have a team that is well-versed in the V-shaped model working on the project rather than one that is obliged to apply Agile.