The Software Product Development Lifecycle

Encora | December 15, 2021

Almost every activity today is supported by computer-based workflows & processes that are created through software product development. What is software product development? Software product development is an iterative set of seven organized procedures that generate effective, compelling, innovative, and profitable digital systems. 

  1. Brainstorming and Planning

The first step in the software product development lifecycle is brainstorming. Brainstorming consists of discussions and free-flow writing exercises to produce a multitude of ideas that are subsequently assessed. Once an idea or set of ideas are chosen, meticulous planning is critical for establishing the scope of the project, determining how the business goals are met, managing resources, adhering to budgets, meeting deadlines, and determining solutions. A thorough project schedule is critical for efficiently creating a quality product. 

  1. Requirements and Feasibility Analysis

The second step in the software product development lifecycle requires the development team to reach a deep understanding of the project’s goals and requirements. All relevant information is gathered from the client and ambiguities are reconciled. Additionally, evaluating existing alternatives can enhance exploration of the client’s goals. Requirements analysis identifies potential risk factors so that mitigation strategies are established early in the software product development lifecycle. Furthermore, feasibility analysis surveys the technical and economical logistics that impact the process. Information gathered in the feasibility analysis is necessary for ascertaining cost and profit. Continual analysis of performance is critical for ensuring success. The software, hardware, and network information is organized in a software requirement specification (SRS) document. This document establishes the accountability criteria that is referenced for the duration of the development process.

  1. Design

The third step in the software product development lifecycle consists of detailing most aspects of the minimum viable product (MVP). Software design attends to the structure, aesthetics, capabilities, and tools. The SRS document is transformed into a logical structure that serves as the programming outline. The design phase results in a quick prototype that visually models the hardware and software components. 

  1. Development and Coding

The fourth step in the software product development lifecycle is focused on writing the code to support the design. Developers select the code that most appropriately meets the project specifications. The product code is based on the structure outlined in the SRS document. Coding is typically the most time-consuming stage in the process because it involves attention to essential details and requires adherence to the client’s guidelines. Tools such as compilers, debuggers, and interpreters are utilized to ensure a smooth user experience. The release cycle advances from alpha, beta, etc. This stage concludes once the structure (DB, API, etc) and functionality are finalized.

  1. Integration and Testing

The fifth step in the software product development lifecycle is an engineering framework to assess the functionality, unification, and interactivity of the interface. The code must be cleaned through a detailed verification and tracing process to remove bugs and smooth issues negatively affecting use. Additionally, authentication processes ensure the goals outlined in the SRS document are met. 

  1. Implementation and Deployment

The sixth step in the software product development lifecycle begins with an implementation plan that outlines the steps for installing the solution. The production steps are followed accordingly. The constructed and vetted application enters the production phase where data and components are transferred and necessary changes are made. Finally, the project is delivered according to a timeline specific to the program. Simple projects are typically released to market in a straightforward manner, and complex projects are often released to the market in planned phases. 

  1. Operations and Maintenance

The seventh and final stage of the software development lifecycle is comprised of regular updates and adjustments based on real-world performance feedback. The developers track and analyze the functionality of the product. The application’s capabilities are bolstered and refined to meet the needs of users. 

 

The Value of the Software Product Development Lifecycle

 

The software product development lifecycle is the framework designers and engineers rely upon to successfully meet the needs of even the most demanding clients. While each of the seven stages are critical, the lifecycle can be customized to meet unique project or provider needs. This lifecycle is the framework needed to meet and exceed customer goals. Encora has been driving industry growth by helping businesses orchestrate seamless and successful software product development for over fifteen years. Now is the ideal time to fasttrack your development process. Reach out to Encora today!

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