Software Development Life Cycle: What Is It and How Does It Work?

The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) aims to produce high quality software to fulfill the client’s requirements, while developed within time and budget estimates. 

This is because rectifying potential bugs that are detected late in the execution phase has a very high cost. Therefore, using appropriate methodologies, they could be detected in time so that programmers can focus on software quality, meeting deadlines and associated costs.

It’s focused on these software development phases:

  1. Requirements analysis
  2. Planning
  3. Product architecture design
  4. Software development
  5. Testing
  6. Deployment

If you’re interested, keep reading! In this post we’ll explain what is it and how does the SDLC works, and we’ll go through each one of the phases.

Let’s begin!

What is SDLC?

The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a process that takes place when developing software.  It gives a detailed planning to help the development team to quickly produce high quality software within time and budget estimates.

The SDLC basically describes each task that needs to be done to develop a software. It helps to monitor and control the project, making sure it’s always on the right path, and erasing any issues that are common in these types of projects.  On the other hand, it also reduces the software development costs, while improving quality and shortening the development time.

What are the Phases in SDLC?

The software development life cycle has different phases:

1. Requirements Analysis

This is the most important phase in SDLC. This is where all the important information is obtained, including developers, clients, vendors, experts and project managers. This is the phase to really get to know the strengths and weaknesses of the current implemented system, in order to improve it. 

2. Planning

In SDLC planning, the team has to think about the viability of the project, and how to implement it successfully and with as few risks as possible.

3. Product Architecture Design

This phase begins by transforming the software requirements into a design plan called Design Requirements.

Then, everyone in the team reviews the plan and present any comments or suggestions, if they have any. Here you talk again to developers, clients, vendors, experts and project managers.  This phase is key for the project, and the success or failure of it will depend on how well the architecture is designed.

4. Software Development

In this phase is where the real development begins to build the product. It’s important that all developers attach themselves to good coding practices, and the guidelines defined by the project manager or the organization.

5. Testing

In this phase the team verifies and test all the software features and capabilities, detect possible errors and solve any issues until every requirement is met.

6. Deployment

Once the software product is tested and verified by the developers, it’s ready to be implemented or launched.

SDLC Models

There are several defined and designed software development life cycle models, to follow during the software development process.

They are also called Software Development Process Models. Each one of these process models follows a series of unique steps for its kind, aiming to guarantee the success of the software development process.

These are a few of the SDLC models:

  1. Cascade Model: Is the simplest and oldest model. Its methodology is all about finishing a phase and then move to the other one.  However, the biggest difficulty of this cascade model is that if small details are not completed in time, the entire process can be delayed.
  2. V-shaped Model: This model is very similar to the Cascade Model. Every phase is developed and tested for obstacles before moving on to the next.
  3. Spiral Model: This is the most flexible model. It goes through the planning, design, development and testing phases several times, with progressive improvements in each one of them.
  4. Iterative Model: This model cluster several tasks into small repetitive phases. Developers create a new version in short time and with a low budget, then test and improve it through quick new versions.
  5. Big Bang Model: This is a high-risk model, because most of the resources are dedicated to development specifically. It works best for smaller projects.
  6. Agile Model: This model divides the product in smaller cycles and quickly delivers a functional product, by producing a series of product launches or deployments. Each tested version feedback is implemented in the newest version, and so on.

A good development company or team should be implementing a software development life cycle process, using one or several of the models previously described.

This will guarantee a higher success rate for your project, and a high-quality software for you and your clients.


A well-implemented software development life cycle (SDLC) allows a higher management control, by showing what is currently happening and where exactly the development process can be improved.

Remember, the main goal of the SDLC is to analyze and improve the software development process. It also creates a scalable view of the entire project, and makes the milestones easily achieved.

If you need help with a software development project, don’t hesitate to contact us! We’ll work hard to create the perfect custom solution for your needs.

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