Key Steps of Software Development Process

Software development demands are skyrocketing leaving multiple businesses at the tip of technology disruptions. What are businesses expected to do in such scenarios; where you need to stay ahead with the market but then your business lacks that potential too. Well, custom software development is the need of the hour, and many businesses are using customized software solutions to make their business successful. Benefits of a rightly executed software development process offer timely sprints, faster time-to-market, improved business foundations, enhanced IT processes, and other advantages too.

If you are an enterprise not willing to take help from third-party software development services providers, we have this blog as a one-stop solution for you. In this blog, we will be covering everything from scratch as a step-by-step guide to the software development processes. So, without any ado let’s get started.

1. Stages of Software Development Processes

1.1 Requirements Analysis and Resource Planning

The first step for starting any software development project is to understand what exactly you are thinking when it comes to developing high-quality software. Once you are sure of all the initial details of what you want to build, it’s time for you to answer some relevant questions. 

Start with getting the right answers for your software project. The following phase of the software development life cycle is to comprehend the specific software requirements. Every piece of software, starting from an app, a website redesign, or new functionality or feature, must meet the expectations of the client. As you progress through the planning process and continue to fill out the standards, then start to ask questions about the project’s specifics, such as:

  1. Which specific problem is this application going to solve?
  2. Whether its usage will be daily or rarely?
  3. With what future scope are you deciding to build this application?
  4. Can you integrate essential tools and APIs within existing apps?
  5. How can you make developing apps free from security concerns?
  6. Which type of audience is targeted?

The questions may vary but ensure that they take out the best insights about your app. When the development team fetches answers to these questions, they may begin to filter out the technical needs, and testing pacts, and choose a technological stack. This is also the development stage at which you may begin sprint planning or can even break down enormous jobs into more achievable software development steps.

Once the requirements from this phase are clear, you can discuss them with the development team and move to the next phase of the software development lifecycle(SDLC). Now once the requirement is finalized we will prototype the whole concept and see how it looks. 

1.2 Design and Prototyping

Every business has prototypes and ideas that; when validated as per the need, turn into a business app. This business app is used by multiple customers and with greater popularity turns out to be successful. It is not that easy when it comes to rapid application development. The rapid development process is quite challenging. You can start with idea generation, then comes prototyping. 

With the criteria in place, it’s time for you to start designing the look of this software and how will it work. It’s not just about the aesthetics, but rather more about practicality and how it flows. 

As per one of the famous quotes by Steve Jobs that states- “Design is more than how something appears and feels.”

This is how designing works.

It totally depends on the approach of software development and the steps involved in SDLC which entails the creation of lucid wireframes as a part of prototyping. This will demonstrate how interactions will work in the software and how it interacts with web browsers. You can also make prototypes that are full-fledged and ready to test with the users using different tools like Marvel or InVision. Alternatively, you may determine that more user feedback is required and conduct a design sprint to swiftly bring a feature or idea in front of your people. Once your prototype is ready, you can filter out the design sheets, templates, and all others. 

1.3 Coding and Implementation

The development team is swiftly moving from the stage of coding to the implementation stage after the product design phase. The software developers can begin programming once the development team has received the requirement definition, software architecture, and design papers. In addition to coding, developers do unit or module testing during this phase to uncover potential problems as early in the software development process as possible.

Some businesses decide to outsource coding tasks as well as the earlier process of product design to a third-party software development company. Outsourcing is done for a variety of reasons including a lack of available resources or abilities, to produce high-quality software as well as a desire to focus their own staff on the company’s core products and services.

1.4 Testing and Quality Assurance

In the step-by-step guide, the next step after software development is testing and maintaining the quality of software projects. When you follow an agile development model, all the steps occur simultaneously and in other methods, you need to conduct it individually, or else it happens one after another. The phase of testing means identifying the bugs and correcting them. To elaborate, this stage has its main focus on the product development life-cycle, mainly concerned with code testing of the written codes to eliminate bugs and other inconsistencies. However, once the features are finalized and the product is declared ready to market, you will need to conduct additional, more in-depth testing and risk assessment. This could imply distributing the product to a limited set of beta testers or UX designers. 

These software testers will analyze and do an in-depth risk analysis of the bugs in the first place and then ask software developers to make changes accordingly. They also use tools to monitor consumers’ engagement with it. While testing may be another lengthy stage of the SDLC, it is extremely essential to avoid selling flawed software to real users. The testing team can perform testing in two ways which are either manual or automated testing as per the needs and defined process.

We can say that the testers and the software development team collaborate to verify that the system is error-free.

1.5 Deployment Stage

Following the removal of all coding problems during the testing stage, our code is all set to deploy, and hence the next step is known as the deployment stage. The finalized code is included in the software and then deployed or provided to consumers for use.

The first move in distributing the product to potential customers is to do beta testing to ensure that it functions effectively on a large scale. If any faults are discovered during the testing process, they are immediately notified to the team for a solution. After the changes have been done and all issues have been fixed, the final deployment is started.

1.6 Maintenance & Operations

In this step, the users will now begin to use well-developed software, and actual problems begin to emerge. This obviously does not mean that the software will get corrupted. However, it may necessitate the recurrence of difficulties. This is known as final product or software maintenance.

2. Software Development Process Models

2.1 Waterfall Model

One of the most traditional and trustable ways of software development is the waterfall method. The Waterfall software development process is also popularly known by multiple other names such as the “linear sequential model” or “traditional lifecycle model”. This is one of the oldest and most traditional software system development methodologies. In perhaps the most basic form, the Waterfall approach can be thought of as following each stage of the SDLC. This is done in order, and you must fulfill each one before moving on. However, in most real-world systems, the stages overlap significantly with evaluation and communication traveling back and forth.

Most people refer to this as a “plan-driven” approach because it actually works as a software development plan in order to complete a project. You must first know everything that has to be done and in which order. As one segment flows into the next, like a “Waterfall”, hence is the name Waterfall method coined after this. 

The key phases in this: 

  • Planning
  • Requirements
  • System and software design
  • Implementation
  • Testing
  • Deployment
  • Maintenance Phase

2.2 Agile Model

The Agile software development process has its most common approach which is Scrum. Agile and Scrum are two inseparable favors of an iterative and dynamic development approach. Agility is the foundational aspect of agile software development methodologies. It offers all the team players as well as members liberty to work at ease. 

In contrast to the tight deadline and fixed sequential flow like in the Waterfall approach, here in Agile, it works with cross-functional teams with “Sprints” of 2 weeks to 2 months to build and distribute usable software to customers and take feedback simultaneously. 

Agile is all about moving quickly, releasing frequently, and responding to the true demands of your consumers, even if it contradicts your initial goal. This means that you don’t need to have a thorough set of criteria and a comprehensive project before you start working. Instead, you can effectively travel in one direction with the expectation of changing the path along the way as per user feedback. This results in faster feedback effects all through the software development life cycle, enabling you to make more informed decisions.

2.3 Incremental Model

This is the third one on the list of development methodologies is the Incremental approach. The iterative and incremental development methodologies lay between the waterfall process’s structure of upfront planning and the flexibility of Agile methodology. This means it is a mixture of both.

While both adhere to the notion of developing small portions of software and releasing them to the public for criticism, they differ in terms of what is created during each release. Each “incremental” growth of the product in the incremental software development method adds a new function or feature to the existing one. For instance, consider developing a strategy, creating an MVP with simple core capabilities, and then adding further features based on feedback.

Incremental Phases 

  • Start with the increments
  • Specifications
  • Development
  • Validation
  • Repeat for each variant.

Phases of Iteration:

  • Analysis of business requirements
  • Design of software program
  • Development
  • Repeat the Testing until we get the expected outcome

3. Conclusion

In the end, we know that the software development cycle is one of the indispensable ways to create a qualitative product that meets the needs of the users. The basis of the software development process remains the same whether the process is a traditional waterfall or even flexible like agile. The software product development life-cycle is a lengthy, multi-step process that begins when your idea is conceived and continues until it is transformed into a full-fledged solution. All of those iterative processes require a significant amount of effort. However, it is easier to do so if you don’t know the step-wise stages process handbook. We hope this blog will help you decide on how to take your project ahead and which one among these will turn out to be fruitful.

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Itesh Sharma

Itesh Sharma is core member of Sales Department at TatvaSoft. He has got more than 6 years of experience in handling the task related to Customer Management and Project Management. Apart from his profession he also has keen interest in sharing the insight on different methodologies of software development.

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    1. Ester

      Every software product goes through a multistage process. This process starts with a vision of your product and goes till the delivery of the final product. Hence understanding of this process is very crucial for successful software product creation. The demand for better quality of the software product forces the creation of a systematic approach to software development.

    2. Jinalee

      I think the goal of any software project is to develop high-quality, reliable, and maintainable software at the lowest cost and fastest pace possible. This is possible only with a well- structured development process established within the software firm, because it directly impacts the quality of software.