What Is SDLC? Understanding the SDLC Process & Models

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In brief, an SDLC comprises phases or stages that must be adhered to for creating high-quality software.

The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) can be understood as a conceptual framework or a methodology with the pre-defined process for a software development project. In brief, an SDLC comprises phases or stages that must be adhered to for creating high-quality software, including requirement analysis, planning, designing, and more.

Be it bespoke custom software development or appending a feature set to your existing software, the SDLC process ensures that the system is of the highest quality and delivers within the estimated cost and time.

Some modern SDLC models also take into consideration the unidentified risks involved at each step. Choosing the suitable SDLC model will depend on the type of software, time at hand, and cost your company wishes to invest.

7 Stages of the Software Development Life Cycle

Any top software development agency follows a typical SDLC, comprising seven stages that ensure the software is created efficiently, exceeding the customer’s needs.

Stage 1: Requirement Gathering and Analysis

Requirement gathering and analysis is the fundamental stage in which a team gathers and defines the customer requirements and needs. Next, both functional and non-functional requirements are listed. This will involve all stakeholders, including the user, sales team, surveys, and domain experts.

The deliverables in this step may include documenting software requirement specification (SRS) and a detailed plan including resources.

Stage 2: Project Planning

Based on the SRS, project planning is the next step in identifying the risks and costs associated with the software project.

First, the team identifies the technical and financial approach to ensure minimum risks and feasibility of the product. Then, the team creates a sub-plan and milestones to achieve for softening those risks.

Stage 3: Design and Prototyping

The first deliverable, i.e., SRS, is followed by a Software Design Document (SDD). After determining the foundation and the best architecture for the product, it’s time to experiment with multiple design approaches.

Next, the team assesses the software design’s risks, robustness, and scalability based on the fixed budget and time. The design approach also involves determining the best user experience and task flow.

Stage 4: Development

In this stage of SDLC, we code. The software application is built based on the SDS and SRS. The developers adhere to the global or set coding guidelines.

Different programming tools involved, such as compilers, interpreters, and debuggers, have policies that sway the path for development. In addition, some popular programming languages such as C++, Java, .Net, and PHP are used for coding.

Stage 5: Testing

After completing a software version, quality assurance or testing teams simulate the actual environment to test the code. Here product defects, bugs, and deficiencies are reported, rectified, and re-tested.

Stage 6: Deployment

The product is ready to be deployed after reaching a point where the software application meets the standards as per the SRS. Firstly, a formal release takes place in the natural business environment for a limited user segment. The process is known as user acceptance testing (UAT). Then, after getting feedback from the target audience, the final product will be released.

Stage 7: Maintenance

After the deployment, the development team’s focus shifts to debugging the product, addressing enhancements, change management, and adding new features. Also, with time, the needs and requirements evolve, which also asks for the application’s desired changes. The product management team will identify and set the required course of action for the developers.

SDLC Models

Today, any custom software development company in India uses different system development life cycle frameworks which follow the above process but in their unique way. Various project management models ensure you meet the desired goals and results. Some popular SDLC models are:

  • Waterfall Model
  • Iterative Model
  • Spiral Model
  • V-Model
  • Agile Model
  • Prototype Model
  • Big Bang Model


Indeed, the proper implementation of SDLC enables software development companies and stakeholders to control the system building process efficiently. All of the above shows its importance and how the evolution of this continuous process takes place.

Ultimately, the benefits of the SDLC can be reaped only if the methodology is religiously followed. Therefore, finding the right technology partner and clearly understanding development fundamentals for creating apps and software products.