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What are the 7 phases of System Development Life Cycle?

25 July, 2019

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Due to the fact that it is structured in a methodical manner, this process allows developers to achieve specific goals and deliver a quality system which can not only meet certain requirements and needs of the clients but can often even exceed them. Consisting of a series of steps and phases, the System Development Life Cycle allows developers to transform newly developed projects into operational ones. Read on to find out the 7 steps of the System Development Life Cycle and how it helps developers deliver top-quality products at the end of the development process.

Why is SDLC important?
Before we move forward to identify the 7 phases of the SDLC, we need to understand why it is so important for the development process. Traditionally, the system development life cycle process only had 5 phases which later increased to seven for better efficiency and more accuracy of the development process.

Software developers have always been looking for the most innovative and top practices and methods that can help them produce quality products. SDLC has appeared as a solution to developing software more cheaply, efficiently, and effectively.

Simply put, the SDLC software development method starts with a project idea, which is later transformed into a document or prototype, and it then enters a never-ending cycle of designing, developing, implementing, and testing.

The seven phases of the system development life cycle come with a multitude of benefits who can help not only developers and project managers but also business representatives. First of all, having well-defined goals and steps to follow helps the team of developers know their roles and responsibilities clearly. It also helps the developers determine more easily whether or not a step is truly complete meaning that they can move forward to the nest phase. Moreover, another benefit is the fact that the business representatives can determine whether or not the delivered product meets their requirements and needs.

The seven phases of the System Development Life Cycle
The seven stages of SDLC help developers understand each certain activity that is specific for every given step. These steps often occur in this order but can also allow developers to go back to the previous steps and repeat them if there is a need to modify or to improve the system.

1.    Planning
The planning step of the SDLC aims to help the team create a well-detailed plan of action. It is the stage where the team must determine the problem of the system and the best solution for it by doing a feasibility study and brainstorming. Apart from examining the potential problems that customers face and identifying solutions, this phase also focuses on considering the resources allocated, project scheduling, and cost estimation.  

2.    System Analysis and requirements
The second phase of the SDLC is the step where the team defines the certain problem of the client and suggests the most effective solutions to solve it. It is the stage where the IT experts and business representatives must work together to understand each other’s points of view. This stage focuses on gathering all relevant information that will help the IT team deliver a final product that meets all the business’s requirements and expectations.

3.    Systems design

The third phase occurs once all the requirements are fully understood by the IT experts. In this phase, the role of the business representatives starts to decrease and the team starts to work on the product. The team of software architects and developers work together to describe in detail all the specifications, features, and operations of the system.  The System Design phase often involved prototyping to help the team find the best solutions for the system they will create.

4.    Software Development
The development phase is the one where the team of specialists starts creating the system. The development team uses all the information gathered at the previous stages to start producing the software depending on the requirements of the business. Once the product is crafted by the team, the business representatives must get involved to determine whether the product meets their expectations or not.

5.    Integration and testing
The integration and testing phase of the SDLC is one of the most relevant to ensure the delivery of a high-quality product that meets the requirements. For a bug-free system, the team must check the code for any semantic errors. The IT experts must run a multitude of tests of the system including performance testing, security, and integration testing. All the tests should ensure that the system will work according to the design specifications.

6.    Implementation
After the development and the testing of the system made by the team of experts, the next phase of the SDLC involves the implementation of the system when all the majority of the code is written. The IT specialists need to move data and components which existed in the old system to the new one. Sometimes, this phase might involve the parallel running of the implementations of the both old and new systems. The implementation phase allows the team of IT experts to receive feedback from the users and to determine the effectiveness of the product.

7.    Operations and Maintenance
Once the final product is delivered to the client, it is fully functional, and the business continues to use it, the phase of maintenance arises. Sometimes there will be the need for some changes and improvements which make the team of IT specialists and the business representatives work together towards fine tuning the system. As the business has new requirements, the system needs to be improved with new capabilities to meet the new additional user requirements.

The seven phases of the System Development Life Cycle help developers produce great quality products by respecting each step of the development process and ensuring its efficiency.

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