I never understood the importance of having a system development cycle in place until now. Instead of following a cycle I would just guess and make assumptions on what phase a project was in and where it should go next. This led to many process inefficiencies. Understanding SDLC helped me alleviate the complexity and provided me a structure to follow that makes managing a project much easier.
What is a systems development life cycle? It is a structed project management model that outlines the phases necessary for an IT system (1). These systems help turn an idea into a functional system. There are many benefits to utilizing SDLC (2). These advantages include:
- Having a defined goal
- Each department having clear roles
- Ability to test
- Ability to manage the course of the project easily
- Ability to continue the cycle until results are desirable
There are seven phases in a development life cycle which consists of planning, analysis, design, development, integration and testing, implementation, and maintenance (3). These each have their own process. For example:
- Planning – outlines project scope and course of action
- Analysis – ensuring the targeted audience will be satisfied
- Design – strategy for the systems architecture
- Testing – assures quality
- Implementation – producing the system to replace the old
- Maintenance – Addressing issues and sustaining adaptability to consumer demand
This is the continuous cycle I have adapted at work. It allows for continuous innovation, testing, and in such an organized way. Before following this cycle, it was a challenge to understand where we were in certain projects and what happens next. Now, everyone is always on the same page. What’s great about system development life
cycles is there’s different models. There is the (4):
- Waterfall Model, this is a straightforward system where once one phase is complete, the team moves on to the next, but they cannot go back.
- V-Shaped Model, this is very similar to the waterfall model but allows for in each development phase.
- Agile Model, this is a very adaptable system that calls for testing, retesting, ability to make changes at any point and is a very practical approach.
I think the best model is an agile cycle. It allows for the most innovation, quality and focuses on the end user. The other methods make it an hassle to meet user demand and quality. When managing a project it’s best to follow a model with the most flexibility.
Questions For Readers: What model do you use at work? Have you had any issues with this model? How can you implement a more agile practice?
- “Essentials: System Development Life Cycle [Guide].” Intellectsoft Blog, 31 May 2021, www.intellectsoft.net/blog/what-is-system-development-life-cycle/.
- Bydrec, Inc. Benefits of the Software Development Life Cycle – 2020, blog.bydrec.com/key-benefits-of-the-software-development-life-cycle.
- 7 Phases of the System Development Life Cycle Guide, www.clouddefense.ai/blog/system-development-life-cycle.
- Robert Half. “6 Basic SDLC Methodologies: Which One Is Best?” Robert Half, 20 Jan. 2021, www.roberthalf.com.au/blog/employers/6-basic-sdlc-methodologies-which-one-best.