By definition, software development lifecycle (SDLC) is a systematic, iterative and structured way of developing applications. The steps involved in the SDLC include research, planning analysis, design, building, testing, deploying and maintaining the system.
The advantage of having software development lifecycle is to develop software that meets or even surpass the expectations of the clients. When the order is adhered to, chances are that there would be minimal gaffes in the software build.
Having an SDLC saves you the pain of starting to build software from scratch. It ensures you are well aware of the processes involved even before you begin developing code.
The other benefit of having an SDLC together is that you get to plan ahead and define your development goals ahead of time.
To examine the best practice in Software Development Lifecycle, we shall observe the seven phases of SDLC. These are Planning, Analysis, Development, Testing, Documentation, Deployment and Maintenance.
So, what are the best practices for SDLC
Planning: Being the first step of an intricate process, Planning is a key step in determining your objectives. You should leverage this stage to plan the project requirements at this stage. These requirements will act as your Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
Analysis: Requirements analysis is the next stage in System Development Lifecycle. Best practice demands that you conduct a complete feasibility study with the aim of ensuring all requirements for the project are available.
The requirements may range from the goals to be achieved, the technical assets as well as a team of developers to write the code and conduct tests.
Also, the metrics to define the scope of project success should be defined at this stage.
Development: This is where the developers jump in. At the onset, the developers have to be aware of the nature of the task they are undertaking to do.
The development task could range from a normal software upgrade, the addition of a new feature or even the creation of new software altogether.
At this stage, a project manager or the software engineer should clearly define the nature of the product they want to be developed. This way, developers get to have a clear picture of the deliverables to expect.
Testing: The next stage after developing code is the testing phase. Based on your pre-determined Key Performance Indicators, the code should be tested to determine whether it performs as intended.
Similarly, testing should be able to eliminate bugs in the code, and also ensure that the code performs according to the standards stipulated in the planning stage.
Documentation: The next phase of the SDLC is the documentation. Here you should endeavour to note down all the software changes you perform.
The logic behind this best practice of documenting all the key changes in software code is that it helps you to identify all the specific areas that potentially portend problems.
With accurate documentation, you stand a better chance of having an easy testing phase due to having a clear area of focus.
Maintenance: This is the face that is considered to be the end of software development. However, SDLC is an iterative process.
Once the software passes the tests it is passed up to the IT department to keep it running smoothly. This stage is the maintenance where the anomalies are identified and suggested for coding.
SDLC is by principle an iterative process. As such, these best practice guidelines are sure to help you in determining what to do and how to go about it.