The industry of software development faces lots of challenges. The main of them is staying up-to-date with the tech advancement and the newest trends. To cope with them, you need to choose the right tech stack, create a flexible and supportive environment, provide the due level of security, and much more. 

To get a leading-edge high–performance product, you need a well-defined software development process.

What Is the Software Development Process?

It’s the process of creation and bringing a software solution to life. We can compare it to preparing a dish. It’s not enough to just combine the ingredients, but you need to mix them in the right proportion and sequence. Here we proceed to the SDLC meaning.

What Is the Software Development Life Cycle?

At present, behind development projects stand certain models of software development life cycle. But what is SDLC? It’s the succession of definite steps, an algorithm that comprises multiple processes and turns an idea into a product. In such a way, delivery of high-quality software is ensured.

Let’s look closer at each step of the process of software development and touch upon different management methodologies.

Software development lifecycle covers such stages as: 

  1. Requirements analysis and resource planning
  2. UI/UX Design
  3. Coding
  4. Quality assurance
  5. Deployment
  6. Maintenance and updates

A Guide to Software Development Process and Life Cycle - 1

There are several approaches to development. Independently of the chosen methodology, SDLC stages primarily stay unchanged. They aim at providing high-level software within the set deadline and budget. The approach to implementing each of the stages differs in different development models. However, every stage is realized by a specialist or a team with due expertise in the niche. But, let’s look closer at each phase.

Software Development Life Cycle in Steps

To get a comprehensive process overview, let’s walk through every step.

Requirements Analysis and Resource Planning

The customer describes the problem and the user’s pain to solve, along with the product requirements. However, it’s just the basics. The development team which may include a project manager, a business analyst, a UX analyst, and a technical architect gathering all the available info about the product, requesting the client about its functional and non-functional requirements, questioning the end users, and studying competitor products if there are any. 

Interviews, brainstorming, questioning assumptions, use cases identification, user story writing, and creating a demo for each one are the parts of the discovery phase. Risk analysis, cost estimation, and proof of concept to check the tech feasibility of the idea also belong to this stage.

The finalized requirements are compiled into a specification, which allows distributing responsibilities rightly across the team further on. The right milestones, timeframes, costs, and risks are figured out along with a plan on how to mitigate the latter.

When everything is agreed upon, they proceed to the next stage.

UI/UX design

The design phase in the life cycle of product development is not about the solution’s appearance. It’s about the framework, architecture, prototyping, and user experience. 

It comprises creating a software architecture. It’s a kind of blueprint for the development team, based on the UX journey investigation. The necessary integrations are also finalized during this phase, whether they are databases, servers, or browser-related prerequisites. Then follows prototyping for user interface visualization and testing the design elements flow and general user interaction with the solution.

At this stage, testing strategies are also created with recommendations of what to test and in which way.  


This is usually the longest stage, the product development, as it is.  The concept is brought into reality and all models, business logic, and service integrations detailed in the prior stages are implemented to ensure quality delivery.

The software can be released in one go or in fragments, depending on the methodology chosen. Anyway, as soon as the code is ready, it is forwarded to the testing specialists for review.

Quality Assurance

The QA team focuses on software solution testing, failures, and bug detection with further reporting to the developers about them. Functional testing, non-functional, integration testing, unit testing, and system testing can be implemented based on the project requirements. It can also be manual or automated, but anyway, the specialists try to ensure failsafe software delivery. 

In case something goes wrong, or an error is noted, the coding cycle goes on till the operation is faultless. 


Depending on the methodology chosen, either an MVP, a minimum viable product or a fully-fledged product is launched to the market at this stage after coding, testing, fixing, and validating the product quality. 

In case end-users face issues with the software solution in a live environment, it is moved back to the development team for reconsideration and fixing.

Maintenance and Updates

As soon as the product comes out into wide usage, some actual issues may start surfacing. Also, with the advance in technology and user requirements, the software product may need updates, changes, and new iterations. 

Thus, maintenance may be corrective and perfective.

Corrective maintenance is for getting rid of the existing bugs to improve product performance. 

Perfective maintenance presupposes software solution updating under the new, evolving user needs and requirements.  

In any case, maintenance aims to uphold the software’s value proposition.

Types of Software Development Processes

Nowadays, many development procedures have been formalized. To choose the right approach for your project, you should consider many factors. Project scope, available team, and end goals are just some to mention. 

We are going to look closer at 6 types of software development processes, to get a better understanding of each one and evaluate their pros and cons.  

Agile & Scrum

Scrum methodology uses an agile approach to software building. It is characterized by iterative development by cross-functional teams and a dynamic approach. The work is split into sprints that may last from 2 weeks to 2 months. Each sprint aims to release a usable feature in the agreed time and goes from product backlog through sprint backlog and implementation to a working feature release. Then follow feedback, verification, and the next sprint planning.

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In Agile methodology, the product design is user-centered. Issued in small yet significant portions, the software allows uncovering the issues, bugs, and failures at the initial stage. So, all the user needs are carefully investigated and then satisfied. Design and functional extensions come easy.

The process is quick with frequent releases, little documentation, and better testing. However, proper communication and interaction are crucial for smooth and effective project work. 

 This approach is good for long-lasting projects with continuous updates, enough specialists to make the team dynamic, and a budget that can be adjusted based on project needs.


 It’s often referred to as a linear sequential model. It is the most traditional approach to software, involving lots of planning and documentation, which helps to understand the project better.  Each phase of the development process is realized in sequence, and moving on to the next step is only possible after finishing the preceding one, the milestones are crystal clear. 

So, planning is followed by requirements’ documentation, then design and implementation are realized. After the deployment, maintenance and updates are implemented whenever it’s necessary. However, changes often take time, and they are difficult to implement, which creates additional risks in this approach.

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That’s why this methodology is often taken for the small version of software solutions and projects where the goals, requirements, and tech stack are not going to change. 

Otherwise, it will be too expensive.

Avoid it if you want a flexible and dynamic development process.

V-Shaped Model

V-shaped planning is an advanced version of the Waterfall, but it includes more testing. Each phase of the sequential order is finished with verification.  So, this approach is ideal for small products with very precise requirements, as it guarantees total quality management.

V-shaped planning is realized in the following steps: requirements and specifications shaping, high- and low-level design, development, then QA follows – unit, integration, system, and acceptance testing.

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Spiral Model

It is a combination of a V-shaped approach with its advanced testing and the Agile iterative and flexible processes. The basic steps in spiral development are:

  • Planning,
  • Assessment of risks,
  • Coding and testing,
  • Results evaluation and the planning of the next “Step”.

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The process is spiral, and the development is divided into phases, customers can be involved in reviewing steps. So, you need many people with strong risk analysis skills and mindsets. 

This approach works perfectly for large projects with unclear requirements, but when you want to avoid any risks with a new product launch.

Creating an MVP is also an option because crafted with only basic features, it can be then supplemented with new features based on user feedback. What is important, is that this approach allows rather a hassle-free incorporation of sudden changes. 

Iterative Development 

It’s another mix of Waterfall and Agile methodologies that differ only in terms of launching a new product version in the market. It makes it possible to get feedback from real users and upgrade the solution in future iterations.

The steps in this approach are:

  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing

Lying primary focus on design than on documentation, this methodology allows building solutions faster but requires lots of resources and budget.

Iterative development is applied to projects with clear-cut requirements and long-term technology goals. 


Rapid Application Development is an Agile approach that is versatile, adaptable, and time-saving. It is designed for prompt response and high-quality results, with a primary focus on design. It emphasized rapid prototyping and quick software delivery. 

The steps in this process are as follows.

  • Project requirements definition
  • Prototyping
  • Testing
  • Feedback
  • Present app presentation

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RAD methodology uses the code and models that already exist for the creation of the new software prototypes. This approach is ideal for the app development process that needs to be finalized within several months. But all the requirements must be well-defined and detailed.

 Final words

As you can see, the overall time and budget to develop software can vary. It depends on the project specifics, requirements, and lots of aspects. Not to waste time and money, it’s reasonable to turn to professional software developers like Mangosoft.

The experience and expertise gained over the years of practice allow specialists to define the best approach, methodology, and tech stack for project development in a short time. Professionals always help you keep to the budget and avoid risks in delivering a high-quality product that meets the user’s needs. 

Contact us, and we’ll discuss how to validate and implement your idea to shape it into a product that will meet your business needs.

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