As Chad Fowler explains, “Software creation is difficult & rewarding. It’s creative like an art base, but (unlike art) it offers solid, measurable value.” It can be difficult to ensure the project fulfills all its deadlines, remains on budget, and delivers high-quality work! However, some models, such as SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle), make this process easier than others!
The software development life cycle improves and measures the entire software development process by allowing for step-by-step analysis. Businesses can boost productivity at every stage using SDLC Models, particularly the Agile SDLC model for software development.
Furthermore, SDLC assists businesses in reducing costs, meeting customer expectations, and facilitating speedy software delivery to help projects function smoothly. Which SDLC model is best for you? This MarsDevs guide will explore the different Software Development Life Cycle models and decide the best for your project.
So, let’s get started!
But first, what is the Software Development Life Cycle?
If you think SDLC is merely a fancy word for a developer’s work, there’s some history for you.
The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a method for planning, producing, and testing high-quality software. SDLC’s mission is to create high-quality software that meets or exceeds customer expectations while remaining on schedule and budget.
Software development has existed for a long time, but no one talked about SDLC when computers took up an entire room. Around the 1960s, software products began expanding in size as economic potential expanded.
Leaders and developers quickly learned that a project could fail due to defective workflow or method rather than insufficient coding skills. It is how the software development life cycle emerged.
SDLC shines in a crowded workplace with interdepartmental wrangling, constant client demands, and several developers. It enables anyone to keep track of where and how the software is progressing. And it has many methodologies and approaches.
Comparing the top 6 SDLC models
In the wise words of Grady Booch, “The task of the software development team is to engineer the illusion of simplicity.” This simplicity can be attained in many ways. Now that you have a basic understanding of SDLC, it may be time to learn about popular SDLC approaches and what they bring.
- Agile Methodology
The Agile model, which organizes the product into cycles, produces a working product quickly and is regarded as a very realistic development technique.
As Jim Highsmith puts it, “Agile development resonates a product lifecycle model instead of project approach.” The model generates continuous releases, each with little incremental changes from the prior one. Every version of the product is tested. Customers, developers, and testers collaborate on this model, emphasizing interactivity.
However, because this model strongly relies on client engagement, the project can go astray if the customer still determines where they want to go.
Waterfall is the most basic and oldest of the structured SDLC approaches – complete one step, then move on to the next. There is no turning back. Each stage is independent of the previous stage and has its project plan. Waterfall is straightforward to understand and manage.
However, early delays can throw off the entire project schedule. Because there is little room for adjustments once a stage is completed, problems can only be resolved once the maintenance stage is reached.
This model could perform better when there is a requirement for flexibility or when the project is long-term and continuing.
- V-Shaped SDLC
The V-shaped model emerged from the Waterfall model and stood out in the testing phase for each development stage. Each stage, such as Waterfall, begins after the previous one has finished. This model is useful when no unknown requirements exist because it is still tough to modify.
- Spiral Model
The Spiral model, one of the most adaptable SDLC approaches, derives its lead from the Iterative model and its repetition; the project moves through four phases in a “spiral” until completed, allowing for multiple rounds of improvement.
This model enables the creation of a highly customized product, and user feedback may be incorporated from the beginning of the project. However, you risk establishing a never-ending cycle for a project that always continues.
- Big Bang Model
The Big Bang model is an outlier among SDLC techniques because it has no set process and needs more time planning. Most resources are directed toward development; even the client may need help comprehending the needs. It is a common SDLC approach for small projects with only one or two software engineers.
Big Bang is not suggested for large or complex projects since it is a high-risk strategy; if the requirements are misinterpreted initially, you may reach the end and realize the project must be restarted from scratch.
- Iterative Software Development Model
The Iterative model embodies repetition. Rather than beginning with completely understood needs, you implement software requirements and then test, analyze, and pinpoint further requirements. A new version of the software is developed with each phase or iteration.
Repeat until the entire system is complete. One advantage over other SDLC models is that this model provides a workable version early in the process, making revisions less expensive. The drawback is that operating depletes resources quickly.
What to consider before choosing an SDLC model?
Goodfirms is a website for researching and reviewing IT companies and software, studying which SDLCs are most commonly used and what software engineers value about them.
Agile was chosen by 61.5% of the organizations polled because it is easy for “managing constantly changing client requirements, deeper client involvement, and efficient team collaboration.” Only some businesses (only 9.60%) embrace the waterfall’s rapid pace, linear and sequential approach.
However, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach here. Even if one of these methods offers various benefits, it is irrelevant if it works for your project. Because the SDLC of choice is determined by:
- Project Budget.
- Technology The Developers Are Dealing With!
- Team Skillset.
- Project Schedule & Timeline.
Imagine you choose a waterfall engineering approach for a complex software development project where the client is still trying to figure out the software prototype or future product demands. You will undoubtedly encounter challenges if you attempt to change the outcomes of the scheduled stages or if the need for new abilities arises throughout the project.
The waterfall approach must be revised to perform minor changes throughout the project flow. As Bjarne Stroustrup says, “Software development won’t be reduced to a simple mechanical “assembly line” method. Creativity, engineering principles & evolutionary change must create a satisfactory large system.”
Hence, it is difficult to state that any models are flawless. If your team struggles with the undefined software development process, learning about their features will help you find new approaches to streamline the development phase and reduce project risks.
Which SDLC model is right for you?
So, which model is best for you? There’s no easy answer. Agile can be multipurpose, but it has limitations because it only works for some customers & there are too many variables between businesses with various development timing requirements.
With so much information on what defines a strong SDLC model, you can feel the world is becoming more confusing rather than less! Various models have evolved due to SDLC evolution, reflecting a wide range of development expectations, and must be suited for various enterprises.
Ultimately, it’s not about finding the perfect model but choosing what would work best with your company culture. Do you need any help with your software development projects? We have a dedicated team here at MarsDevs to help ensure your software project’s success. Grab a free 15-minute call with us!