Software development

Ultimate Guide to System Development Life Cycle

In the incremental model, projects are delivered in stages, or increments. The initial increment delivers the basic functionality to the customer, with additional increments required to improve the product and complete the development process. Once the initial increment is delivered, the customer has an opportunity to experiment with the remaining partial increments to find a solution that fulfills his needs best. The schedule and delivery date will depend on the additional increments. The system development life cycle (SDLC) is a complex project management model that encompasses system or software creation from its initial idea to its finalized deployment and maintenance.

This article will provide an in-depth analysis of the history, definition, phases, benefits, and disadvantages, along with solutions that support the system development life cycle. SDLC methodologies fit within a flexibility spectrum ranging from agile to iterative to sequential. SDLC products from software vendors promise organizational clarity, modern process development procedures, legacy application strategies, and improved security features. Vendors such as Oracle, Airbrake, and Veracode provide software development solutions in their complete enterprise software offerings. Many of these vendors also have a strong focus on identifying and de-bugging systems that may support the process of testing in software development life cycles. In many cases, SDLC teams utilize a variety of software solutions to support the varying stages.

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ProjectManager is award-winning software that connects hybrid teams at any time and anywhere. We have features that manage every part of the software development cycle. This is when you elaborate on a project plan for meeting those requirements laid out by the customer.

system development life cycle project management

Once you have a plan, design concrete specifications for the developers to utilize, like screen layouts and other materials. During this phase, you need to analyze the problem in the context of the organization’s policies and objectives. As we learned in this lesson, a project life cycle is a framework that splits a project into manageable phases and signifies the main milestones or decision points throughout the project lifespan.

Planning and estimating

The typical stages of the system development life cycle are planning and feasibility, requirements analysis, design and prototyping, software development, system testing, implementation, and maintenance. In this stage, the problem or pain the software targets is clearly defined. First, developers and other team members outline objectives for the system and draw a rough plan of how the system will work.

system development life cycle project management

Through artificial intelligence, machine learning, or the Internet of Things, companies can collect and analyze data more efficiently than ever at every stage. This will future enhance a company’s ability to optimize performance and reduce expenses. In a perfect world, the PM processes should be led by a Project Manager and the SDLC processes should be overseen by a Systems Manager.

V-Shaped Model

Project and program managers typically take part in SDLC, along with system and software engineers, development teams and end-users. There is a lot of literature on specific systems development life cycle (SDLC) methodologies, tools, and applications for successful system deployment. Books such as David Avison and Guy Fitzgerald’s Information Systems Development and Alan Daniels and Don Yeates’ Basic Systems Analysis, delve into the intricacies of information systems development lifecycles.

system development life cycle project management

Conducting a feasibility study and performing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis are important tools to be used in this stage. The Development stage involves the actual coding and programming of the system. Based on the design specifications, developers write code, create database structures, and implement necessary functionalities. Rigorous testing and quality assurance are performed to ensure the system’s accuracy, performance, and adherence to the design requirements. Any requests for change should be made through a formal change management process. Failure to incorporate necessary changes reduces the benefit obtained from the project.

Why is SDLC important?

While the process timeline will vary from project to project, the SDLC generally follows the seven stages outlined below. Both the Development Approach and the Project Life Cycle are required elements of the project management plan. If you are a project manager,  understanding the difference is important and relevant in your role as PM. They are based a decision to plan and manage a project using a particular development approach. There are several developmental project management approaches to consider.

  • A testing environment that simulates the actual use of the system should be used.
  • Because different goods must flow in from different suppliers across the entire lifecycle, product lifecycle management is also often closely related to supply chain management.
  • Many of these vendors also have a strong focus on identifying and de-bugging systems that may support the process of testing in software development life cycles.
  • In a similar manner, the manufacturing and sales departments must transmit information upstream to allow for future development and improvement of products based on consumer feedback.
  • Today, the traditional approaches to technology system development have been adjusted to meet the ever-changing, complex needs of each unique organization and their users.

The project manager is responsible for executing and closing all the linear steps of planning, building, and maintaining the new or improved system throughout the process. Aligning the development team and the security team is a best practice that ensures security measures are built into the various phases of the system development life cycle. In addition, governance and regulations have found their way into technology, and stringent requirements for data integrity impact the team developing technology systems. Regulations impact organizations differently, but the most common are Sarbanes-Oxley, COBIT, and HIPAA.

Benefits of SDLC

Intellectsoft works at the cutting edge of SDLC tech and can help you implement it in your organization. It enables regular incorporation of feedback, which significantly reduces the time and costs required to implement changes. Prototyping tools, which now offer system development life cycle project management extensive automation and AI features, significantly streamline this stage. They are used for the fast creation of multiple early-stage working prototypes, which can then be evaluated. AI monitoring tools ensure that best practices are rigorously adhered to.

In some cases – perhaps in smaller projects – two or more activities in the system development life cycle, such as design and construction, might be treated as one stage for management purposes. A larger project might split a single development activity into several management stages. For example, the construction phase might be broken into different management stages concerned with the construction of different parts of the system. At the start of a project, an initial overall plan of the work to be done will be presented with a detailed plan for the first stage.


Baselines[clarification needed] are established after four of the five phases of the SDLC, and are critical to the iterative nature of the model.[21] Baselines become milestones. In systems design, functions and operations are described in detail, including screen layouts, business rules, process diagrams, and other documentation. Modular design reduces complexity and allows the outputs to describe the system as a collection of subsystems. At this step, desired features and operations are detailed, including screen layouts, business rules, process diagrams, pseudocode, and other deliverables.

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