Technological advancements have made life a lot more convenient for most of us. They have also made it a lot easier for business owners to manage their respective businesses. Several aspects of a business operation are made easier and completed in much less time with the use of certain computer applications. This is why it has become necessary for businesses of any kind to find software that’ll help maximize their potential. This is also the reason why the demand for software development services has grown exponentially in recent years.
Among other things, an investment in software can help improve your branding, streamline your work processes, and increase your sales. Whatever you hope to achieve with computer technology, though, you are only going to achieve it if you take the right approach. And the right approach involves learning about the various phases of the software development life cycle (SDLC). Learning about this cycle gives you a clearer understanding of what it takes to successfully complete a software development project.
Phases of the SDLC
For a truly successful software development project, you will need to set clear goals and identify milestones for each phase of the SDLC. Note that each software development firm will likely use a different terminology, but in general, these are the phases of the SDLC:
1. Discovery – This is the phase where you need to identify your business requirements and objectives as well as your target market and the market opportunities you see. You also need to perform an internal audit of your technology and resources, and map out a strategic plan for the business. Finally, using all the data you’ve put together, you need to determine the scope of the software development project you have in mind.
2. Design – This is the phase where you create the overall plan for the project, preferably with the help of your chosen software development company. Sometime between the discovery and design phase, therefore, you should already go through the process of finding the right firm for the job. It is also during this phase that the developers you hire will develop prototype software for you, perform usability focus groups, and develop test plans.
3. Construction – This is the phase where the developers will build the actual system designed to address your specific needs. This is also when you need to develop a launch plan for the software as well as a system training plan for everyone expected to use the software.
4. Launch – This is the phase where you execute your system training plan and your launch plan. It is also advisable to execute a documentation delivery plan at this point.
5. Review – A project can never be truly deemed a success unless it has been reviewed and the results analyzed. Were the initial goals achieved? Are there any new opportunities presented with the launch? Get the answers to these questions as you improve and maintain the applications. The review results will also help you in planning similar projects in the future.
Finding the Right Firm
As mentioned earlier, it is important for you to find the right software development team if you really want your project to succeed. Take advantage of free consultations offered by some companies and use that to gauge whether they are the right fit for the project you have in mind. As a general rule, it is advisable to choose a firm that has had years of experience in soft technologies. Long-term experience usually means the firm has already made mistakes and learned from them; it assures you that they now know exactly what they’re doing.
It is also a good idea to choose a company that offers 24/7 customer support. You never know when an issue with the project will come up, and it’s good to know your developer will always be there for you no matter what time of day or day of the week it is. Other than having a consultation with potential developers, you should also take the time to check reviews and read testimonials about each company you’re considering. Take note of any complaint and try to find out how the firm addressed it.
Now that you have a clearer understanding of the software development life cycle, you are in a much better position to find the right development firm to carry out the project for you. Consequently, you’ll stand a better chance of ensuring the success of your software development project. As long as you take the right approach, technology can indeed serve you well.