Photo by Radowan Nakif Rehan on Unsplash
Photo by Radowan Nakif Rehan on Unsplash

6 Stages Of The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a systematic approach to software development that outlines the steps involved in creating a software product. The SDLC is a crucial aspect of software development as it provides a framework for managing the development process and helps ensure that the end product meets the needs of end consumers.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the software development stages and how they are applied in software development.

  1. Market research

Market research is one of software development steps that involves gathering data and analyzing it to gain insights into a particular market segment within the software industry. It will help you to understand your target audience, competition, market trends, and consumer behavior. Some of the key aspects of market research in software development include: 

  • Target audience: identifying the demographic characteristics, needs, and preferences of the target audience. 
  • Competitor analysis: examining the strengths and weaknesses of existing competitors and their offerings. 
  • Market trends: staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the software market. 
  • Consumer behavior: understanding how consumers make purchasing decisions and what factors influence their behavior. 
  • Market size and growth: estimating the size of the market and predicting future growth.

Market research in software product development can be conducted using various methods, such as surveys, focus groups, and secondary research. The results of market research can be used to create documentation that is necessary for the development process like development plan, product requirements document, time and cost estimate, and others.

2. Design 

The design in product development life cycle involves creating user interface and defining user experience of a software application. It is a critical step in the development process as it directly impacts the user’s interaction with the application and their overall satisfaction with it. Some of the key aspects of UI/UX design in software development include: 

  • User research: conducting research to gain insights into the target audience and their needs, preferences, and behavior. 
  • Information architecture: organizing the content and structure of the user interface to make it easy for users to navigate. 
  • Interaction design: defining the way users interact with the application, including the flow of screens, buttons, and other controls. 
  • Visual design: creating the visual appearance of the user interface, including the use of color, typography, and imagery. 
  • Prototyping: creating a working model of the user interface to test and refine the design. 

The goal of the design stage is to create an interface that is intuitive, visually appealing, and easy to use, and meets the needs of the target audience. The design should be user-centered, meaning it focuses on solving the user’s problems and making their experience with the software as seamless as possible.

3. Development 

After the design has been completed, the next stage is the actual development process. This stage involves transforming software concept into code. It consists of writing code, testing it, fixing bugs, and making improvements. The development team may use various software development methodologies such as Agile and Waterfall to manage the development process. Let’s take a closer look at these software development methodologies:


Agile is an iterative and incremental approach to software development that emphasizes flexibility and collaboration. It involves a close collaboration between the development team, stakeholders, and customers, and allows making changes into the product as it is being built. The Agile approach is typically used for projects with a high degree of uncertainty or where the requirements are likely to change frequently. 


The Waterfall approach is a sequential and linear model for software development, where each stage must be completed before the next one begins. It involves a clear and detailed plan for the entire project and is well suited for projects with well-defined and stable requirements. The Waterfall model is best suited for projects that are well understood and where the requirements are unlikely to change.

Each approach has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the best approach for a particular project depends on the specific requirements and constraints of the project. 

4. Testing 

Testing is one of the most important stages of software development as it helps to identify and fix any bugs or errors in the software. Different types of testing such as unit testing, integration testing, and system testing are performed to ensure that the software works as expected. Let’s see what these types of testing are:

  1. Unit testing: unit testing involves testing individual units or components of the software, such as functions or classes, in isolation. It is the first level of testing and focuses on verifying that each component works as expected. Unit testing is typically performed by the developers and is integrated into the development process. 
  2. Integration testing: integration testing is the process of testing how the different components of the software work together as a system. It involves combining individual units or components and testing them to ensure they interact correctly with each other. Integration testing is performed after unit testing and is used to catch any integration issues that may not have been discovered during unit testing. 
  3. System testing: system testing is the process of testing the complete software system to ensure it meets the requirements and behaves as expected. System testing is performed after integration testing and focuses on verifying the functionality of the system as a whole, including the user interface, performance, and security. System testing is typically performed by a separate testing team and is the last level of testing before the software is released to the market.

The testing stage also helps to validate that the software meets the requirements and that it is of high quality. It is important to ensure that testing is thorough and covers all possible scenarios.

5. Deployment

Once the software has been tested, the next stage is deployment. In this stage, the software is deployed to a production environment, where it is made available to end-users. It is important to ensure that the deployment process is well-planned and that any necessary backups are in place in case something goes wrong. This stage involves several tasks, including: 

  1. Preparing the software for deployment: this involves verifying that the software is ready for deployment and that it meets the necessary requirements and standards.
  2. Testing: this involves testing the software to ensure it is functioning as expected. This may include regression testing, performance testing, and user acceptance testing. 
  3. Deploying the software: this involves making the software available to the end users by making it accessible over the internet (in App Store, Google Play, etc.), or distributing it to users through other means. 

Deployment is one of software development phases in the software development process, as it marks the transition from development to production. It is important to thoroughly test and verify the software before deployment to ensure a smooth transition and to minimize any disruptions or issues for the end users.

6. Maintenance 

After the software has been deployed, the final stage is maintenance. In this stage, the software is maintained and updated to fix any issues that may arise and to add new features. 


Each of these steps is critical to the overall success of the project, and ignoring any of them can lead to suboptimal results. Recognising that quality is paramount in software development, leading IT companies place great emphasis on executing each lifecycle phase with care and attention to detail. By doing so, they can ensure that the end product meets the needs of stakeholders and end users and is reliable, secure, and efficient.

In addition to meeting the needs of stakeholders and end users, a high-quality end product can provide many benefits to the development team and the organisation as a whole. These benefits can include increased customer satisfaction, increased productivity, and a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Overall, by prioritising quality in every stage of the software development life cycle, leading IT companies like Andersen can deliver exceptional software products that meet the needs of all parties involved and contribute to the success of the organisation.