Software Development Lifecycle: 3 Phases
The key to a smooth working relationship between client and software development company is that both parties have a clear understanding of what the client wants or needs and what the technical partner can deliver to the client’s satisfaction. At PLANEKS, we have a very detailed, organized, and creatively designed process that allows us to truly comprehend what the client requires and allows us to present results that we arrive at from every step of the consultation and collaboration process. This PLANEKS system has been honed through interactions with our clients and continuous collaborations on our projects.
Let’s take you through our Main Development Stages to give you a better grasp of our software development lifecycle.
1. Initial Phase
The Initial Phase, as the name suggests, begins with the communication between client and developer. It is all about learning what the client needs.
The initial phase begins with Preparation. An exploratory meeting is arranged where the client or his representatives first meet with the representatives of the development team. Usually, the Chief Technical Officer or Tech Lead of PLANEKS attends this initial meeting. Before anything is finalized, for security reasons, both parties discuss the need for a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). While there are times when clients DO require this document before anything is begun, it is not always required. The Development team simply acquiesces to the client’s request for an NDA to assure the client that none of the data and other sensitive information will be divulged or relayed to other parties.
Once this is out of the way, project documents from the client will be shared with the representatives from the development team. In case there is none, our side may offer to do a preliminary evaluation of your project.
With the project documents or the results of the pre-evaluation in hand, the development team will spend time going over the details in order to create a proposal for the client’s review. Another meeting will most likely be scheduled to discuss the specifics of the proposal, and when all is well and the client agrees to the stipulations, a contract is subsequently signed.
The Discovery Phase involves a more in-depth assessment of the client’s system. In order to do that, a development team is formed with specific members assigned to the project, depending on the project’s requirements. The client also becomes an integral part of the Development Team and is appraised of its progress every step of the way. Throughout this discovery phase that usually lasts between two to four weeks, we uncover areas where improvements will be necessary, but that’s expected, and these results will go in the Discovery Report. This report will serve as the blueprint for what the developer needs to create as they move forward with the project.
However, there are also instances where projects don’t need a Discovery Period, or that it’s timetable is short because the client has prepared all the details extensively. This actually helps speed up the process.
2. Development Phase
The Development phase is where all the magic happens in terms of Design, Programming, and Testing.
A. UX/UI Engineering
The Design Phase begins with the rough draft of the user’s workflow. It takes into account the business side of things for an organized workflow and combines that with a creative UI design tailored for the user’s needs. The finished design should be not only systematic and organized but also creative and easy-to-use that suits the requirements of the project. The results from the Discovery Phase trickle here in the sense that user’s habits and preferences are taken into account, including comparative data from competitors’ products. Once the product design is okayed, software development proceeds.
B. Software Development
To ensure utmost efficiency in our workflow, we subscribe to the Agile Framework of software development, where projects are divided into units that can be individually worked on, tested, adjusted, and finished. The advantages of working within this framework are the ability to finish the project faster because of the “sprinting” feature; the client can immediately give his feedback because he’s part of the team, and the ability to adjust and improve processes immediately as the Team Leader sees fit.
Most of the time, we adhere to the Scrum framework and Development Team, that involves the following steps:
- Product Backlog – The Team creates a Product Backlog, which is basically a priority list of what the team needs to accomplish for this given unit. The items in this Product Backlog become the workload for the team for the given “sprint.”
- Sprint Planning – is what happens when tasks are assigned, modified, and accomplished by the team. The Team monitors each of the activities on this list and adjusts according to the Sprint Goals.
- Sprint Goals – These are usually determined when the Development Team meets and decides on a course of action for the day.
- Sprint Review – At the end of the Sprint, the team meets with the client in order to present their accomplishments and to hear the feedback from the stakeholders.
- Sprint Retrospective – Armed possibly with new information, the Sprint does a Retrospective, a review of their own performance to find out how they can improve and deliver better performance for their clients. It is important to note that there is any number of Sprints happening at a given time. They usually happen in iteration, adjusting and adapting, systematically and continuously. The system improves the development process and allows for better communication and implementation.
- Product is ready for Release when all Sprint Goals are achieved.
Aside from Agile and Scrum, we also follow the DevOps Methodology that utilizes automation in infrastructure and workflows that ultimately speeds up the development lifecycle. Continuous testing, integration, and monitoring guarantee products of the highest quality and value.
3. Post-Release Phase
Once the product is completed and released to the client, our company may still perform after-sales or after-delivery services like the following:
A. Support Process
Sometimes it may be necessary to monitor the application after being released. We can check and monitor for errors and provide the necessary solutions. Errors aren’t the only things we can monitor. We can also help with analytics assessment and metrics tracking. Further down the line, we can also provide our clients with program updates and additional technical consulting.
B. Scaling Process
For the Scaling Process, we utilize analytics to determine how best to plan out the move. We also offer Technical and Business Consulting should you consider scaling. When considering to scale, there will undoubtedly be changes to implement, and we can be on the front-end of those needs.
To implement our Scaling Process, we adhere to the Twelve-Factor app methodology for software applications. In addition, the Docker cloud platform allows you to quickly make changes to your software applications and monitor the application after modification.
To sum up
The whole process, from start to finish, creates order among chaos. The designation of work, the integrated system among departments and the collaboration with the client simplifies the software development lifecycle. We are with you on this journey. We want you to be informed. Together, our collaboration will deliver a better product, and all the preparations and effort from both parties will be worth it.