What is the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)?

Software development is an ever-expanding field. As a business grows, it must adopt new software in order to meet customer demands and continue working at a high level of operational efficiency.

When software is being developed, it follows a standardized set of phases known as the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

Following the SDLC ensures that the resulting software meets a high standard and enables software developers to identify potential areas for improvement during the development process. It also minimizes time-wasting or excessive use of materials to increase development efficiency.

Phases of the Software Development Life Cycle

The software dev lifecycle comprises the following phases:

  • Problem identification
  • Planning
  • Software designing
  • Software development and testing
  • Maintenance

Let’s take a deep dive into each of these phases.

Problem identification

The first step of any software development process involves identifying the current problem or problems at hand. This stage requires input from several sources, including employees, programmers, stakeholders, and customers.

Any information gathered during this process can be used during subsequent stages of software development to ensure the resulting product meets the needs of its target users.


This stage of the SDLC revolves around figuring out the main aims of the software and determining the logistics of the process. Project leaders must identify the risks and costs involved and create a general timeline that aligns with their overarching project budget and goals.

Software designing

Once a project outline has been created, the SDLC moves onto the software designing stage. Software developers design a draft program that they send to stakeholders and project leaders for review. It may take several drafts before the software design is finalized.

Software design might look at:

  • User experience and user interface
  • Software architecture and design
  • Software program efficiency
  • Software cybersecurity
  • Compatibility of the software with other programs, like Apple, Windows, and Android

Software development and testing

When every member of the team is happy with the final design, software developers and programmers can begin to bring the design to life. They will create a prototype of the software that displays how the final version of the software will look and how it will work when created.

During this stage, stakeholders, project leaders, and developers will look out for weak areas in the software. They will run a series of tests to check that the software runs smoothly, loads quickly, and is well-protected in terms of cybersecurity. If a particular function isn’t running as expected, developers can adjust and rework the coding for the software to resolve these issues for the final product.


Once a software program has been deployed and is available for use, software developers continue to work on its maintenance.

They will check for potential bugs or cracks in the design of the software that they missed during the final stages of development. Ongoing maintenance is essential to make sure that the software application works as it should and that the user experience is as seamless as possible.