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Understanding Software Development Lifecycle For Dummies

The software lifecycle comprises different processes that are carried out once or repeated in a specific order depending on the selected process model. How long a software will “live” depends on such factors as the structure of the architecture, the technologies used, the planning of later changes, changing customer requirements, and more.

What is the lifecycle of software development?

We understand the life cycle of software development to be the process that is followed to design, develop and test a mobile application or software. The ultimate goal is to create a high quality product that meets – or even exceeds – customer expectations. But that is not all. 

It is also a process that must be completed on time and within budget. It’s not just about building an application – it’s about building it successfully. That is the crux of the matter. 

The software development lifecycle consists of several phases: planning, technical requirements, prototyping, development, QA (or testing), publication and maintenance. Let’s take a closer look at what each phase consists of and which experts are involved. 

  • Requirements analysis and creation of a specification. At the very beginning of the project, it is clearly defined which problem there is and how the future product has to solve it. A detailed description of the problem serves as the basis for the recording and formulation of requirements, which are summarized after the analysis and review in the form of a functional specification (system specification). The specification describes how the software is implemented in practice.
  • Design . This phase is carried out on the basis of requirements. A distinction is made between rough and fine design. In the first case, it is about defining the architecture that describes the individual components of the system and their relationships. A detailed concept is created for the detailed design.
  • Programming. The actual programming in selected programming languages ​​then follows.
  • Testing and integration . Software components are assembled. And test engineers use various software tests to check whether the software fulfills the predefined requirements. If this is not the case, any errors found are fixed.
  • Delivery of the product and introduction. After testing and troubleshooting, the final functional version of the software is delivered to the customer.

The Planning Phase

In this phase, various professional profiles (project managers, marketing, business analysts, etc.) work together to define exactly what the project needs and how it should be developed. 

This phase is about evaluating the business concept and the purpose of the app. And very important: It is also the phase in which you have to define the target audience in the right manner. Understanding the persona of your target customers is of the utmost importance in order to develop the app’s future implementation strategy , but also for other aspects such as the design of the user interface – just to name one example.  

This phase is also the moment to examine your industry competitors and perform a SWOT analysis. Once all of this information has been collected, it is time to decide which platforms your product will be available on . In addition, you should now design your user acquisition and retention strategies and plan your monetization strategy.

Gathering Technical requirements

In this phase, the technical characteristics that the application must fulfill are defined. The software documentation describes all project requirements as well as the commercial approach; this is a major component of application product engineering services. It serves as a guide for all professionals involved in the different phases of the project. 

Creation of the prototype

This phase is usually carried out by a UX / UI designer who is responsible for creating the sketches, wireframes, prototypes and the final graphical presentation of the app. 

In the prototyping phase, the appearance and navigation of the app is defined step by step. This phase begins with the first paper sketches of the app, which then develop into a wireframe and then into a navigable prototype that simulates the use of the app. 

This staggered approach enables the entire possible use cases of the app to be analyzed. This allows any kind of inconsistency or errors in the original concept to be identified. 

QA and Testing

For teams that use agile methods , this phase usually occurs continuously from the beginning of development, with the aim of identifying possible errors as quickly as possible. 

Quality assurance managers run compatibility tests on different device types and screen sizes with each Sprint. They check the navigation, the menu and the buttons of the app. They also test the app under various conditions (low battery, slow internet connection, etc.).

When the application is ready from the development point of view, a beta version is usually started to be tested by the users. This allows you to get your feedback before you publish the final version in the app stores.


When faced with the challenges of developing a mobile app or a software product for the first time , it’s normal for you to have doubts. It’s probably a little overwhelming: finding the right digital product engineering services who understand your project and get involved. Those who also have enough experience that the project will definitely be successfully completed.

If you plan to contact a development team who provides software product engineering services, make sure you describe the product you expect as accurately as possible. Take a close look at the team’s portfolio to make sure they can develop your project solidly. Don’t leave any questions unanswered.

Albert Smith
Albert Smith is a digital marketing manager with Hidden Brains, a leading enterprise web & mobile app development company specializing in mobile & web applications, IoT, cloud and big data services. He provides innovative ways to help tech companies, startups and large enterprises build their brand.

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