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A Guide To The Software Development Lifecycle

When you embark on software development, it’s important to understand how the software development lifecycle works. Many stakeholders go into software development expecting it to be an easy process, only to find that there are many moving parts that have to fit into place in order to build your ideal software.

At ENO8, we help clients manage the software development process in order to build software that suits your needs and is fit for purpose. In this article we’re running through the software development lifecycle so that you know what to expect when you next develop software for your company.

Where Did The Software Development Lifecycle Come From?

The software development lifecycle is often considered to have been thought up by Winston W. Royce in the 1970s. He developed the waterfall model in response to software engineering challenges that needed a system and procedure in order to be managed.

He was able to create a process whereby designers could design, develop, test and deploy software using specific phases that gave the engineers more control over the process. It included design, implementation, verification and maintenance. These were the founding pillars of the software development lifecycle from which other methodologies have evolved.

Agile Comes Into Play

From this initial software development lifecycle, the process evolved. The Agile Manifesto was published in 2001, and aimed to offer a new blueprint on how software should be developed. It offered an evolved lifecycle that still focused on the key basic tasks in the lifecycle – design, development, testing and deployment – but also offered a more flexible and agile approach.

The key changes that the agile software development lifecycle proposed were to the execution of the lifecycle as opposed to the lifecycle itself. Agile focuses on:

  • Individuals over processes
  • Working software over documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over sticking to a plan
  • What Is The Most Common Software Development Lifecycle Methodology?

    Each project will require a different execution process, however the key lifecycle components are the same. These are: 


    Creating the design for your software. This enables you to communicate your plans and allows developers and key stakeholders to work off of the same design. The design should consider market research, consumer needs, UX, UI and cost implications in order to draw up how the software will look, feel and perform. The design process usually takes between 2-4 weeks, depending on how many stakeholders are involved.


    This is the stage in which the software is developed by software developers in collaboration with key stakeholders. The development process can take between 1-9 months depending on the complexity and size of the project. 


    This crucial stage involves testing your software and redeveloping parts that are broken. The testing phase ensures that your software is ready to go to market without any errors. It is impossible to predict how long this element of the lifecycle will take as each project will be different depending on the issues that the testing phase discovers.


    Deployment of software involves ensuring that it works on the desired device and is fit for purpose. Deploying the software may be carried out on a test server, production environment or a user’s computer or mobile device. This is usually the shortest stage of the lifecycle.

    Are you looking to learn more about software? Discover how ENO8 could help by getting in touch. Alternatively, take a look at our latest article on the role of a product manager in Agile over on our blog.


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    Jeff Francis

    Jeff Francis is a veteran entrepreneur and founder of Dallas-based digital product studio ENO8. Jeff founded ENO8 to empower companies of all sizes to design, develop and deliver innovative, impactful digital products. With more than 18 years working with early-stage startups, Jeff has a passion for creating and growing new businesses from the ground up, and has honed a unique ability to assist companies with aligning their technology product initiatives with real business outcomes.

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