5 basic Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) methodologies

Software Development Life Cycle describes the steps and phases from the planning of a software project to the delivery of the end product. The steps are meant to be a means to implementation of a solution. The cycle provides developers with a roadmap for completing a software project.

Development tools could also use the software development life cycle to maintain software products. Usually, the steps to be followed during the SDLC are influenced by the size of the project.

Along the way, in your software development journey you are going to notice that most teams develop their own software development life cycle. However, teams can still adapt existing models and use them for their projects.

How does a Software Development Life Cycle Function?

A software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is not created to be rigid. The process is highly dependent on project complexity and could adapt different models. There are so many Software Development Life Cycle methodologies that can be used to implement a unique project master plan.

However, the underlying importance of a Software Development Life Cycle is to provide a balanced plan for creating a digital solution. The main benefits of a software development life cycle are to;

  • Gain control over the creation process
  • Provide teams with a clear action goal
  • Create more cooperation and interaction
  • It is a tool for cost effectiveness
  • Improves management of resource

Basic methodologies of the SDLC

Water Fall Model

A straightforward development process that takes works on the basis of completing one phase before moving to the next. The development teams in this software methodology are not allowed to go back. In fact, each of the stages relies on information from the previous stage and uses a unique action plan. The methodology is easy to understand as much as it is easy to manage.

Iterative Model

This methodology requires that planners implement a set of software requirements, test and evaluate the requirements as well as pin point more requirements. A new version of the software is created at each of the phases.

A repetitive incarnation is implemented until the end product is complete. The best thing about the iterative model is that it provides a working version of the software earlier on during the development. The only drawback is that resources are quickly used up because of the repetitive tasks.

Spiral Model

The spiral model works on the idea of iterative but implements several rounds of revisions until the software is fully refined for use. This model is for developers looking to create a very customizable end product.

The main advantage of the Spiral approach in the sdlc methodologies is that developers can easily incorporate user feedback during early stages of the project.

Agile Model

The agile model allows the developer to release subsequent changes, where each release has an incremental feature. At each stage of iteration, the product release is tested and evaluated. The project could however end the wrong turn in case the developer lacks a definite action plan or a clear set of goals.

The main advantage of the agile model is its provision of an enabling environment for testers, customers and developers to interact.

Big Bang Model

This is the most effective model among the sdlc methodologies for small software projects. The project could be managed by a maximum of two developers, and minimal time is spent on planning. The big bang model is however a highly risky model and is not recommended for complex projects.


You can only choose the right Software Development Life Cycle depending with your expectation of the end result. You should also take into account the different parameters that are to be executed along your project.

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