Ever heard of the adage that goes
if you fail to plan, you plan to fail? And did it ever cross your mind that this saying could well be applicable in the business world? Well, if you never knew, you should now because, every business, be it a startup or a large business empire, requires a good system of planning if it must succeed.
And especially in the IT-sphere, where a company’s product quality is often reflected in the quality of planning, using a good planning system such as the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), could prove to be so vital.
But given that SDLC has several sub-models, which is best for startups to follow? This we shall be looking at as we go further.
However, before we get on with that, what do we mean by the term Software Development Life Cycle(SDLC)?
Meaning of SDLC
SDLC is a term that refers to the way development processes are built, including the development’s layout, and the details of tasks accorded to each team member.
In other words, SDLC is a framework for the planning, controlling, creation, testing, and delivery of software. With it, you can monitor the team’s progress at any given time, and what resources are necessary for the team to work at every phase.
Also, the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) helps in tackling the challenge of omission that may likely occur while working on a project.
However, there several SDLC models that are used today to guide professionals through their project-based work. What are these models?
6 Common SDLC Models
1. The Waterfall Model
Amongst every SDLC models, the waterfall is the most direct and oldest model. By nature, this model has a rigid pattern of completing one phase and moving on to the next, without looking back. Although the waterfall model is both easy to understand and manage, however, there is little to no room for revisions given that once a phase is completed, issues can’t be resolved until one gets to the maintenance phase.
In other words, this model doesn’t go handy with a company that is seeking flexibility, or with long term projects.
2. The V-Shaped Model
The V-Shaped model, popularly known as the Verification and Validation Model, was birthed by the Waterfall Model.
And just like in the Waterfall Model, every stage commences only after the last one has ended.
However, given the difficulty in going back due to a previous phase, the V-shaped Model often works better when there are no unknown requirements.
3. The Iterative Model
The Iterative Model is mainly known for its repetitive incarnating nature. In this model, rather than starting with an already compiled requirements, you will have to use a particular set of software requirements, test, evaluate it and mark any additional requirements that might be needed.
Once that is done, a newer version of the software will be produced with each iteration or phase, with which you will have to rinse and repeat the same process until the whole system is ready.
However, this model comes with both its pros and cons. And one of the major pros with this model is that it quickly gives you a software’s working version during the working process, thus making it inexpensive to carry out. While its major disadvantage is that certain resources could force a developer to repeat the process over and over again.
4. The Spiral Model
If you’re looking out for flexibility, then you should probably think of adopting the Spiral Model.
Drawing a cue from the Iterative Model and its repetition process, under the Spiral Model, projects pass through four phases over and over again in a “spiral” form, until it is finally processed. And it’s only on completion, that a developer will be allowed to go for additional rounds of refinement.
What's more? this model does not only allow for the construction of highly customizable products but user feedback that can be merged right before the work starts.
However, one of the loopholes in this model is that you could be unlucky to create a never-ending spiral plan, which may prolong projects than it should.
5. The Big Bang Model
The Big Bang Model is quite of an awkward one here on the list, and here is why. Unlike the other SDLC models, this model doesn’t only require a lesser amount of time in planning but does not also have a defined process of executing projects.
In this model, most of the resources are targeted towards development, with which in some cases, the client may not even get to have a hold of the requirements. This is one of the main reasons why this model is often used for smaller projects made up of a software engineer or two.
In other words, if you’re seeking to use the Big Bang for a large project, you might want to reconsider your actions as doing so will only expose you to the model’s high complexity nature, which could cause a whole lot of misunderstanding during your plan execution.
In the worst-case scenario, due to its complex nature, you may have to start the process all over again. And trust me, you don’t want such a thing to happen to you.
6. The Agile Model
By dividing products into cycles, the Agile Model swiftly delivers processed products in less than no time, which is why it is often considered as being the best development approach.
And of course, this couldn’t be any truer given that the model creates every ongoing release, with small incremental modifications from every prior release.
What’s even better about this model is that it promotes interaction, as the customers, software developers, and the testers always have to work hand in hand throughout the entire project.
However, given that this model mostly depends on the interactive level of customers, the project could sometimes head the wrong way if the customer in question, doesn't know what direction they’d be heading.
The Best SCDL for Startups
After much consultations by tech gurus, including software developers and other consulted IT companies, the best SCDL for startups to follow is the Agile Model and here is why.
Being agile entails the ability to cope with any degree of changes, whenever it’s needed. And as a startup, with which your most likely going to face some levels of changes (growth or decline), with the Agile Model, your product teams will not only be able to positively adapt to the market developments but flow along with whatever limited resources they have at the moment.
Also, if there is anything a startup should avoid is in the accumulation of wasteful and meaningless activities/expenses. And, this is another cogent reason why every startup needs the Agile Model, as it won’t only give the business owner a full monopoly of the plan, but help in getting rid of wasteful and gibberish activities.
Lastly, given that the Agile Model has two modes of operation, the Iterative & Incremental, where the former permits for one to produce things piece by piece, and the later which allows for a developer to produce commodities through refinements, a startup business couldn’t ask for a better model than this.
In a nutshell, regardless of the common SDLC models available today, if a startup is looking out to adopting the most suitable SDLC model for its company, the Agile Model should certainly be considered.