What are software life cycle models?

software life cycle models

There is a good deal of software development life cycles (SDLC) available. Picking the best for your business and your project can sometimes be hard, but choosing the correct software life cycle model is key to a successful process and to reaching goals. That’s because those frameworks were created and iterated, so they’ll be useful for anyone implementing them.

Now, what are software life cycle models? It’s a conceptual framework that includes a series of phases to better follow and understand the software building process of a product. Any experienced software developer should know how to pick the best SDLC, based on the business and project’s requirements.

Deciding which software development life cycle is the perfect one for your project can be difficult, so you need to understand the differences between them. Remember to keep in mind what are the requirements, pain points, and needs of the project in order to pick the best SDLC that ensures better delivery of the product.

Life cycle models in software engineering

Planning is the key to success. This applies to almost everything, including a software development project. 

To reach the goals most efficiently and effectively, it’s best to follow certain steps within the framework of existing software life cycle models. The phases to consider are the following:

1. Planning And Requirement Analysis

In software development, planning is critical. Requirement analysis is also undertaken by the organization’s developers based on user feedback and research.  

The data collected from this analysis serves as the foundation for a project.

After doing this, the basic project is designed and all the data required is available for anyone to consult.

2. Defining Requirements

During this phase, all the necessary requirements to reach the objective are defined.

Stakeholders, customers, and other interested parts approve the requirements and everything is documented using SRS (Software Requirement Specification).

In this documentation, it is clear what is to be defined and created during the whole project cycle.

3. Designing Architecture

By documenting all the requirements using the SRS, the developers suggest the best architecture for creating the software.

They submit several proposals in the Design Document Specification (DDS). Stakeholders review this and select the most workable design to achieve the goal.

4. Developing Product

This is where the actual product development begins. Depending on what was outlined both in the SRS and the DDS, programmers use a specific programming language to develop the product.

5. Product Testing and Integration

At this stage, the code has been written and the product is developed. Now it’s time for it to be tested to determine whether it has any bugs, though the product has been tested along the way.  This is just to ensure that there aren’t any bugs that have slipped past the testing stage.

Once the errors have been corrected, the software is ready to move on to the next stage.

4. Types of software development life cycles 

As previously mentioned, there are several SDLC models. Among the most popular life cycle models in software engineering, are:


It’s the oldest model. Under Waterfall, one phase is completed and moves on to the next, with no possibility of going back. It isn’t collaborative, but rather each phase has its own plan to follow.

  • Pros: easy to understand and get used to working with.
  • Cons: few instances of review at each stage, so it’s necessary to wait for the maintenance stage to correct any errors.


It’s an evolution of the Waterfall model. The difference is that it has a testing phase in each stage of the product development.

  • Pros: there are more instances of testing and, therefore, of correcting errors before moving on to another phase.
  • Cons: it’s still difficult to go back to correct bugs or make changes.


Repetition characterizes this model. 

What does it mean? Unlike the Waterfall or V-shaped model, not everything is planned from the beginning. It takes some requirements, tests them and evaluates whether more requirements are needed. 

  • Pro: this model allows having an MVP (minimum viable product), which means that it gives an overview of the software in much less time.
  • Con: it can be more difficult to understand for those who have always worked with a Waterfall model.


Agile divides the final product into cycles. In this way, an MVP is reached quickly. 

One version is produced after another, with small modifications. It’s tested at each phase. That gives the opportunity to fix bugs on the spot, and to iterate the developed MVP.

The idea of the Agile approach is that development is collaborative, with developers, designers and the client in constant communication.

  • Pro: it creates products that function in a short period of time.
  • Con: if there is a lack of communication, it may not work properly.

At WillDom, we rely on developers with a great deal of knowledge about all SDLC. If you need advice, feel free to contact us at WillDom.com, or through LinkedIn.

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