Software product development is increasingly becoming a valuable part of our existence as it is now integrated into almost every aspect of our lives. With the high demand for software solutions and products, the software development industry is now among the fastest-growing areas year over year. According to a study done by Gartner, the custom development industry has exceeded $70 billion valuations, currently expanding at a rate of 5 percent per year.
But, it is advisable to follow the ideal process to enjoy the full benefits of software development in your business. It involves following the right processes from the ideation stage through the deployment stage and maintenance. Here we look at all the key things you need to know about the software product development process.
Why Follow the Software Development Process?
Following the proper process in software development offers several benefits to your business. It is a valuable tool in ensuring that a large team of experts is able to work together through a collaborative approach. Adopting such an approach allows you to deliver software products with fewer defects, better value, and shorter delivery times. Thus, it is important to plan, structure, monitor, and control the whole software development process. The process provides numerous benefits, including:
The right software development process allows every member to understand the requirements of the project. All the members involved in technical and non-technical activities are able to get the necessary information on what needs to be done at every stage.
Faster identification and resolution of issues
The software development process allows companies to identify issues and come up with resolutions much faster. This helps reduce the chances of costly losses. It also ensures the delivery of solutions that meet the needs of its customers.
A proper process in software development helps identify potential risks by brainstorming ideas and designing a visual concept. This enables the company looking to develop a software product to avert potential risks in the entire process.
Better product quality
Software development life cycle is a complex process that requires maximum attention. Following the right process in software development helps deliver better product quality as each activity is carefully performed.
The software development process involves conceptualizing ideas, analyzing the requirements, and building visual concepts and prototypes before the actual product. This ensures the delivery of a solution that meets customers’ expectations and needs.
Efficient and improved project control
Since software development involves a step-by-step process, it is easier for the leaders to get regular and timely updates on the progress of the project. It also enables the project manager to identify mistakes or risks in time and respond in time.
Effective use of resources
The software development process involves analyzing the requirements, including time, resources, and estimates. This ensures better use of resources in delivering high-quality software products.
More accurate estimates
This process enables you to acquire accurate estimates in your project. With more accurate estimates, it is easier to determine the approximate cost, profit, and timeline.
A software development plan should provide a timeline, resource allocation, and the responsibilities of all the members. With clear responsibilities, the development process is able to run efficiently. It also helps avoid delays in product delivery and task prioritization.
Software Product Development Methodologies
Companies may choose to adopt different models in their software development processes, depending on the solution or the available resources. Thus, there are many software development methodologies, and each provides a different set of benefits. Some of the common benefits under these methodologies include enhanced process efficiency, continuous iterations, improved scalability, and minimized risk. The following are the common software product development methodologies used in most software development processes.
This is an iterative approach that involves the creation of new system releases. It helps develop and make a product available to the customers within a few weeks. The agile method allows more features to be tested, upgraded, and later tested after adjusting it according to the customers’ feedback. This methodology helps save time since every team works on a specified task in parallel to others. A parallel approach allows you to check product quality throughout the development process, ensuring that it meets the specified requirements.
Allows transparency among the team members as it promotes direct and frequent communication
Enhances time to market while reducing wastage
Improves software quality by allowing for timely identification of issues and fixing
It allows stakeholders to identify a working product over time
Promotes customer satisfaction by ensuring continuous and rapid delivery of functional software
Allows implementation of last minutes adjustments
Requires constant communication
It does not emphasize necessary documentation and designing
It isn’t easy to estimate effort
High chances of addition of unauthorized functions or features in a product or the requirements
Increases cost in development as it requires testers in the entire project
The waterfall is among the most popular and earliest methodologies in software development. The method includes a set of sequential steps that include ideation/conception, initiation, project analysis, design, development, testing, implementation or production, and maintenance. Waterfall enables the team to accomplish different goals, which makes it suitable for projects with clear requirements. It also works better for projects where accurate, precise, and detailed documents describe the process.
It is more effective in projects with clear requirements
Simple to implement and easy to understand
It doesn’t require highly experienced teams or project managers
Help save time in on task implementation
Allows for easy analysis and testing
Costly and slow
Not ideal for complex projects
It doesn’t work for projects that require making changes
It doesn’t allow developers to go back and make changes or modification
This is somehow similar to the Agile model, but it is usually used to manage the process at the large-scale level. Scrum applies an incremental approach that follows the principles and values of the Agile model. Besides, it also covers additional specifications and definitions by considering critical practices in software development. Most principles in this model come from the Agile model, especially those that are related to fast increments and customer feedback.
Promotes transparency through daily meetings, which keep communication clear and open to all stakeholders
Decision making requires joint efforts and team collaboration
Allows you to change the direction or scope of the project at any time.
Reduces the time to the market
Requires limited planning
Implementation of changes can be done at little cost
If members abandon the project, it may lead to an adverse impact
Relatively difficult to adopt the framework for large teams
Lack of individual’s cooperation increases the chances of failure in your project
Requires the expertise of many technologies and tools
In conclusion, the software development process plays a key role in determining the success of the project. But, it is good to understand that it differs from company to company as different organizations adopt various methodologies in implementing their plan. The right methodology should help improve the software development process, allowing the delivery of high-quality products and solutions that meet customer needs. Besides, software product development is a step-by-step process that requires great attention to avoid risks and avoidable losses.
Thanks & Kind Regards,
Thanh (Bruce) Pham
Saigon Technology Solutions
A Member of Forbes Technology Council
Mobile: (+84) 913 666 227
Skype: tienthanh.pham (Thanh Bruce Pham).