Most important phase in a software project development cycle

In the previous tutorial we spoke about five steps in the software project development cycle

  1. Requirement gathering and understanding
  2. Software application design
  3. Coding
  4. Testing
  5. Implementation

Out of these the most important phase in the complete project development cycle is the requirement gathering and understanding phase. If this phase goes wrong then you can well imagine that other phases will get affected automatically. Wrong requirements mean a wrong application design, wrong coding, testing and finally during the implementation phase the project will get criticized because it was built all wrong. You can think of the requirement gathering and understanding phase as the story building for a film. If the story goes wrong and makes no sense the audience will reject the complete film and all the effort which went into the development of the film will get wasted.

After the requirement gathering phase is completed the next important phase is the software application design phase. From software application design we do not mean designing the look and feel of the software. Although the look and feel of the software is equally important as any other feature of the project, this design phase covers the architecture as well as the UI design of the application. Some of the important goals which should be kept in mind during this phase are

  1. The ease of use of the application - When a user starts using your application he/she should find it easy to use and no or very less training should be required for making people comfortable using the application.
  2. Clean look and feel of the application - The ease of use of the application also depends on the overall look and feel of the application. If your application screens are not clean and information is scattered here and there then the users will have problem using the application.
  3. The extensibility of the application - You should always keep in mind that software projects have a long life. They are not built as use and throw applications. They are built to be able to solve a given business problem for many many years. Therefore when designing the architecture of the application the ability to extend the application should always be kept in mind.
  4. The speed of the application - It is very important that while designing the application the real usage scenario should be known. For example when you call some customer care and ask a question you expect the answer quickly. When they put you on hold to find the answer you feel restless. In the same manner if you design a software application which gets slow with increase in the data it is bound to irritate many people. Therefore the overall speed of the application is a very important aspect which you should keep in mind during the software design phase.

Similarly other phases of the software development cycle have their own importance.  It’s important that your development team writes good code as that will ensure that the application will end up having fewer errors. The testing phase should be handled properly to make sure that the software that has been built is error free. Then finally the implementation phase is important because your software application might be replacing some existing system and it will be important that this transition is done effectively.
In a nutshell you can say that all the phases in the software development cycle have their own importance. But still we would conclude this tutorial by saying that if you make a mistake in the software requirement gathering phase all other phases lose their meaning and the project is bound to fail.

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