SDLC Equals Project Success
It is a fact known widely among information technology professionals that more than half of all their projects experience substantial challenges like cost overruns, time delays and delivery of incorrect functionality. As many as 15% of these challenged projects resulted in complete failure.
Whether you look at the failure percentages or the challenged project numbers, they represent a glaring flaw in the way we tackle technology projects. While many are quick to point the finger at technologists themselves, research has uncovered the real culprit – process (Standish Group, 1996).
A project’s process or lack of process can create breakdowns in communication. In many cases, for example, the requirements of the users were not fully understood, and in the most egregious cases, not even sought at all. Research has shown that although the lack of a solid process isn't the only factor in a project’s success, it is a key factor and one that can be quickly changed to produce better results (Standish Group, 1996).
Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a broad term for the process used by technologists and project managers as they work to the completion of software development projects. The SDLC makes up a set of recommended steps that a software project should take on its way to deployment and beyond.
Certainly adherence to the SDLC doesn't guarantee project success anymore than dismissing it secures failure. Instead, SDLC establishes a documented and repeatable process that can be understood and used by all those working together on the project. It establishes general assignments and duties, a common vernacular, and a set of ground rules that can be adopted by the project team.
The term SDLC is commonly used to describe any number of software development processes. These processes differ greatly, ranging from very rigid and formal methods used by large teams for building operating systems and missile guidance software, to more flexible and flowing approaches for small teams work ing to build small business applications.
Regardless of the scope of the effort or the span of the process, each has a common set of steps used to develop software. These steps include project planning, analysis, design, implementation, and support (Satzinger, 2004). Together these steps give a team the marching orders they need to develop quality software. When software projects incorporate the aspects of the SDLC into their overall process, the likelihood of success becomes a reality.
John W. Satzinger, Robert B. Jackson, Stephen D. Burd, Richard Johnson, (2004). Systems Analysis and Design in a Changing World (3rd ed.). Boston: Course Technology.