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In 2020, the global software market was worth $390 billion. Its annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2021 to 2028 is between 11.3%.
The rapid transformation of business caused by the Coronavirus pandemic and the proliferation of technology in everyday operations is pushing the software product development industry.
This article will discuss the process of software product development, along with its models and methodologies. Understanding the different options for organizing development will help you better manage your resources and project implementation.
Table of Contents
Every software has a life cycle, or, the stages that a product goes through from its initial conception as an idea to its implementation and distribution.
Let’s dive a little deeper into each of these stages.
This is the first stage of the software product development process. It is the most critical stage as it determines whether or not to start developing a particular system.
During the planning phase, teams define system requirements, project schedules and define their goals. The stage can also specify any issues pertaining to an existing system and conditions for its improvement.
Saas application development depends mainly on planning. It helps figure out what resources are needed and approximate a timeframe, budget, personnel, and any technical aspects for successful project implementation. Lastly, the planning stage outlines potential security concerns, i.e., threats and overall system constraints.
This second stage includes analyzing the system’s functional requirements and how they will meet the needs of users.
During the phase, teams should gather and analyze the customer requirements and prepare a Software Requirement Specification (SRS) document. It contains information about the system with functional requirements.
Testing specialists often participate in the discussion to introduce their recommendations and, if necessary, adjust the software product development process.
During the design phase (also called the design and architecture phase), programmers and system architects, guided by requirements, develop a high-level system design.
Stakeholders and invited prospective customers discuss various technical issues arising during the design process. They determine the project’s technologies, team workload, constraints, timeframes, and budget. In the end, the stakeholders select a design solution that best fits their requirements.
The approved software product development design determines the list of software components to be developed, interaction with third parties, functional characteristics of the program, the databases used, and much more. Design, as a rule, is enshrined in a separate document — a Design Specification Document (DSD).
At this stage, to simplify the visualization of the design process, so-called notations are used — a schematic expression of the characteristics of the system being developed. The main notations are:
During SaaS application development, the project team needs a dedicated process to organize every development step. Many project management methodologies are used in the software development process. We will focus on two of the most common methods — Waterfall and Agile.
The main idea of the Waterfall model is that the separate stages depend on each other. Every stage begins when the previous stage finishes, thus creating a progressive (cascading) forward movement.
The parallelism of the stages in the waterfall model, although limited, is possible for entirely independent reasons. At the same time, the integration of parallel pieces still occurs at the next stage and not within one. Teams at different stages do not communicate with each other. Each unit is responsible for its stage alone.
This model has two disadvantages: getting the result after passing all the stages and the difficulty of identifying errors. Suppose a failure occurs at some stage of the software product development process. In that case, its consequences are visible only at the end.
This model dramatically fits into documents, for example, contracts and roadmaps with clearly marked control points. At any moment, you can easily understand which control point is passed and whether the deadlines have been met. For these reasons, long-term and substantial projects spanning decades and involving many participating organizations use waterfall.
Agile is a set of agile development principles (12 in total) and ideas. Key Agile ideas are:
One of the principles — interaction — implies that the customer interacts with the team. This allows for the exchange of experience between team members and the client and for each to participate in decision-making.
This approach reduces the risks of wasting time and money and increases the team’s ability to solve complex non-standard tasks with a high degree of uncertainty.
Although Agile projects are 28% more successful than traditional Waterfall software product development projects, they have drawbacks.
By involving everyone, a type of chaos can ensue, which affects every area of development. Therefore, when using Agile, you need to understand its limitations:
Many development teams use various subsets of the Agile project methodology:
Testers search for bugs in software and compare the system’s work, defined during the requirements analysis stage, with what is actually done.
During the testing phase, QA engineers discover bugs missed during the SaaS application development process.
If they find a defect, the tester draws up a bug report and sends it to the developers. The latter fixes it. Then, QAs repeat the testing procedure. However, in the time it takes to ensure that the problem has been fixed, the fix itself must be checked to ensure it did not create new problems in the product.
The QA test repeats until the product meets all the completion criteria. When the testing is done and there are no more severe defects, it is time to release the product and show it to the end-users.
If users find some post-release bugs, they report them to the development team. Depending on the severity of the problem, the development team has two options:
It is almost impossible to complete the deployment stage in one step.
Development teams usually divide software product development release into several phases. Each includes adding new features and making updates and fixes to existing ones based on usage analytics and client feedback.
During this stage, customer behavior and feedback are critically important. With each deployment cycle, you can offer a particular feature to a limited user pool. In this way, you ensure that the client is satisfied and the product operates with no bugs.
After that, you can extend the pool to a larger circle of users until it is accessible to your entire audience.
This is the final stage of the software product development process. The maintenance stage starts when the project is successfully implemented and installed in the end-user environment.
The main idea of this stage is to provide regular support to the system and add any new requirements or necessary updates.
This phase ensures that the program is fully functional, improves the software, and updates the system. Software developers should monitor the system and add the latest security measures to protect the program from cyber security threats.
What is more profitable when developing an application – to organize your own IT department or hire outsourcing developers?
According to Statista, 74% of businesses worldwide are outsourcing IT services. And 87% of companies are going to increase or maintain their use of IT outsourcing.
With the help of external teams, businesses can identify new technological solutions and speed up the development process.
Any HR officer will say that finding specialists in IT and web development, in particular, is not an easy task. Experienced professionals either already work full-time or command a high wage. You can hire young or inexperienced specialists, but there are no guarantees that they will not leave for a more lucrative role somewhere else.
The process of selecting programmers, designers, and layout designers is a long and dreary one. It entails tests, interviews, forming proposals, and waiting for answers, which can drag on for months.
It is not enough to hire people. It would be best if you also formed a working team with them. Conflicting situations are inevitable within working processes. Most likely, the IT department will bring together people of different backgrounds and completely different characters.
As a result, the department head will have to manage not only the technical but psychological part of the development process. This refers to finding the right approach to working with each employee, limiting the communication of poorly compatible people, and extinguishing all the minor conflicts at their root.
The topic of salaries and motivation is also relevant. Someone is ready to work efficiently on a wage while someone else needs specific plans, bonuses for the over fulfillment of goals, and so on.
In the case of an outsourced software product development team, these issues are for its management to resolve. The discussion of payment takes place within the provision of specific services under a contract, most likely with one person.
Suppose development and its results are needed as quickly as possible, or budget savings are essential. In this case, outsourcing software product development is by far the best option. But do not forget one important rule: there is the speed of work, cost, and quality, which operates independently of one another. That’s why choosing the right product development team is critical.
Software product development has its life cycle, stages, pitfalls, and successes. It is an area that has always been in demand, despite the fluctuations in the IT market in recent years and the introduction of various new developing technologies.
Remember that the process of software product development aims to create and maintain the performance, quality, and reliability of a software.
To create a robust application, you’ll need to identify and assemble your best IT team capable of taking you through all seven system development life cycle stages without straying from your requirements.
At Glorium, we provide sound software for businesses in a variety of industries. Our highest priority is assembling the most specialized software product development team capable of satisfying your business goals.
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