Development lifecycle

The finished product of a website, app or other piece of software doesn’t always tell the story of the journey of development required before it reaches the consumer. This journey is referred to as a Development LifeCycle, or Waterfall Model.

The stages of this model are as follows:

  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Maintenance

I often follow such models when developing projects, no matter how big or small. I find that even the smallest projects will need attention in these 5 areas, as it’s impossible to know what the end product (like a simple website) will look like. This article will explain a little about these stages, and specifically how I interpret them in my day-to-day working day.

Analysis

A website or app requires the skills of many people to make it successful throughout it’s lifecycle, and in many ways the analysis/planning part is the most crucial.

This is where the project manager and/or web developer will meet with clients and have an easygoing kick off meeting. My main goal is to understand exactly what you want, suggest things you possibly haven’t considered, and add this to a project plan.

Design

After the project plans have been agreed internally and with clients, then begins the wire framing and design stage. Front-end developers and designers will work together to get mock ups ready for clients to view and sign off before proceeding to development.

Development

Once the visuals have been seen and approved, they’re passed to the back-end development team, who will put the site together with the CMS or other system I recommended.

Oh and if you’re wondering about the difference in back and front end, read a post I made recently.

Testing

In my experience this is the part that many companies don’t get right. Testing is important because in recent years it’s been important to make sure sites are responsive to all screen sizes, devices, and web browsers.

This isn’t the clients job to sort out, it’s the developers. A lot of trust is placed in developers to finish this properly, so I make every effort to ensure it’s done.

Maintenance

Once the project is handed over to clients and tested correctly, the development lifecycle isn’t over. Technology moves so fast it’s important that systems and websites are kept up to date for all sorts of reasons like security, designs going out of date, new requirements etc.