In this rapidly advancing tech world, system development is not just a trend; it’s a necessity. By creating new and improved systems for your business, you can tackle intricate problems, boost productivity, and gain a competitive edge. 

Do you know globally, numerous systems fail even before their completion? What can be the reason? Well, there’s more than one; there are many factors to consider, like unclear requirements, poor communication, insufficient testing, lack of user involvement, technical issues, inadequate project management, etc. 

But how do you build a goal-oriented, well-structured, and requirement-driven system? 

You can take a significant step toward success by implementing the System Development Life Cycle (SDLC). With its easily manageable stages, this structured approach empowers you to take control of your system development process, ensuring it remains goal-oriented and requirement-driven. 

In this blog, we will unveil complete details about the system development life cycle, what sequential steps it includes to help build software products, SDLC methodologies, benefits, and the best practices you can consider. 

Let’s get the ball rolling!

What Is The System Development Life Cycle (SDLC)?

The System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a well-structured strategy to plan, build, and deploy information systems. 

You can acknowledge it as a pathway that guides the comprehensive development process from an idea to a fully functional system. 

In layperson’s terms, the SDLC is an approach to creating a high-quality system ensuring all users’ needs are met seamlessly. 

Leveraging the caliber of SDLC, you can design and create top-quality software with minimal risks. The process aims at extensive planning to ensure the software fulfills customer expectations during production and ahead of it. 

What Are The 7 Stages Of The System Development Life Cycle?

The SDLC, a project management model, consists of seven stages, each demanding specialists from different departments and diverse proficiencies to achieve successful and best outcomes. 

Tip*: Project managers should team up with dedicated software developers with the knowledge and expertise to roll out unique products aligning with every need, expectation, and objective. 

Let’s unveil every phase of the system development life cycle with the associated tasks that should be attained. 

1. Planning

The base of the entire SDLC, the planning stage, if conducted as expected, will pave a flawless pathway, ensuring flawless execution of the upcoming steps. 

In this stage, the team lays the groundwork:

  • Address the issues the new system aims to aim and resolve, 
  • Identify stakeholders, including project managers, developers, executives, and end-users,
  • Check if the project is possible to build considering varied factors, like timelines, deliverables, and milestones, and
  • Point out the potential risks. 

Thus, this stage will define the blueprint of the system development, and the project manager will estimate time frames and deadlines for every phase of the system development life cycle (SDLC), ensuring faster time to market. 

2. System Analysis

In this SDLC phase, the objective is to understand the existing system (if applicable) and define the new system’s requirements. 

In this phase, the team members:

  • Accumulate information about the current system, business processes, and pain points leveraging the techniques, such as surveys, interviews, and document reviews,
  • Identify specific problems and requirements the new system will aim for, including the functional and non-functional needs,
  • Prioritize the identified requirements based on feasibility and significance, 
  • Document the whole analysis process in a System Requirements Specification (SRS) document. 

This way, the developers catch up with a clear understanding of the system’s purpose and the issues they are solving, which can help reduce the chances of rework or misunderstanding in the later stages. 

3. System Design

Now, after digging into the requirements your new system would aim for, it’s time to bridge the gap between the system’s needs and the actual outcome. 

The team of UI designers:

  • Get a deep understanding of the technical details, including software components, hardware, database, and their way of interaction. It’s like blueprinting the system. 
  • The UI designers craft prototypes and mockups to showcase layouts; user flows, and menus. 
  • The team will determine how data will be managed, accessed, and stored in the system, which involves defining the database, security protocols, and data structures. 
  • The details are then documented, incorporating UI mockups, diagrams, and data flowcharts. 

This way, by putting forth your time and effort, the development process becomes more efficient, smoother, and less exposed to errors. 

4. System Development 

In the System Development Life Cycle, the system development or implementation phase converts the planned system into reality, allowing it to interact with the real world. 

Now, the developers translate the UI mockups, prototypes, and data flow diagrams crafted in the design phase into code. The selection of programming languages and tools relies on the system’s specific needs and functionalities. 

In the development phase, the developers:

  • Write code for varied system components, ensuring the system’s proper functioning as crafted. 
  • Creation of modules, classes, and functions depending on the system’s architecture. 
  • Follow coding standards and best practices, ensuring code quality, readability, and maintainability. 
  • Integrate third-party functionalities or systems for improved performance. 

A gap between the system design and testing phase is caught in successfully completing this phase. The chief concern of this phase is preventing issues that can expand later in the SDLC. 

Tip*: Developers should perform collaboratively on varied parts of the system, leverage version control systems to avoid conflicts, and track changes, ensuring everyone is on the same page. 

5. System Development Testing

Now, it’s time to ensure that the software product is performing as expected and meeting user objectives. 

The testing process incorporates addressing the glitches, defects, and bugs, abd looks for vulnerabilities, etc., and demands more time compared to the development stage. 

Next, the developers fix the errors and make the system all set for launch. 

Thus, by conducting the testing phase, the businesses can catch up with bug-free and flawlessly performing system. 

6. Deployment

In the system deployment phase of SDLC, the team prepares the system for the launch and makes it available to the end-users. 

In this phase, the experienced developers:

  • Install the system and the hardware and software components on the decided servers or the user machines, and the data is migrated from the current system (if any) to the new one. 
  • Comprehensive training is given to the end-users to maximize the system’s benefits, which involves online tutorials, workshops, or user manuals. 
  • The system undergoes final checks after being deployed in the users’ environment. This digs out the compatibility issues or last-minute glitches. 
  • The system is launched gradually or all at once based on the system’s complexity and the organization’s preferences. 

This phase of SDLC ensures a flawless transition from the existing system to the new one with no disruption between business operations and user workflows. 

Tip*: Effective communication between the development team, stakeholders, and users is crucial in this phase to keep every participant informed about every process, locate concerns, and accumulate feedback. 

7. Maintenance

One last step of the system development Life Cycle is the maintenance phase, which is relevant to keeping the system running seamlessly after deployment. 

The team of developers:

  • Address issues users report and fix bugs by troubleshooting, analyzing errors, and implementing fixes. 
  • Roll out regular system updates to boost functionality, enhance security, and offer new features to users to meet their evolving needs. 
  • Monitor the system’s performance consistently to locate any bottlenecks or improvement areas, including metrics tracking. 

This post-development phase ensures that the system’s relevancy, security, and efficiency stay as expected.

How Is The System Development Life Cycle Different From The System Design Life Cycle?

The critical difference between the System Development Life Cycle and the System Design Life Cycle relies on their scope and objective. 

System Development Life Cycle

SDLC is a big picture incorporating the complete lifecycle of a system, from its conception to deployment and beyond. It consists of 6-7 steps: planning, analysis, design, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance. 

The goal is to offer a well-structured framework for the entire development process management, leading to a customer-centric and high-quality system. 

System Design Life Cycle

The process aims to design factors that are a part of the system development life cycle. Its objective is the system’s creation and functionality. It incorporates phases like initial design, detailed design, coding, testing, and maintenance. The goal is to define the technical specifications and system’s architecture to ensure the functional and non-functional needs are met as identified in the SDLC. 

FeatureSystem Development Life Cycle (SDLC)System Design Life Cycle (SDLC)
FocusThe entire lifecycle of an information system. Design factors within the broader SDLC.
ScopeBroad – embrace every stage from conception to retirement.Narrow – aims to determine how the system will be designed. 
StagesGenerally, 6-7 stages (planning, analysis, design, development, testing, implementation, maintenance).Often emphasizes various design stages (preliminary design, detailed design, implementation, testing, maintenance).
GoalOffers a structured framework for handling the comprehensive development process.Defines the system’s technical details and architecture.

Here, we have showcased the differentiation between both in a tabular form for better understanding. 

6 System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Methodologies

Now, jump onto the core methodologies of the SDLC. Following these, you can ensure the delivery of a desirable model embracing unique features and characteristics. Most project managers and developers consider their project needs and expected outcomes while choosing one of such approaches. 

1. Waterfall Model

This traditional method works on a linear sequence where every stage needs to be completed before jumping to the next one. 

Key Characteristics

  • Structured and Phased
  • Extensive Documentation
  • Limited Iteration
  • Testing After Development

Best For:

  • Clear and Stable Project Needs
  • Simple Projects
  • Aim at Documentation


  • Inflexible for Evolving Needs
  • Expect Potential Issues
  • Delayed User Feedback

2. Agile Model

This iterative approach pays attention to adaptation and flexibility. Projects are segmented into short sprints (development phases), with constant testing, feedback accumulation, and enhancement throughout the development cycle. 

Key Characteristics 

  • Iterative Development
  • Cross-Functional Teams
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Aim at Customer Feedback

Best For

  • Changing Project Needs
  • Complex Projects
  • Quick Prototypes


  • No Upfront Planning
  • Scope Creep
  • Heavy Dependency on Communication
  • Challenging Documentation

3. Iterative Model

This system development model creates the system in increments, with every iteration including design, development, testing, and user feedback phases. It permits early feedback and correction but results in rework if changes occur later. 

Key Characteristics

  • Incremental Development
  • Flexible and Adaptable
  • Aim at Feedback
  • Reduced Risk

Best For

  • Early User Feedback
  • Complex Projects
  • Evolving or Unclear Requirements
  • Risk Mitigation


  • Rework
  • Scope Creep
  • Not Good for Simple Projects
  • No Clear or Up-to-Date Documentation
  • No Proper Project Management

4. Spiral Model

The risk-driven model fuses the elements of iterative and waterfall models. The project advances through cycles including planning risk assessment, evaluation, and prototyping. 

Key Characteristics

  • Iterative and Phased
  • Combines Agile and Waterfall Principles
  • Risk-Driven
  • Prototyping

Best For

  • High-Risk Projects
  • Evolving Project Needs
  • Large and Complex Projects
  • Combination of Planning and Adaptability


  • Costly
  • Complexity
  • Overly Repetitive

5. V-Shaped Model

This rigorous system development life cycle approach focuses on verification and validation. Development and testing progress in a synchronized V-shaped. Testing plans are crafted with development stages, ensuring a deep testing process. 

Key Characteristics

  • Verification and Validation
  • Sequential Stages
  • Strict Quality Control
  • Documentation-Driven

Best For:

  • Strict Regulatory Requirements
  • Safety-Critical Systems
  • Well-Defined Requirements


  • Time-Confusing
  • Potential Rework
  • Inflexible for Evolving Needs
  • Limited User Input

6. Big Bang Model

It’s a high-risk, swift system development model with minimal planning or structure. Best for projects looking for reliability, quality, and scalability. 

Key Characteristics

  • Rapid Development
  • Minimal Planning
  • Uncertain Result
  • Limited Structure

Best For

  • Simple Projects with Clear Requirements
  • Learning Exercises
  • Proof of Prototypes or Concepts


  • Poor Quality
  • Not Scalable
  • High Risk of Failure
  • Maintenance Challenges

As you have read, using different system development methodologies depends on specific project needs, vision, and characteristics. Knowing the structures and variations of every mode can help you choose the one that best suits your project.

Benefits Of System Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

Following the SDLC methodology, you can ensure your system development projects’ efficiency, quality, and success.

Let’s explore more benefits of using SDLC:

1. Clearer Communication and Collaboration

The SDLC framework facilitates communication and collaboration between every stakeholder involved in the project, incorporating designers, developers, testers, and clients. Defined responsibilities, roles, and communication channels allow everyone to come on the same page throughout the process. 

2. Enhanced Product Quality

Following a well-structured and suitable approach embracing defined stages ensures the final product fulfills user needs and functions as expected. Thus, it leads to higher quality, fewer bugs, and a more reliable system. 

3. Reduced Risk

By carefully addressing and resolving potential risks during system planning and designing phases, SDLC ensures that the outcome meets user requirements and performs as expected. This ends up with fewer glitches, top quality, and a more reliable system. 

4. Cost-Effectiveness

SDLC may demand initial investment for planning and documentation, but it saves costs in the long run. By identifying problems and avoiding rework, SDLC ensures projects stay within resource constraints and budget. 

5. Improved Project Management

With SDLC, you can witness a clear pathway to complete the development process, marking phases, timelines, and deliverables. This promotes better resource allocation, project organization, and risk management, ultimately resulting in more efficient project execution. 

Essentially, SDLC offers a well-structured framework that takes system development projects from conception to deployment and beyond. Thus, you can deliver user-centric and best-quality software that meets business objectives. 

Disadvantages Of System Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

After learning about the advantages of the System Development Life Cycle, let’s learn about its drawbacks. 

1. Time Consumption

The structured SDLC model can sometimes be time-consuming, especially for complex projects. You may find the initial phases lengthy, delaying the product development. 

2. Diminished Flexibility

Some SDLC methods, specifically the waterfall methodology, can be inflexible and challenging to adapt to changing needs during the process. This may result in rework and delayed projects.

3. Limited User Involvement

In some SDLC stages, user involvement is less, which can lead to the unfulfillment of some users’ requirements if the input is not constantly researched and integrated. 

4. High Upfront Costs

A significant amount is required as an investment for varied stages of SDLC that some organizations wouldn’t prefer to get a try. 

5. Not Suitable for All Projects

As discussed, the SDLC may not be ideal for some projects, tiny ones with well-defined needs. 

Tip*: You must opt for the right SDLC methodology to mitigate these disadvantages and ultimately build a successful system for your business. 

While choosing one, consider your project’s budget, complexity, limitations, and level of flexibility needed. 

Best Practices And Considerations In SDLC

Consider best practices in the system development life cycle to avoid the challenges and relevant issues and make the best of this development process. 

1. Project Management Techniques

You can acknowledge effective project management as the backbone of attaining a successful SDLC. 

It includes the below techniques:

  • Transparent project goals and scope
  • Detained work breakdown
  • Use of valuable tools for resource allocation
  • Consistent project monitoring and risk handling
  • Clear communication channels

Outcome: Successful project delivery within budget and timeline. 

2. Quality Assurance And Testing Strategies

You should perform rigorous QA and testing to hand over the best-quality software. 

It includes:

  • Clearly defined testing criteria and objectives
  • Better testing methodologies implementation
  • Automating mundane tests to improve consistency and save time
  • Track defects and offer resolutions
  • Include testers in the early phases of the development process

Outcome: An efficient testing strategy assists in identifying bugs and fixing them, suppressing them so they get enlarged later. 

3. Change Management And Version Control

In software development, you can’t block the road of changes; they are uncertain, and you must consider them. For seamless change management, you need version control:

  • Create a transparent process for requesting, analyzing, and approving changes. 
  • Leverage the version control systems to track codebase modification. 
  • Convey every change to stakeholders effectively. 
  • Smoothly implement rollback process if caught up with unexpected issues. 

Outcomes: Well-organized development and reduced risk of new errors. 

4. Security Considerations In Development

While developing a system/software for your company, you should prioritize security. 

It includes:

  • Identify potential risks through security threat modeling.
  • Implement secure development rules and coding practices. 
  • Routine security audits and penetration testing
  • Creating security awareness among team members
  • Follow secure data transmission and storage practices

Outcomes: A more secure system less exposed to vulnerabilities. 

Why Choose EmizenTech For Software Development Services?

Partnering with a leading software development company will provide access to a team of skilled developers holding a proven track record of successful projects. 

Finding the one that best fits your project needs and objectives would be challenging in the crowd of numerous reliable companies offering custom software development services. 

You should opt for EmizenTech, one of the trusted software development firms with a decade of experience and an engaging portfolio. 

Why choose EmizenTech?

The company properly follows SDLC to build a high-quality software product that meets customers’ expectations and objectives. In turn, businesses can catch up with increased sales and revenue by launching such software. 

Here, we have listed some captivating points about the company that can convince you of your decision to pick it. 

Key Highlights of EmizenTech

  • Competitive Pricing
  • Clutch Awarded
  • On-time Delivery
  • Faster-time-to-market
  • Ongoing Support and Maintenance
  • Proven Track Record


While wrapping up, let’s briefly talk about what we have learned. SDLC provides a helpful framework for system development, but you can accept it as a one-size-fits-all solution. By understanding the advantages and disadvantages of the System Development Life Cycle, you can make a well-informed decision about how to reap the benefits of this development process, choosing the suitable model and considering the best practices on your way to building a successful system. 

Still, finding yourself in a muddle?

No to fret. 

Hire a software development company, put forth your budget, requirements, scope, and every relevant information, and sit back and witness the progress of the development process to a successful system. 

Connect with us and start your software development project now!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the SDLC important in software development?

The SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) is crucial because it provides a structured approach for planning, creating, testing, and deploying software. This helps ensure high-quality, efficient, and cost-effective software production.

What are the main 7 phases of the SDLC?

The main 7 phases of the SDLC are:
1. Planning
2. Requirements Analysis
3. Design
4. Development
5. Testing
6. Deployment
7. Maintenance

How long does it take to develop a system/software?

Typically, developing a system/software can take between 12 to 20 weeks, depending on the project’s complexity and scope.

How much does it cost to build a system/software?

The cost to build a system/software can range from $10,000 to $300,000, influenced by factors like project size, features, technology stack, and development team.

How do you choose the right SDLC model for a project?

Choosing the right SDLC model depends on project requirements, team size, client involvement, project complexity, and flexibility needed. Consider models like Waterfall for linear projects and Agile for iterative, adaptive projects.

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CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.