Everything you need to know about


The software development life cycle provides an easy way to find out what stage the team is in, what resources are needed, and what the next step is.

Traditionally, any SDLC has six phases in a life cycle which include requirement gathering, analysis, design, coding, testing, deployment, and maintenance. Based on how the team wants to move into every phase, several SDLC models are introduced.

In this article, we will cover the most used, popular, and important SDLC models and which one you should pick for your project?

1- Waterfall

Let us start with the oldest model of SDLC, the waterfall approach developed in 1970 by Winston W. Royce, the model uses a linear approach in which one step needs to be completed before moving to another. 

This method is thoroughly documented and clearly defined with features for each stage of the software development life cycle. Once the software is fully developed only then it is tested against specified requirements and reworked. 

This model is easy to manage but Software companies typically require more flexibility than the waterfall methodology offers, it is difficult to go back for revision once the stage is over, which makes it challenging to fix any problem. However, due to its structured approach, it remains a strong solution for some types of projects.

2- Iterative

This methodology involves the waterfall model and loops through it several times in small increments, each stage is divided into several mini-projects that can add value as the product progresses. 

The Iterative approach can be implemented without the full list of requirements in the projects. A team only requires functional part requirements. The method goes through all phases of the SDLC, the process is repetitive and enables new product versions to be developed for each phase. 

The main benefit of the Iterative model is that it creates an early working version of the project which allows making changes less expensive. The major drawback of this model is the need for repeated iterations. The method should be used carefully, otherwise, the resources for unnecessary changes can be drained easily.

3- DevOps

DevOps is one of the latest SDLC methodologies and is adopted by many IT and software companies. As per the model, developers and organizational teams operate in full collaboration, often as a team. 

The benefits of this kind of approach are that it makes changes more flexible, thus reducing corporate risk and enabling to deploy higher quality and more reliable software products. This model is quite expensive to implement as there are limited DevOps expert developers available. Teams must have flexible resources to ensure an effective DevOps arrangement.

4- V-Model

The V-shaped SDLC model is a modification of the standard waterfall model. The v-model has quite a strict approach, with the next phase starting after the first phase. This model is also called Validation-Verification, as the test helps you to verify that all the requirements are fulfilled and that the team can move to another development phase for software.

 When using a V-model you can’t easily move a step back to fix or add anything. If you are not sure about the software’s final functionality or it has many features this model is not recommended as it lacks flexibility and has higher risks.

However, this approach can be a smart choice for projects where requirements are static and specifically defined, and early testing is required.

 5- Spiral

The spiral model is a fusion of the SDLC model Iterative and Waterfall with a significant focus on risk analysis. The entire process of development is divided into several small phases to be implemented by the teams. The challenge with the spiral model is to recognize when is the right time to step into the next phase.

The Spiral model looks appropriate for businesses that aren’t sure about their requirements or projects that are large, complicated, and expensive since it helps development teams to build prototypes earlier and incorporate user feedback in the project early. This model can be quite expensive for low and medium risk projects.

6- Agile

The Agile methodology, in particular, is one of the strongest approaches in software development. The Agile model involves designing, developing, testing, deploying, and reviewing of software approaches. 

This is a method that requires developers, management, and customer engagement for all ongoing processes. Agile is focused on on-going cycles of production. Typically, work is split into “sprints” for two or four weeks, in which responsible teams respond to their customers’ major needs and carry out their tests as they go. 

One of its drawbacks is that it is challenging to determine resources and development costs due to a lack of defined requirements. Agile works well, particularly for startups, where speed and flexibility are important.

7- Lean

The agile and lean strategies are interrelated as they all emphasize on delivery speed and constant improvement. The Lean SDLC approach is focused on waste reduction throughout all stages, including scheduling, expense, and scope. The methodology involves simply focusing on issues that can be done on time without multitasking.

The lean approach requires flexibility and a full revision of the working processes and its implementation cost is high. This approach is suitable for the organization with strict hardware requirements.

8- Prototyping

In this methodology, the design team concentrates on producing an early model of the software or application. The prototype working model won’t have full functionality.


They are not introduced in the market but are instead planned to be checked first hand by prospective customers to eliminate the problem before heading through development. This approach is best for emerging companies or new technologies.


This is what SDLC methodologies are about in a nutshell. The development of a software method ideally suited for your project may rely on factors such as timeline, cost, quality, etc but keep in mind that one solution may not fit in every scenario or business. 

Every method has its advantages and disadvantages; some projects are better carried out with a waterfall strategy, whereas others may benefit from flexibility from agile or iterative models.

If you are still confused about choosing the right SDLC approach for your project or business contact us. At Codelabs we have a team of experts that has great experience in implementing SDLC models according to your corporate environment.  


Naba Ehtesham


Naba is a Content writer with Engineering bachelor degree. She takes care of all the documentation and  a key person in making project strategy.

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