Software development follows specific sets of necessary steps that help build a successful product. Let’s dive deeper into how to launch your project by looking at the software product lifecycle management practices.
For several reasons, a software development team would need a product manager to oversee the strategies for launching a software product. They are the main point person when it comes to ensuring that the vision for the product translates into fruition for its intended market. And they will also ensure to observe the software product lifecycle management practices.
In this blog post, we will discuss the steps in software product lifecycle management and why they are important in development. We will also identify some best practices in managing the software product lifecycle along each step.
Steps in Software Product Lifecycle Management
Software Product Lifecycle Management (SPLM) refers to the process of managing the development, maintenance, and retirement of software products. It is an essential aspect of software development and management, as it helps to ensure the successful delivery of software products that meet customer needs and expectations.
The planning phase involves defining the goals and objectives of the software product. In this phase, the team addresses the need for the product. What does it solve? Who will the product help?
As such, the planning phase would be the perfect time to identify a target audience. Doing so makes it easier for the team to account for what the audience needs. Additionally, to determine if there is a market for the product.
This phase also includes conducting a feasibility study that aims to quantify if such a product is realistic. Furthermore, a business analysis would also be helpful in setting the parameters for the scope and limitations of the product. This would usually include what the product can or cannot do. Once all of that is set up, it’s time to move to the next phase.
#2. Requirements Gathering
In this phase, the software development team works closely with stakeholders and customers to gather requirements, analyze the requirements, and create a product backlog.
After identifying the goals, objectives, scope, and limitations of the product, it’s time to translate those descriptions into requirements. This is where a Product Requirements Document (PRD) becomes necessary. By producing this document, the team will be able to have a detailed breakdown of the requirements and the tasks that go with them.
Upon breaking down the requirements, keep in mind the target audience and how each functionality or feature will yield a favorable user experience. Ultimately, this phase is critical in ensuring that the software product meets the target audience’s needs.
For the design phase, the software development team creates a detailed design of the software product. These designs and specifications would be fundamental in supporting the breakdown of the requirements from the PRD.
The team will create a software architecture design that maps the product skeleton. Along with the architecture design, the team will also build design prototypes for the user interface. Hiring a UI/UX designer or a well-rounded front-end developer will be beneficial in this phase.
The design phase also includes defining the data models and development. Then, it proceeds to test processes that will be used to build and validate the product.
#4. Development and Testing
In this phase, the software development team builds the software product based on the design and requirements. This phase would involve code writing for the product, validating, and fixing any defects or issues discovered during testing.
Most of today’s software development teams use robust development methodologies like Agile to build software products. In this case, both the development and testing phases always go hand in hand.
One of the best development practices is implementing unit testing before merging it with other people’s code. This step ensures that the code works and validates if the output meets the user’s needs. Peer reviews would also ensure that each member follows the established coding standards of the team.
Upon successful unit testing and reviews, the developers will merge their outputs and hand over a testable product version to the QA specialists.
During testing, the software development team thoroughly tests the software product to ensure that it meets the requirements and works as intended. Usually, testing includes performing user acceptance, regression, and performance tests to validate the product.
In this phase, the team deploys the software product into a usable and testable version; it does not have to be live. In line with product management, the stakeholders occasionally perform beta testing or hold a group of potential users to try the product.
Essentially, the goal of this phase is to have a version of the product that has already undergone development, testing, and validation. So, whether it’s live for the public, customers, or a specific group of people, the deployed product should work as intended for its target users.
Furthermore, this phase also includes training users and documenting the product.
The maintenance phase subjects the software development team to provide ongoing support and maintenance for the software product. This would include fixing bugs, updating the product to address changing customer needs and performing security and performance upgrades.
For most software products, a retirement phase may not always be necessary. But just like businesses, there should also be an exit strategy when the time comes.
In this phase, the software development team retires the software product when it reaches end-of-life. This phase includes archiving the product and transferring knowledge to the development team for future projects.
The Importance of Software Product Lifecycle Management
To its core, software product lifecycle management ensures that the software project launches to the market with respect to its target audience. This guiding process guarantees that the software product meets customer needs and expectations.
Product management helps control costs and avoid scope creep when done right. Software development is complex and, at times, can get overwhelming. When you have a good product manager and plan, it’s easier to control resources and processes to align with the product goals. So, in the end, you will deliver the software product on time and within budget.
Moreover, software product lifecycle management facilitates effective communication and collaboration between development team members and stakeholders. This way, the software development team improves product quality and reduces the risk of defects and issues.
Hire Software Development Experts from Full Scale
Software Product Lifecycle Management is a critical aspect of software development and management. By following the steps and best practices outlined in this guide, software development teams can ensure the successful delivery of high-quality software products that meet customer needs and expectations.
But if you need help from software development experts to make things easier for you, you’re in the right place! Full Scale is a great software development company to work with.
At Full Scale, we have a pool of talented professionals for your software development needs. We have software developers, project and product managers, QA specialists, technical writers, designers, and more. These experts have undergone a meticulous recruitment process so we can provide our global clients with the best.
Here’s how you can hire software talent from Full Scale: