software development lifecycle

Software development is a delicate, highly-sophisticated process. Whether it’s a mobile app, web app, or custom software, cooperation is imperative. They say there’s no “i” in “team” and “they” are exactly right. To successfully complete the software development life cycle, all skill sets must be utilized: design, development, marketing. A software development company must pull together and support the MVP: the final app. In this article, we’ll break down every phase of the software development life cycle, which teams are utilized, and how to beat out the opponent with a top-notch app. 


Just like no good story begins with someone eating a salad, no successful project will begin without a good plan. Before you get cracking, you must make sure the project has enough people and financial backing. You must get buy-in from the design, development, and marketing team and agree on a realistic timeline. This ensures deadlines are hit. Ensuring capital for a project is another key aspect of the planning phase. A few items that must be included in the budget are labor, overhead, and advertising expenses. When you are finished with the plan, it is important to get approval from the internal team as well as the client. 

Design & Prototype

Next, the app development team begins designing and prototyping after discovering the customers’ wants and needs. The design typically incorporates the clients’ custom branding. This includes colors, fonts, and logos. This prototype will offer a shell of how the final product will look and feel. The minimum expectation include: 

  • An intuitive, engaging interface
  • Minimal disruptions to user experience
  • Relevant content

For a more in-depth guide on how to design an app, click here and here.  

By presenting a “first draft” of the app, developers are able to collect early feedback from the client. They can then make necessary adjustments. It’s important to involve the client in these early phases so employees don’t waste time on a design they don’t like.

Below is some creative inspiration from the talented designers at Sunflower Lab:

Build & Test

During this stage, the designers hand the baton off to the developers. This phase of the software development life cycle transforms the prototype into working code. Navigation and special features start to operate, and it begins to take the shape of the final product. Then, the software development team tests the product on desired frameworks and hardware. 

Mobile app testing helps in identifying and significantly reducing the bugs during the beta stage of an app’s development. When an app is thoroughly tested, it ensures there are no bugs or usability issues. This helps at a later stage when the app is released in the market. It saves on time and cost as well as helps retain the users, reduces users’ complaints and increases the chances of an app’s success. Mobile testing includes unit testing, performance testing and functional and acceptance testing. Thus, it is important to carry out mobile application testing using various frameworks which are appropriate as per the programming language being used.


Once the app has been designed and protoyped, built and tested, it’s time to pull the curtain on it! The next step in the software development life cycle is deployment. The perfected app is shared on Google Play Store and/or the Apple App Store. 

Measure & Market

The final stage of the software development life cycle is measuring and marketing. Once the app has been released to users, it is important to track its success. The development team measures the customer experience, usage, market penetration, and application performance through various analytical tools. Then, necessary adjustments can be made to improve performance.  

This phase also encompasses the creation of marketing material. Copywriters and marketers work together to develop descriptions, advertisements, manuals, and more to help support usage of the app. This improves the app’s visibility and increases the likelihood of it being largely adopted.

Mastering the Software Development Life Cycle

And just like that, you’ve completed the software development life cycle! Now, all you need is the perfect idea to get the ball rolling. Or, you’ve got an idea but aren’t ready to venture out of the app development nest just yet. Sunflower Lab is one of the one of the top 10 mobile application developers in Ohio and New Jersey. We are your go-to team for designing, developing, and marketing mobile apps across multiple platforms. From concept to deployment, Sunflower Lab is here to guide you every step of the way. Talk to an expert today!

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