Just like everything in this world, any project has its beginning, development, and completion. Depending on the type, size, complexity, and goals of the project, it may include different numbers and kinds of project management life cycle phases. If you want to know more about the combination of stages that constitutes the basis of a successful project and why they all are important for risk management, client satisfaction, and the quality of the final product, continue reading this article.


Contents:

What Is Project Life Cycle?

Basically, the project life cycle is a sequence of the initiation, planning, execution, and completion stages, aimed at creating a good quality product. Even though projects differ from each other by their origin, goals, technical compounds, methodologies, specialists, and other parameters, they all include the aforementioned four stages.

All project life cycle models are, basically, variations of the classic initiation, planning, execution, and completion model.

The presence of these stages on the project may not be a 100% guarantee of its success on the market, yet if you take one away, the project will fall apart. This may seem like stating the obvious but without the initiation phase there will be no execution and completion, and without the planning stage, execution will most likely become a mess. The reason why all four stages must always be present on any project is the fact that the quality of the final product, fully depends on them all.

Main Phases of Our Project Life Cycle

Development companies and teams may create their own project life cycles based on the traditional model and adjust the number and essence of their stages.

At Light IT, we developed a six-step project life cycle that is a slightly more detailed variation of a traditional model. Our project development life cycle includes such phases as:

  • Client’s request met by a preliminary analysis of the client’s business goal;
  • Planning stage;
  • Development process;
  • Quality assurance;
  • Product launch;
  • Post-release assistance.

Two project life cycle models compared

1. Client’s Request

When it comes to outsource development, the initiation of the project begins with the client’s request that goes along with describing the idea of the future product, its uniqueness on the market (if there is one), business goals, timeframes, and more. The result of this stage is the extensive understanding what the client wants and needs, so the development team has enough information on how to fulfil the tasks, and, most important, how task realization can facilitate meeting the client’s demands. Using this information, our team can work in several planes of management and communication simultaneously, as well as select the right technical algorithms.

Business and startup owners, stakeholders and other project initiators are always interested in getting the quality results as fast as possible without spending enormous sums of money on it. Every software business case is unique and accomplishing all phases of project management step by step increases the quality of communication, tasks delivery, and the final product. In addition, it decreases time, money, nerves and other resources spent on transforming the idea into software product.

2. Planning Stage

The life cycle of a project that includes the planning stage has significantly less difficulties on the execution phase. This stage has several goals to achieve, which are:

  • Get a clear picture of what product the client needs;
  • Find out how soon the product must be delivered;
  • Estimate the budget and product feasibility;
  • Define the development team and the stack of technologies;
  • Choose an eligible project management plan, methodology and tools;
  • Write the Software Requirements Specification and other documentation;
  • Make a preliminary plan of the future product’s architecture, its basic components, correlations, etc.;
  • Create a technical description of the product main functionalities;
  • Develop a prototype or a product design concept, etc.

In terms of any IT project life cycle, the planning stage is valuable for both a client and a development team, because they receive the guidelines for the following development process and agree on the necessity of project status reports.

3. Development Process

To make the development process convenient for clients and specialists, and to increase the quality of the final result, we divided the execution phase from the traditional project life cycle model into the development process and quality assurance.

As soon as all required documentation, estimation and other results of the planning stage are ready, and the client is satisfied with the final offer, they agree to start the project. This moment is the beginning of the product development stage.

Again, depending on the project type and client requirements, this phase includes creating the product back-end and front-end architecture and components, providing testing, checking whether the chosen architecture, functionalities, and logics function the way they should, etc.

Even though we have a separate phase for quality assurance, our specialists constantly provide testing and quality control along with software development to make sure that bugs and flaws are found and fixed as soon as they occur.

4. Quality Assurance

We decided to make QA an independent software project life cycle phase because checking the quality of the product is equally important as its creation. There is a saying “a team working on a project without proper testing is doomed to redo it from scratch”, and since we never ever want to be that team, our specialists make sure that the quality assurance process starts at the planning phase, lasts after the software product is launched, and includes:

  • Review of requirements;
  • Test planning;
  • Writing test cases;
  • Unit testing;
  • Integration testing;
  • System testing;
  • Performance testing;
  • Security testing;
  • Cross-browser testing;
  • Cross-platform testing;
  • Updating test cases;
  • Regression testing, etc.

5. Product Launch

Even though our company is not among software development giants, it can never be an excuse for product quality lesser than top. We always strive to make every our project closure smooth, and at least two weeks before the product launch phase, all development team members get into a state of full preparedness.

We understand that even the slightest flaw in software may somehow damage our client’s business and brand reputation or result in consequences for the end user. So we check our software products inside and out on technical, aesthetical, logical, and other parameters to be 100% sure that the product is ready to be released into the business world, our client is fully satisfied with their product, and we can be rightfully proud with the result of our work.

The product launch process may differ depending on the client requirements; thus, we can provide the actual product launch, consult the client on how to do it correct, or just give the client their software, project documentation, recommendations, etc.

6. Post-release Assistance

We are always happy to provide our clients with post-release assistance services. In fact, we are always pleased when our clients come back to us when they want to update their product or add new functionalities or features to the existing ones.

Our developers always strive to write code as clean as possible and provide extensive documentation that will also be understandable for other software development specialists. Should a client want to hire their own experts for software upgrade and maintenance, or, for some reason, decide to use the services of another development team, these specialists will face no difficulties with the product.

Project Management Techniques

Some projects may be similar but there are no two absolutely identical ones. When it comes to the process of software creation – development, testing, and project management are equally important.

Companies that care about their clients and specialists use different approaches (also known as methodologies, methods, or techniques) to organize work on projects. The most widespread PM techniques are:

  • Agile and Agile-based Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban, Extreme Programming (XP), Lean;
  • Waterfall;
  • Hybrid (Waterfall + Agile);
  • Critical Path Method (CPM);
  • Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM);
  • Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • PRojects In Controlled Environments (PRINCE2), etc.

All these project management techniques have their strong and weak sides, yet they all prove to be highly efficient when used for the right type of project.

Final Words

It doesn’t matter what project life cycle stages are present on the project, because as long as they are aimed at organizing the workflow, improving communication between a client and a team, optimizing the development and QA processes, and making the client fully satisfied, they are all crucial.

Developing a good and detailed project plan is equally important as building the product, because there is no point in creating something that will be in poor taste, have weak logics and architecture, miss all possible deadlines, and the entire process will be a nightmare for both a client and a team.

The properly designed project life cycle guarantees smooth work on present and future projects, and indicates that a company using it strives to make the work of its team as smooth and comfortable as possible. So, if you like what you’ve read about our approach to organizing the work on our projects and have an idea for your future software but still have no team to make it real, don’t hesitate to contact us for productive future collaboration.


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