SDLC Process

Software Development Life Cycle

The structure applied in the advancement of a software product is termed as a Software Development Life Cycle Process. Various models exist for SDLC each explaining approaches to a number of tasks occurring during the process.

SDLC ensures that the systems during their advancement and growth satisfy the desired requirements and support the required functions through its method. It offers a structured planned approach, handling IT projects commencing with the validation for starting the development of the systems or attempt for preservation and thus finishing with the system outlook.

A Technical writer is responsible for creating various types of documents during each phase of SDLC. These will be considered as we go through each phase.

Process Activities/Steps

The processes of Software development consist of various steps as discussed below.  They are accounted as the sequential steps in the Waterfall Model but other models may merge or recombine them in various ways.

  • Marketing
  • System Architect
  • Development Team
  • Testing Team
  • Documentation Team
  • Release Team
  • Client

1. Marketing

Marketing is the first phase of Software Development Life Cycle. The marketing teams are responsible for generating customer awareness of the services or products through their marketing strategies and techniques.

During this phase, a technical writer creates documents such as

  • Company profiles: Documents consisting brief description about (1)company’s history, (2)figure and quality of its physical, human and financial resources, (3) structure of management and organization, (4) previous, present and future expected performance, and (5) company’s reputation, and status of its services and products.
  • Brochures: This is a document consisting information representing the company with functions including classification, informative and advertising functions.
  • Marketing content: Document containing the marketing strategies of a company.
  • Business proposals: A business proposal is a written format by a seller to a potential client including company’s profile, its services and products provided, authenticity and reliability of company to gain client’s confidence.
  • Request for Proposal (RFP): In a procurement process, a request for proposal (RFP) is an initial stage granting an invitation for suppliers to present a proposal on a particular service or product, often through a bidding method.
  • Website content: Technical writers often create documents required to be pasted on the web.
  • Marketing Collateral: Companies make document for sales and marketing strategies to advertise and promote their services or products. Examples of marketing collaterals are white papers, sales brochures, presentations, catalogs and proposals.

2. System Architect

  • System Architect is the high-level designer of a system who constructs the system into various levels to carry out required tasks identifies
  • They set up an essential structure of the system, classifying the core design characteristics which are difficult to alter
  • This phase focuses on the software structure, interface building and data requirements

 

Some of the documents created by technical writer during this phase are :

  • Functional Requirement Specification (FRS): A functional Requirement specification is an official document which describes in detail appearance, proposed capabilities and communications of a product or service developed by a software developer with the users.
  • Software Requirement Specification (SRS): A software requirements specification (SRS) is a complete description of the proposed idea and software environment under growth. The SRS illustrates about the future performance of the software.
  • Flow Diagrams: A flow diagram is a graphical way of presenting, describing, or analyzing a process. The flow of the process is described in the documents.

3. Development Team 

  • Development Team boosts the efficiency of work groups, by enhancing role and aim identification in addition to interpersonal processes
  • Programming of the software is done in this phase
  • The systems specifications and requirements from the System Architect phase are transformed into machine readable computer code

 

 During this, a technical writer creates documents such as:

  • Application Program Interface (API): An application programming interface (API) is an implementation of an interface which enables communication of a software program with other softwares in a way similar to that of interaction between computers and humans.
  • Technical Reference Guide: Document containing instructions for execution, installation, technical support, troubleshooting, operation, maintenance, parts list,  and training requirements for the effective deployment of a system, process, equipment, or machine.
  • Software Guide: Document containing instructions for the softwares used in the development process.

4. Testing Team

  • Testing involves technical analysis and investigation revealing quality and performance of the product in regards to the perspective in which it is expected to function
  • Testing is the process of recognizing quality, security, accuracy and entirety of developed computer software

 

The documents created during this phase are:

  • Software Test Plan (STP): A software test plan is a document describing detailed sequential approach to software testing. This plan usually consists of a detailed illustration of the ultimate workflow.
  • Test Case Document: Document consisting of a precise executable test that inspects all the operations such as system’s input and output thus giving a comprehensive depiction of the steps to be implemented, the outcome to be targeted and other aspects to be considered.
  • User Acceptance Testing (UAT): It is a black-box testing carried out on a system (such as a part of software, mechanical parts) prior to its release and delivery.

5. Documentation Team

  • Documentation is any communicable material (such as text, video, audio, etc.,) used to describe some attributes of a product, system or procedure
  • Software Documentation is a written guide to computer software. It explains its operation, its use or step by step execution
  • During software development, only code is not sufficient. Some text must be present to illustrate the different aspects of its expected execution process. Considering this, documents are created by this team which depicts the entire features related to the product
  • This documentation is typically embedded within the source code itself so that anyone can access it while traversing
  • Drafting all this content in documents for a specific product is done by Documentation Team
  • The documentation team have both positive and negative approach

 

Some of the documents created by technical writers during this phase are:

  • User Manuals:  This is a document which consists of information required to utilize a particular product or system to achieve preferred results. Usually described in this document are product or system limitations, allowed inputs, projected outputs, capabilities, probable error messages and specific instructions.
  • Help Files: The document containing help related to a particular problem encountered while working with an application.
  • Installation Guides: This document contains information which guides user to install particular software with its installation process. This can be a installation wizard, manual guide or any other similar process depiction.

6. Release Team

  • Release Team includes all the processes  which transfers  a product document to the customer site
  • It must determine the resources required to operate at the customer site and collect information for carrying out subsequent activities of deployment process

 

Some of the documents created during this phase are:

  • Release Notes:  These are documents which are attached with software products often during the development phase or test phase of the product. But for the products that are already delivered to the clients, this is a supplementary document for referring during any error or changes made to the product.
  • Delivery Notes: Delivery note is a document, issued by the suppliers, which describes about the delivery of goods, mentioning their quantity and type.
  • Technical Support Document: Technical support is a document having a variety of services providing support with modern technology products such as televisions, mobile phones, computers, or other electronic or mechanical goods.
  • On any alterations, the client provides potential updates to the marketing team which in turn sends to the respective team. Until the client is entirely content with the product under development, this cycle continues
  • The marketing team gathers the client demands and requirements and forwards it to the development team to develop the product. Once the product is complete, the release team delivers the product to the client.

7. Client

 

  • On any alterations, the client provides potential updates to the marketing team which in turn sends to the respective team. Until the client is entirely content with the product under development, this cycle continues
  • The marketing team gathers the client demands and requirements and forwards it to the development team to develop the product. Once the product is complete, the release team delivers the product to the client.

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