A system development life cycle is the step-by-step iterative application system development processes of planning, analyzing, designing, coding, testing and deploying an information system.

Often confused with the software development life cycle, system development life cycle involves a rather complex process of identifying the individual components and how they interact with each other to create a unit system.

These are the main stages in System development lifecycle.


Here, you identify the specific project you want to embark on, the problems it would solve and the resources available for its execution like human resources and funds.

At this stage, you would also need to understand the competition so that you can develop a competitive system.

It is also important that you identify an alternative project line which could change should your client lose interest in your current system.

System Analysis

In this stage of the system development lifecycle, developers conduct a thorough analysis of the planned system for feasibility concerns of the project.

Basically, this step ensures the proposed project is organizationally, socially, technologically and economically feasible.

Once the client approves the results of the analysis, you can proceed to the next stage of design.

System Design

In a nutshell, the system design phase deals with the individual components of the system as security levels, architecture, modules and the data that goes into the whole unit.

In this step, project managers generally design how the system will function, its features and how it addresses security challenges that arise from its usage.

A technical overview can then be produced to depict how the system will function to perform all its functions.

Implementation and Deployment of the System

During this stage, system developers invest a significant time of their schedule in coming up with the code and logic that will end up defining the specific functions of the system and how it resolves its internal and external challenges.

It is also at this stage that all the individual components of the system as organized in the design phase are harmonized to make the system complete.

If the design has hardware components, the system is ready for commissioning at the site where it should be operating from. It is also at this stage that its users are trained on its use and how to troubleshoot common faults in the system.

System Testing

Like in the case of a ball-point manufacturing, the cap, ink cartridge, body and ball-point are separately manufactured and a unit test done on each. Once all the components are done, a system test is conducted to ensure everything integrates smoothly.

In system development lifecycle, the four major tests conducted are the unit test, Integration Test, system test and acceptance testing.

It is also vital for the clients so that they can see where their money goes to, and if whatever they are served is that which they ordered.

System Maintenance

This is a life-long process that ensures the system remains up-to-date. Old hardware and software are replaced during this process, and new technologies of input-output architecture can be adopted.

A system development lifecycle not only ensures the technical aspects of the development are procedurally executed. It also makes it possible for the system development to proceed even with a change in management.

The SDLC also keeps the team focused on the goal of the project as it involves the iteration of certain steps throughout the development cycle stages.


System Development lifecycle is a continuous process that ensures Information Systems work harmoniously as planned and that available technologies are harnessed to improve the system’s overall performance.

The entire process is laced with iterative procedures that are geared to ensure that the final system performs the exact duties that its developers or client envisioned at the onset.


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