Agile software development Life Cycle (2023)

Intro to Agile development Life Cycle

Modern software engineering is a highly complex team and cross-functional activity. For the correct and effective interaction of all participants in the process, one or another model, various tools and development methodologies are used. Taking an Agile workflow enables organizations to rapidly meet changing customer needs and achieve tremendous success.

Agile is a set of methods and practices for flexible project management in various application areas, from software development to the implementation of marketing strategies. The agile cycle is used to increase the creation speed of finished products and minimize risks through iterative execution, interactive cooperation of team members, and quick response to changes. Agile methodology is used by developers from Google, Netflix, Spotify, and other companies. Each company that works in this way follows certain Agile methodology steps. Examine the stages of the Agile Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) to determine if the process will fit your team's needs.

What is the Agile development Life Cycle?

The Agile Development Cycle, or Software Development Lifecycle Agile, is a way of integrating an agile project management methodology into the software design process. Agile Software Development Cycle is also known as the iterative software development lifecycle, as it is based on continuous learning from iteration. The Agile life cycle is a way to implement a set of planning and management practices based on iterative and staged execution of tasks as required by the project. Focusing on teamwork, the Agile system development lifecycle allows teams to work on a project and make changes and additions during software elaboration to effectively achieve a project goal.

Building software with an agile life cycle consists of small iterations - short cycles - sprints, which are essentially small projects and take from one to four weeks. At the end of a separate productive period, an analysis is carried out and reorientation to new tasks of the next Agile cycle. The number of sprints can be any. Also, Agile methodology is very wide and offers a few different Agile frameworks, that you can use. Scrum and Kanban are two of the most common.

Agile software development Life Cycle (1)

The Agile process flow

Let’s look closer at the Agile methodology phases. The Agile development life cycle can be divided into 5 different phases:

1. Concept / Purpose

It is the first of the agile SDLC phases. At this point, the purpose of the software and how the user interface will look are fine-tuned based on the requirements and interactions of the customer. It also identifies the business opportunity and the time it takes to complete the project. Thus, this Agile SDLC stage clearly clarifies the client's elaboration expectations.

2. Inception / Requirements

Agile software development process provides some initial requirements that have to be discussed and executed in this Agile stage, such as:

  • Identifying team members (designers and UI / UX developers)

  • Design modeling using architectural strategy and flowcharts

  • Collection of initial support and fund

Solving these issues in the inception phase in agile is very important to quality work on the project.

3. Iteration/ Development / Design

After the first agile steps, the team of specialists starts working on software engineering based on the first iteration. The goal is to create a working product with minimal functionality at the end of the first sprint, which is then continually changed before being finalized. At this Agile project phase, the following steps are performed:

(Video) Agile Software Development Lifecycle in 9 minutes! (The ONLY Agile SDLC Video YOU NEED...)

4. Production and testing

Following the agile process steps, the software is reviewed by the team for any defects, errors, faults, and the registration of winnings and losses, prior to the release of the final product. This agile product life cycle phase also maintains the current software version and feedback from the client and users. The customer and users are guided by how to use the software. These agile development phases end when the release is scheduled for retirement. Various tasks performed during the production and testing phase:

  • System testing and debugging

  • Completion of system development and user documentation

  • User guidance and training

  • Expand the system

5. Retirement

The agile development cycle diagram shows the next stage - retirement. The last phase is dedicated to the decommissioning of the system. Old or obsolete systems are removed and replaced with new systems/software, which has minimal impact on business processes and keeps the process running smoothly. Agile methodology software development life cycle implies various reasons for releasing a system during the retirement phase, including:

  • The system is out of date

  • The release is no longer supported

  • The system must be updated to a newer version to improve the business model

The agile model of software development life cycle concentrates on developing the right product with minimal cost and no error. The Agile Development Life Cycle is the continuous growth and improvement of the development cycle. It covers change until the client's expectations are met.

(Video) An Overview of Agile Development

Below, you can see an Agile workflow diagram. The agile process diagram shows how does this approach work. Use the agile system development and these steps to improve your business results.

Agile process model vs Waterfall model

There is some variability in the passage of the life cycle stages during the design and implementation of a product on the market. For each product, this happens in its own way, but in order to somehow manage the process, models of the software life cycle were formulated - a simplified and generalized idea of how the product develops. To better understand the principle and benefits of the Agile development process flow, we will compare it with another popular model - waterfall.

Waterfall model

A waterfall model is a model of the software elaboration process, the life cycle of which looks like a flow. The main essence of the Waterfall model is that the stages depend on each other and the next one begins when the previous one is completed, thus forming a progressive (waterfall) forward movement.

Teams of different stages do not communicate with each other, each team is clearly responsible for its stage. At any moment in time, you can easily understand whether this or that control point was passed or not, and whether the deadlines were met. For these reasons, long-term and particularly large projects spanning decades and involving numerous participating organizations are primarily guided by a waterfall.

The disadvantages of this model are getting the result after going through all the stages and the difficulty of identifying errors. It's hard to go back. It is not clear what to return: if a failure occurs at some stage, its consequences are visible only at the end. As a result of the completion of the steps, intermediate products are formed that cannot be changed in subsequent steps.


Agile development model

The agile SDLC model (iterative model) involves dividing the project into parts (stages, iterations) and passing through the stages of the life cycle at each of them. Each agile model phase is complete in itself, the set of stages forms the final result.

With each agile development stage, it approaches the final desired result, or the requirements for the result are clarified in the course of design. Accordingly, at any moment on the agile SDLC process, the current iteration may be the last or next one on the way to completion.

(Video) Agile Software Development | Agile Software Development Life Cycle and Methodology

Using an agile development process flow reduces the risks of global failure and waste of the entire budget, obtaining unjustified expectations and misunderstanding of processes by both the client and each member of the team. Agile process workflow also allows you to complete design at the end of any iteration (in a waterfall model, you must complete all stages first).


  • Detailed TOR is not required

  • At the start, there is no exact understanding of the budget, the estimate is approximate

  • You can start developing immediately after signing the contract

  • It is easy to change one or another implementation requirement if they have lost their relevance or the vision of the project has changed

  • The project cost is lower

  • The actual time spent is paid

Let’s summarize it.

Waterfall model

1. Requirement

2. Design

(Video) What is Agile? | Agile Methodology | Agile Frameworks - Scrum, Kanban, Lean, XP, Crystal | Edureka

3. Development

4. Testing

5. Support

Agile project lifecycle

1. Planning

2. Development

3. Testing

4. Demonstration

5. Implementation

The use of the Agile development lifecycle is justified in large projects, stretched out in time, with constant changes in user requirements; as well as in other cases where precise planning is impossible. The waterfall is suitable for small projects with well-defined requirements and the presence of specialists with the necessary qualifications. An excellent example of successful implementation of agile project management process flow - GudHub, an all-in-one, Low-code Platform. You can use the built-in toolkit in GudHub, run your applications in the platform cloud, or plugin an existing set of Agile requirements.

Agile software development Life Cycle (2)


Many teams that use software development lifecycle agile today combine techniques from different platforms with their own practices. Some teams are implementing the agile life cycle model and some rules (such as regular stand-ups, retrospectives, backlog maintenance, etc.), while others, such as agile marketing teams following the principles of the Agile Marketing Manifesto, are creating new agile practices.

In the future, with the product development lifecycle agile, teams will value their own performance over dogma. Openness, trust, and autonomy are slowly becoming valuable cultural resources for companies looking to attract the best talent and use them to their fullest. The experience of these companies confirms that teams can take different approaches to agile if they follow the fundamental principles of this methodology.

(Video) Agile SDLC Model, Scrum, Methodologies and Practices (Software Testing - Session 61)

In this article, we tried to give you not only an agile methodology phases explanation but also bring you closer to understanding what the agile software development life cycle is. We also brought you an agile methodology diagram with 5 stages of agile development and tried to prove its effectiveness by comparing it with another model.


What are the 5 lifecycle steps of an agile project? ›

The beauty of Agile is realized throughout a series of five stages, known as the software development lifecycle: Ideation, development, testing, deployment, and operations.

Is Agile a software development life cycle? ›

The Agile software development life cycle is the structured series of stages that a product goes through as it moves from beginning to end. It contains six phases: concept, inception, iteration, release, maintenance, and retirement.

How do I explain the agile methodology in an interview? ›

The Agile methodology doesn't tell you to stick to a set of prescribed steps or processes. It emphasizes adapting to the needs of your team, customer, and the changes in your environment and project requirements. The goal of Agile is to produce working results in a way that's repeatable and continuous.

What are the 7 phases of SDLC explain? ›

What Are the 7 Phases of SDLC? The new seven phases of SDLC include planning, analysis, design, development, testing, implementation, and maintenance.

What are the 4 principles of Agile? ›

The four core values of Agile software development as stated by the Agile Manifesto are:
  • individuals and interactions over processes and tools;
  • working software over comprehensive documentation;
  • customer collaboration over contract negotiation; and.
  • responding to change over following a plan.

What are the top 5 Agile principles? ›

There are 5 main Agile methodologies: Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP), Lean Development e Crystal.

Why Agile is not SDLC? ›

The key differences between traditional SDLC and Agile

A Waterfall SDLC focuses on delivering one complete product. With Agile, you focus on more achievable iterations, which helps guide your team's immediate actions.

Is SDLC better than Agile? ›

SDLC provides a systematic approach to building software towards successful product deliverables within the timelines, whereas Agile has faster development approach and speeds up the development process in an effective and efficient manner.

Which SDLC model is best? ›

The answer to the question “which SDLC model is the best?” is Agile. The Agile model is a combination of an incremental and iterative approach and is focussed on fitting in well with flexible requirements.

What is agile best answer? ›

Explain Agile in brief.

Agile is a popular set of methods and practices that majorly focuses on interactive development. Thanks to self-organizing collaborations between cross-functional teams, the requirements from their customers and potential solutions are obtained.

Can you explain agile process? ›

Agile is an iterative approach to project management and software development that helps teams deliver value to their customers faster and with fewer headaches. Instead of betting everything on a "big bang" launch, an agile team delivers work in small, but consumable, increments.

What is agile in simple words? ›

At its simplest, Agile simply means continuous incremental improvement through small and frequent releases. The term Agile is most commonly associated with software development as a project management methodology.

Is SDLC a waterfall or Agile? ›

Agile and Waterfall are both Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) methodologies that have been widely adopted in the IT industry. The Waterfall framework was designed to enable a structured and deliberate process for developing high quality information systems within project scope.

Which phase in the SDLC is most important? ›

The testing phase of the SDLC is one of the most important. It is impossible to deliver quality software without testing. There is a wide variety of testing necessary to measure quality: Code quality.

What is SDLC short answer? ›

Definition. The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a structured process that enables the production of high-quality, low-cost software, in the shortest possible production time. The goal of the SDLC is to produce superior software that meets and exceeds all customer expectations and demands.

What are the 3 C's in agile? ›

In this talk we'll introduce DevOps and discuss the three C's of DevOps: Character, Collaboration, and Community.

What are the 3 Agile frameworks? ›

What are examples of Agile frameworks? Scrum is the most common Agile framework. Others include the Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), Crystal, and Feature-Driven Development (FDD).

What are the 5 Agile values? ›

A team's success with scrum depends on five values: commitment, courage, focus, openness, and respect.

What is the best Agile process? ›

Scrum is the most popular and widely followed Agile methodology worldwide. The Scrum framework was designed to address two critical pain points of software development; speed and changing client requirements. In this approach, the software development project is executed in phases, each phase known as a Sprint.

What is the most important in Agile? ›

According to the Agile Manifesto, the more important values are individuals and interactions, working software, customer collaboration, and responding to change. Agile organizations use processes and tools, appropriate documentation, contracts, and plans to support the more important values.

Why agile methods fail? ›

According to VersionOne, the top three reasons for agile project failure are: Inadequate experience with agile methods. Little understanding of the required broader organizational change. Company philosophy or culture at odds with agile values.

Why Agile model is best? ›

Agile methods can help teams manage work more efficiently and do the work more effectively while delivering the highest quality product within the constraints of the budget.

When Agile is not suitable? ›

If one of the teams shows poor performance, this will definitely affect the overall result. If you have doubts as to your development team – this is when you should not use Agile software development, since it can backfire at you at any stage of the process.

Why Agile methods are preferred over SDLC? ›

One of the major benefits of an Agile SDLC is that it promotes cross-functional team collaboration and feedback sharing. This means different teams work in tandem to create better quality software while aligning with client requirements.

Is Agile more than just a process? ›

Summary: Agile transformation requires more than a change in process; it needs a change in mindset. In order to fully embrace agile and create a productive environment, you have to change how you think about priorities and failure.

Why is SDLC the best option? ›

SDLC is crucial because it breaks up the long and tedious life cycle of software development. By and large, evaluating each part of the development is much easier and it helps programmers concurrently work on every stage.

Which is better waterfall or Agile? ›

Waterfall is a better method when a project must meet strict regulations as it requires deliverables for each phase before proceeding to the next one. Alternatively, Agile is better suited for teams that plan on moving fast, experimenting with direction and don't know how the final project will look before they start.

Which phase of SDLC is most difficult? ›

Development in accordance with SRS

Developing the software and implementing the requirements is obviously the longest and hardest stage of SDLC.

What are the 5 important types of Agile methodology? ›

5 Important Types Of Agile Methodology (2022)
  • 1) Kanban.
  • 2) Scrum.
  • 3) Extreme Programming (XP)
  • 4) Crystal.
  • 5) Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)
5 Jul 2021

What is the purpose of agile? ›

The goal of Agile is to produce shorter development cycles and more frequent product releases than traditional waterfall project management. This shorter time frame enables project teams to react to changes in the client's needs more effectively.

What type of process is Agile? ›

The agile method is an iterative and incremental tactic for software design that utilizes constant planning, understanding, upgrading, team partnership, development, and delivery. The agile process is fragmented into separate models that teams work on, thereby encouraging flexibility to changes.

What is the agile model in SDLC? ›

Definition. Agile SDLC methodology is based on collaborative decision making between requirements and solutions teams, and a cyclical, iterative progression of producing working software. Work is done in regularly iterated cycles, known as sprints, that usually last two to four weeks.

What is an example of Agile? ›

Examples of Agile Methodology. The most popular and common examples are Scrum, eXtreme Programming (XP), Feature Driven Development (FDD), Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), Adaptive Software Development (ASD), Crystal, and Lean Software Development (LSD).

Why do you prefer Agile instead of waterfall? ›

More flexible

Once a step has been completed in Waterfall, it's difficult to go back and make changes. In contrast, Agile builds a working version of the whole project (an MVP) so the customer can shape how it's built.

Is Scrum is SDLC model? ›

Scrum is not an SDLC because it does not cover all of the generally accepted things that are part of an SDLC. There are no mention of common initiation or inception activities such as forming a team or identifying an initial scope or how the work will be funded.

What type of methodology is SDLC? ›

SDLC stands for Software Development Life Cycle models, and these are a variety of processes of design, development and testing that are used in the industry today. While there's no best or standout SDLC methodology, it's essential to be across the most common models that can be applied to projects within a company.

Which project phase is the most important? ›

Project execution and monitoring phase. This is the main and most important stage of your entire project management life cycle. It is the actual start of the project. This step is a result of the planning stage because it's dependent on what you have chosen to do during that part of the project's development.

Which SDLC phase is least important? ›

The Develop phase is what most users consider to be what software development is about. Paradoxically in many ways it is the least important of the phases, even though it will consume a lot of the resources.

What is the most important step in software development? ›

Software development stage 1: Analysis

In our minds, the analysis stage is the most crucial step in software development. The RTS Labs teams focus on this stage a lot, so we can get it right the first time.

How do you answer SDLC questions? ›

The Software Development Life Cycle, or SDLC, is a method for producing high-quality, low-cost software in the least amount of time. SDLC is a well-structured flow of stages that enables a company to swiftly develop high-quality software that has been thoroughly tested and is ready for production.

Why is SDLC important? ›

Importance of SDLC

It provides an effective framework and method to develop software applications. It helps in effectively planning before starting the actual development. SDLC allows developers to analyze the requirements. It helps in reducing unnecessary costs during development.

What is the purpose of SDLC? ›

Purpose. The purpose of an SDLC methodology is to provide IT Project Managers with the tools to help ensure successful implementation of systems that satisfy University strategic and business objectives.

What are the 5 stages of a project? ›

Five stages of project management
  • initiation.
  • planning.
  • execution.
  • monitoring and control.
  • closure.

What are the 5 steps of phases? ›

Most projects have 5 phases: initiation, definition and planning, execution, implementation, control and close. Each contains specific tasks that will help you reach your project goals.

What are the 5 phases of a project with examples? ›

The project management life cycle has five main phases. These are project initiation, project planning, project execution, project monitoring and control and project closure. Each of these stages will be examined in turn.

What are the 5 major stages in the product life cycle? ›

The product life cycle is the progression of a product through 5 distinct stages—development, introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. The concept was developed by German economist Theodore Levitt, who published his Product Life Cycle model in the Harvard Business Review in 1965. We still use this model today.

What are the four 4 major parts of a project life cycle? ›

The project management lifecycle consists of four steps: initiating, planning, executing, and closing.

What are most important 4 phases of project life cycle? ›

Planning, build-up, implementation, and closeout.

What are the 4 elements of a project? ›

The four basic elements of project management are further elaborated as:
  • Resources: People, equipment, hardware/software.
  • Time: Task durations, schedule management, critical path.
  • Money: Costs, contingencies, profit.
  • Scope: Project size, goals, requirements.
6 Nov 2009

What are the 4 types of project management? ›

A 2017 report published by the Harvard Business Review divides project manager personalities into four different types—executor, prophet, expert, and gambler [2]. Knowing how you or other project managers operate can be useful in discerning what kind of project management style is best for the situation.

Why is the project life cycle important? ›

The project lifecycle breaks project management into distinctive stages. These stages are important for planning as they define and guide the steps it takes to complete a project. In addition, these stages help provide a high-level pulse to ensure a project is progressing as planned.

Which phase of the project life cycle is the hardest? ›

Project Execution: A Project Management Phase. The project execution phase is often the longest and most complex stage in the project life cycle. If you're not careful, your team might get off track, run into communication problems, or stop following your carefully outlined procedures.

What are the 5 project key elements? ›

5 Key Elements To Success In Project Management
  • IDENTIFYING CLIENTS NEEDS. Accurately identifying the client's needs is the key to ensuring that you produce the right product. ...
  • PLANNING. ...
7 Sept 2021

How do you write a project life cycle? ›

The project management life cycle is usually broken down into four phases: initiation, planning, execution, and closure. These phases make up the path that takes your project from the beginning to the end.

Why is the 5 product level important? ›

Kotler's Five Product Level model provides businesses with a proven method for structuring their product portfolio to target various customer segments. This enables them to analyse product and customer profitability (sales and costs) in a structured way.

What is product lifecycle strategy? ›

Guide. The product life cycle contains four distinct stages: introduction, growth, maturity and decline. Each stage is associated with changes in the product's marketing position. You can use various marketing strategies in each stage to try to prolong the life cycle of your products.

What is product lifecycle concept? ›

A product life cycle is the length of time from a product first being introduced to consumers until it is removed from the market. A product's life cycle is usually broken down into four stages; introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.


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