DevOps is the leading software development philosophy because it works. Because DevOps removes the barriers between Dev teams and Ops teams, software development is more efficient and collaborative. Following the tried and true product development lifecycle laid out by DevOps will help your startup build high-quality software.
The DevOps process includes 6-8 (depending on who you ask) phases including, planning and system requirements, design, coding and development, integration, testing, release, and monitoring. Each phase plays a key role in the product development lifecycle.
If you’re not comfortable venturing down the product development lifecycle on your own, there are reputable software development companies for startups who can support you through the process. These agencies provide the technical expertise and manage the project and coding for you. Their business is software development so they can produce a great product on accelerated timelines with the right resources to support your needs. Continue reading to learn more about the product development lifecycle and how it can positively impact the launch of your business.
Planning and System Requirements
The planning phase and system requirements phase is about outlining the large-scale design choices and intentions for later phases. You’ll decide what hardware and software requirements your software should work with.
It’s also important to create an SRS or system requirements specification that details the features and expected behavior of your application. Your developers will refer to this structure throughout the development process, to ensure all features are built to specification.
Development and Testing
Once the development phase commences, the development team will begin coding your application and building the product. The time to develop depends largely on the complexity of the software. A simple application with a small handful of core features takes far less time to build than a completely custom application with a complex infrastructure. Development timelines are also influenced by your team’s involvement and overall development resources. If your startup is sticking to a single freelancer or small in-house team, it might take months to years to get a first fully-fleshed out build. Software development companies for startups specialize in building custom solutions and allocating the right resources based on your needs and timeline.
With DevOps, new features are tested as soon as they are finished. As your team works to build the application out, each feature is tested for bugs and issues while the team moves on to the next item on the list, staying agile and working through prioritized tasks.
Release to Production
The day your startup finishes the first build of your custom application, is an exciting day. It’s been tested and is ready for deployment to a production server. Now you can begin serving customers and making real traction!
Releasing software to production can be a scary event. It’s important to automate the process as much as possible, because wrong configurations or improper steps can cause unexpected failures. As your user base grows, it becomes more critical the deployments go off without a hitch, so there’s no downtime or outages.
By this stage, your software product is ‘complete’ but in DevOps, the software is rarely ever finished. If you’ve been working with a freelancer or software development company, during development, this may be the point where you part ways. They’ve delivered a product through to production and now your internal team can take over. Or, you may stay contracted with them for ongoing support and regular maintenance. They’ll continue to add features at your request, roll out updates, make improvements, and apply security patches as needed.
As your startup phases away from active development, monitoring and maintenance become the focus. You’ll want to collect various metrics about the health of your application like error rates and service failures. Ensure the network is stable by watching packet loss, connectivity, and throughput.
Your startup should also set up an alerts system. If any metrics fall into an unacceptable range, you want someone notified immediately to respond to a possible incident. Rapid response times to these kinds of events are vital to keep customer trust and build your startup’s reputation.
Marketing and Analytics
The product development lifecycle is not limited to software development. Your business also needs to break into marketing and analytics to better understand your product’s niche and customer base. A tailored marketing campaign backed by real user data will generate far more leads and new customers. By understanding your customers and their needs, you can plan for future feature releases. A stagnant software rarely lasts. Iterating and adapting to the market based on user feedback is the only way to stay competitive and scale your business.
If you’re unfamiliar with DevOps or product development lifecycles, this overview is helpful but won’t be enough to get you started. What you need is expertise and guidance, especially if this is the first application you’ve ever developed. Software development companies for startups can offer you this level of support. Most of these agencies are already using a DevOps-style process.
You’ll work with their talented and experienced project managers and developers to plan and outline the system requirements. They’ll take over during the coding and testing, so you can handle other important business matters. A reputable agency has pushed builds to production many times and knows how to manage the process.
If you’re considering a software development company to successfully lead your startup through the product development lifecycle, then Modern Launch would love to help. We’re passionate about building best-in-class custom software for our clients. We leverage our experience and proven processes to bring your software needs and visions to life.
We hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to us.
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