The Purpose of the SDLC
Depending on what industry you work in the SDLC may stand for Software Development Life Cycle, Systems Development Life Cycle, or one of many variations on the name. What most Business Analysts can agree on is that the SDLC is a structured, standardized set of processes for developing and maintaining business solutions through the development life cycle of a project.
Software development efforts go through a series of detailed and iterative processes that are divided into initiation & planning, analysis, design & development, and QA testing. These activities are often referred to as the SDLC.
There are many variations to the SDLC but they all share the same core activities:
What deliverables must be created? Deliverables or artifacts are items, tasks, documents, modules, etc. that are created for a new project or are the result of an existing project or process. Deliverables will vary in size based on the scope of a project or process. Deliverables must be documented and tracked by the BA during the life cycle of the project.
How will the deliverables be created? A BA working with the development team or SME will identify how deliverables are created, assign tasks appropriately and determine what processes and methodologies to use to help complete each task and deliverable.
Who will create each deliverable? A project manager or delegate will identify individuals who will complete each task and deliverable. The BA will document the skill sets needed to complete the deliverables as part of the SDLC process.
When will the deliverables be created? A project timeline should be completed by the BA or a member of the management team. Tasks, milestones, and deliverables will be determined and recorded in the project timeline.
Where will everything be documented? Documentation is a major part of the SDLC. A Business Analyst must document the answers to the four above questions. Stakeholders, developers, and QA can all benefit from well-documented and easily accessible requirements.