Software development process

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A software development process, also known as a software development lifecycle, is a structure imposed on the development of a software product. Similar terms include software life cycle and software process. There are several models for such processes, each describing approaches to a variety of tasks or activities that take place during the process. Some people consider a lifecycle model a more general term and a software development process a more specific term. For example, there are many specific software development processes that 'fit' the spiral lifecycle model.



The large and growing body of software development organizations implement process methodologies. Many of them are in the defense industry, which in the U.S. requires a rating based on 'process models' to obtain contracts.

The international standard for describing the method of selecting, implementing and monitoring the life cycle for software is ISO 12207.

A decades-long goal has been to find repeatable, predictable processes that improve productivity and quality. Some try to systematize or formalize the seemingly unruly task of writing software. Others apply project management techniques to writing software. Without project management, software projects can easily be delivered late or over budget. With large numbers of software projects not meeting their expectations in terms of functionality, cost, or delivery schedule, effective project management appears to be lacking.

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