During software development, one can follow several life cycles to speed up the process and release quality products to the market. Most of the cycle outlines different phases or processes developers must follow. Each process has activities the developers must work on for the project to progress to the next step. SDLC and agile use different processes during the development period. Teams consider several factors before choosing the framework to work with. The article will cover several advantages, disadvantages, phases, and differences between SDLC and agile methodology

What is SDLC?

SDLC, Software Development Life Cycle, is a set of processes developers follow when designing and building applications to ensure they are of high quality. It improves the development processes. You can combine some of the processes during development. SDLC has helped companies reduce development costs, improve quality, and ensure the project meets the customer's requirements. It also helps in identifying some issues and fixing them faster. Some processes include planning, building, designing, defining, deploying, testing, maintaining, requirements, etc.

What is Agile?

Agile is a software development approach that focuses on delivering value to the customer with fewer issues. The team splits into small portions, which later get assigned to each part of the whole project, and on completion, they combine it. Most of the plans and changes are based on the daily meetups, which are evaluated based on the responses during the daily sprints. Its main emphasis is on collaboration and teamwork during the development process.

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Difference between SDLC & agile

There are several differences between SDLC and agile life cycles of software development. Some of the differences include

Methodology: SDLC follows a path where one cannot skip any stage, while agile developers can change their path according to work assigned to them by the scrum masters.
Timing: SDLC uses different phases with no known time length, while agile users use the time allocated to their sprints.
Changes: When working with SDLC, developers cannot make any changes after releasing the final product, while agile gives developers enough room to make changes after their first release after collecting information from different stakeholders like scrum masters, customers, and project owners.
Testing: When using SDLC, you only perform testing after you have finished development, while when using agile, developers can perform testing during different phases of development.
User focus: SDLC prioritizes the users, while agile ensures the users get involved through user stories and testing.
Budget: The company spends a lot when they use SDLC since they do testing at the end of the project, while agile use less costs since there is constant testing.
Project size: SDLC works well for most projects no matter the size, while agile works best for small projects since it focuses on releasing projects faster into the market.
Flexibility: When using SDLC, you will have flexibility depending on the methodology of SDLC you choose, while agile supports flexibility for the whole team.

SDLC life cycle stages

There are several stages of the SDLC life cycle. Each stage has several activities that developers do. There is also a possibility of merging several phases into one. The following are the best SDLC stages:

1. Planning: It helps the team know the project's costs, terms, target, and leadership structure. You can also collect feedback from customers, experts, the marketing team, and developers and see how it can benefit the application development. 

It provides the scope of the application, which provides all the necessary provisions for the development team. It implements the project with little risk, provides room for application expansion, and closes all the issues that may affect the development process.

2. Requirements analysis: It involves defining the project's requirements by defining what the application will do. It ensures the team has all the required resources. Normally done with the assistance of Software Requirement Specification.

3. Design and prototyping: There are different design and prototyping phases of the application development. Prototype normally shows what the final application should be like. After drawing the prototype, you show it to different people, who provide feedback you can apply to the application. Other design aspects include:

Architecture- it lists the programming languages used, the best industry practices, templates used, etc.
User interface- it lists all ways the application accepts and processes customer input.
Platform- it specifies the platform it will run on, i.e., android, Linux, etc.
Communications- defines the communications within the application, i.e., databases, servers etc
Security- It lists all the measures the developers will put in place to secure the application, i.e., use of SSL certificates, passwords, details encryption, etc.
4. Software development: It is where the actual writing of code takes place. If working in teams, the project gets split into smaller versions and assigned to different developers. They use version control to track code changes and ensure team members' compatibility. Other tasks include code compilation, fixing of bugs, etc.

Developers can also develop documentation that one can read when using the application. Documentation can include videos, troubleshooting guides, videos, and frequently asked questions, among others.

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5. Testing: Most companies do automated testing to ensure everything works perfectly. It checks the application's performance, removing any hanging or lagging issues the customer may experience. It promotes customer satisfaction leading to high usage of the application.

6.Deployment: It involves pushing the application to production, where users can access and use it. Many companies have automated deployment processes making it easy and fast. Other companies release applications in versions to collect feedback and improve it and later do another release.

7. Operations and maintenance: At this stage, everything is over, from development to deployment. You need to monitor the application, locate any bugs you missed during testing, and fix them.

The agile methodology life cycle stages

The agile methodology life cycle consists of the following stages:

  • Planning and requirements: The development team focuses on the project requirements by asking for user stories. They gather all the information in one place and see if it meets their goal. After the collection process, they go through the requirements and see how they can achieve them.
  • Creating a roadmap: After setting all the requirements, the team creates a roadmap with all the project's requirements.
  • Release planning: It involves planning that assigns duties to each sprint. It determines the number of features per sprint.
  • Sprint planning: It involves all team members meeting during a sprint to discuss the tasks. It is when the team leader decides the type of tasks each member will handle.
  • Daily standup meetings: The team leader calls for meetings daily that last for around fifteen minutes or more to discuss their work, their progress, any issues they face, and if they have any queries.
  • Sprint reviews: The team members meet with stakeholders like customers, project owners, and team leaders to showcase the project. They discuss the whole project and later agree on the improvements they need to work on.

Advantages of SDLC 

Advantages of using the SDLC cycle in a software development environment are:

  • It is easier to manage the whole development process.
  • It makes the development processes have little or no risks.
  • You already have the valuation of costs, time, and deliverables when working on the project.
  • It ensures you meet all the set requirements.
  • It is more transparent during the development processes.
  • There is early detection of issues like bugs.
  • It is more secure.

Limitations of SDLC

The following list below is some of the limitations of using SDLC in software development:

  • It is sometimes hard to make changes at past stages of development.
  • If there is poor planning it will lead to time wastage and increased costs.
  • Some approaches are hard to implement.

Advantages of agile

Some of the advantages of using agile when developing software include:

  • It produces quality products.
  • It satisfies customer requirements as they are involved in software development methods.
  • It gives managers total control over the project.
  • It increases flexibility.
  • You can predict all the risks and develop plans to fix the issues.

Limitations of Agile

Some of the advantages of using agile when developing software include:

  • It can have issues of poor resource allocation.
  • It has little documentation.
  • It may be hard to track some of the measurements like progress.
  • It can be hard to work on long-term projects as agile recommends faster delivery of the project to the market.

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The article has enabled you to understand agile and Software Development Lifecycle(SDLC) methods. You need to understand that agile is a methodology while SDLC consists of different methodologies like waterfall, spiral, agile, etc. When selecting which one to use, you have to look at the project size and all the requirements to decide. You have to understand how they both work for you to implement it easily. Agile is mainly for small projects that get released faster into the market. If you are working for an owner, you must consider incorporating customer feedback into the project.

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As a Senior Writer for HKR Trainings, Sai Manikanth has a great understanding of today’s data-driven environment, which includes key aspects such as Business Intelligence and data management. He manages the task of creating great content in the areas of Digital Marketing, Content Management, Project Management & Methodologies, Product Lifecycle Management Tools. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Agile is the best SDLC model as it focuses on the customer's needs and receives good feedback upon release.

Yes, SDLC is used in Agile.

Agile model since it builds products when relying on the customer's requirements, making you respond to all market changes quickly.

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