Alternative System Development Life Cycle


There are numerous models of managing system development that may be utilized depending on the circumstances and the aim of the project. The standard system development life cycle (SDLC) includes six stages: planning, analysis, design, implementation, and maintenance. While this approach is applicable to almost any situation, there are alternatives that can be utilized by project managers to enhance the efficiency of the process. One of such methods is the agile model, a highly adaptive methodology that focuses on constant communication with the client. Even though this system lacks a clear design, it is a flexible strategy that helps to ensure customer satisfaction and the best quality software.

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Advantages of the Agile Model

The agile model is an adaptive mechanism that can fit any situation. According to Rastogi, it is “is a style of software development that emphasizes customer satisfaction through continuous delivery of functional software” (p. 170). In my working experience, I participated in a project using this methodology several times. The primary advantage of the method is that it ensures client satisfaction. The development process starts with a kick-off meeting, during which all the requirements are understood. During the frequent session with the client, team members make diagrams of all the requirements. The results of successful projects are usually high-quality software since the code is tested frequently. The method leaves no space for guesswork since every detail is usually approved by the customer (“Top 12,” 2015). However, despite the apparent benefits, there are considerable drawbacks to the matter.

Disadvantages of the Agile Model

The primary disadvantage of the model revolves around the lack of autonomy of the development team. Every decision is based on the preferences of the customer; therefore, when the client cannot clearly identify the outcomes of the project, the development process may suffer (“Top 12,” 2015). Moreover, the project may take extended time if there are communication problems with the client. For instance, I was working on a project for a foreign trading company. Due to a large number of stakeholders and time differences, the meetings with the customer were often rescheduled, and the client’s representatives were often unaware of what was needed. However, the client refused to provide the development team with enough autonomy to make any decisions. As a result, the project took almost twice as long as it was initially planned, and it cost the client 50% extra. Therefore, even though the approach is flexible, sometimes it may be inappropriate due to considerable side effects.

Which One to Use

My working experience shows that any time the agile system can be used, it should be used. However, there are certain cases where standard SDLC is preferred. First, if the client is unaware of the outcomes of the project and is willing to provide autonomy to the development team, SDLC is recommended. Second, for projects that have a strict budget or timeframe, it is preferred to avoid the agile method. Finally, if the client needs clear documentation, the agile approach may not be the best choice since the methodology focuses on working software rather than documentation (“Top 12,” 2015). However, the agile method seems to work in most scenarios and is preferred over the standard SDLC to ensure the best quality software and customer satisfaction.


There are many approaches to managing a software development project. While the majority of teams use standard SDLC, the agile method can be considered a viable alternative. It is a flexible approach that focuses on frequent communication with the client, which helps to guarantee customer satisfaction. However, the methodology may be associated with increased costs and time needed to finish the project. Therefore, the method is to be avoided if the customer does not have a clear vision of the outcomes or is limited by a strict budget or timeframe.


Rastogi, V. (2015). Software development life cycle models-comparison, consequences. International Journal of Computer Science and Information Technologies, 6(1), 168-172.

Top 12 software development methodologies & its advantages / disadvantages. (2015). Web.

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StudyCorgi. "Alternative System Development Life Cycle." June 10, 2021.


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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Alternative System Development Life Cycle'. 10 June.

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