Thoughts from KMC

How does the SDLC model fit into the Agile process

Mtha Ndlovu 19 Nov 2020 • 3 min read

How does the SDLC model fit into the Agile process

The Systems Development Lifecycle (SDLC) model is quite useful in managing a planned and controlled development attempt. One of the advantages of SDLC is that it provides some level of control of the development process, ensuring the ultimate solution is consistent with the original requirements.

This model ensures that the design, development and testing process that leads to the release of the product is on brief and well-managed.

What does SDLC entail?

SDLC phases define the schedule and delivery points which ensure timely and correct delivery to the client within budget and other constraints and project requirements. The SDLC phases include:

Planning, Analysis, Design, Development, Testing/Integration and lastly Maintainance.

SDLC can be relevant at any stage of your software development. If your team is involved in software development, technically or strategically, a farsighted roadmap is essential. This software development approach helps in deciding on the basic software development considerations enabling you to make informed decisions.

Other alternatives to SDLC are Rapid Application Development, Rapid Development Prototyping, Spiral Approach, and Extreme Programming.

What does Agile get to do with SDLC?

In today’s world, Agile software development is the best way of delivering software. The term ‘Agile’ is a collection of iterative software development methodologies such as SDLC, Extreme Programming (XP), Scrum, Kanban, Crystal, Dynamic Systems Development, Feature Driven and Lean Development.

Just like in SDLC, the Agile methodology ensures that the product reaches the market faster, as it encourages high product quality since testing of the product is done regularly during development and ensures higher customer satisfaction because the product owner and end-users are always involved in the development of the product.

Agile ensures there is better control of the project through sprint meetings which in turn increase transparency. Project management tools such as Jira, Confluence, Atlassian and Trello are great at tracking and documenting such progress by utilising the Kanban method.

The Agile methodology eliminates any chance of project failure as the project is broken-down into time-boxed sprints. The client’s needs and expectations are considered throughout the development of the project. User stories are created to define the features that will be used by the end-user of the product. These stories have business-oriented acceptance criteria that will help shape the features of the product.

Since Agile development is an iterative process, the features of the product are delivered incrementally, therefore the benefits are realised early while the product is in the development process. This increases a good return of investment to the stakeholders and product sponsors.

In essence, Agile software development mostly involves an interactive and collaborative method of developing software by utilising design sprints which mainly consist of breaking down the products into small chunks of deliverables. Perhaps, one might say that the SDLC model utilises the same practices as agile? The benefits of SDLC only exist if the plan is followed diligently.

So which method should be used?

Choose Agile of-course. You will need to find an agile coach with experience in agile software development or a dedicated expert here at KMC. Agile software development is an entire field, so having an expert here is a must. You can find out more about Agile in our posts with insights into the methodology (see To Agile or not to Agile and Agile = Scrum and other Myths).


Whenever someone starts developing a new product, it is of vital importance to follow the System Development Life Cycle. Teams are enabled to work according to a structured approach for the development of new solutions in a controlled and organised environment. Before the work on a new system begins, it is imperative to learn how an SDLC will meet the overall requirements, yield the best outcome for your users.

Mtha Ndlovu