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Software Development
8 minutes read

Software Product Development: Understanding the Nuances 

By Jose Gomez
By Jose Gomez
Software Development
8 minutes read

Software product development is a broad term encompassing many different software development projects. Many terms get used, such as software development life cycle, software product development process, and software projects. 

Organizations and business leaders need help navigating the complexities of software product development and ultimately developing the most impactful software products for their operations. 

This post will explore the nuances of software product development and help you understand what the average software product development process looks like for most software products. 

What Is Software Product Development? 

Before we start exploring the software product development process, it’s vital to gain a clear understanding of what software product development is. Software product development is the process of designing, developing, and deploying functional software for end-users

Software development can take many different forms. The most common types of software development products are mobile apps, websites, and computer programs. However, the term software development can also refer to systems development and other programming tasks. 

The specific software product development methodologies used to build a software product will vary based on the nature of the project. For example, the software development methodologies used to build a website will differ from those used to build an app. 

While the methods used by a development team will vary based on the software product being developed, the overarching software product development lifecycle or software development process should follow the same basic outline for all software projects. 

The Software Product Development Process

The software product development process also called the software development life cycle, is a straightforward process that all software developers should follow when developing a software system. 

The development life cycle should remain the same even if you utilize different software product development methodologies. For example, the Agile methodology saves time when appropriately utilized, but the life cycle for an Agile project will look the same as software projects that use a different approach, like the waterfall method. 

The software product development process can be divided into seven key phases:

  • Ideation
  • Requirements analysis
  • Architectural design
  • Development 
  • Testing 
  • Deployment 
  • Support and maintenance 


The first phase of the software development process is ideation. In this part of the product development process, your business will generate and analyze ideas to solve specific user problems

Incorporating customer feedback during the ideation phase of product development is valuable because it helps your development team validate ideas. Multiple ideas might be generated during the ideation phase of product development. 

When you have chosen the best idea and thoroughly analyzed it to ensure it is viable, your team is ready to move on to the next phase of the software product development process. 

Requirements Analysis 

Your idea takes on a more meaningful shape at this point in the software product development process. Now, you will have to define the requirements for your software product. During the requirements analysis phase, your organization should try to bring in as many voices as possible. 

Get input from your business’s internal teams, key stakeholders, partners, clients, and software development experts. It is critical to establish the technical requirements of your software product before beginning development. 

Requirements include things such as programming languages, development frameworks, APIs, and other technologies and tools that will be used to develop your organization’s software product. 

The requirements for your product will vary based on your goals, product, targeted platforms, etc. For example, the technical requirements for data management software will vary significantly from a native iOS mobile application.

Architectural Design 

After the technical requirements for the software product have been clearly defined, it is time to move on to the architectural design of the product development process. The architectural design of the product is akin to a blueprint for a house

This design will be informed by the technical requirements laid out in the previous step of the software product development process, and it will guide the software developers through development, Quality Assurance testing, and deployment of the software product. 

Typically, a Design Document Specification (DDS) is created during this part of the development process. This document essentially describes what needs to be done and how it needs to be done from a technical perspective for the success of the software product. 


At this point, the actual development of the software product begins following the specifications laid out in the architectural design. There are several different software product development methodologies. 

The most popular methodologies include:

  • Agile 
  • Scrum
  • Waterfall
  • Kanban

Each development methodology has its pros and cons. Choosing a development methodology that plays to the strengths of your software developers and is aligned with the goals of the software product and business is essential. 

Ideally, your team will have chosen a development methodology during the requirements analysis or architectural design phase of the software product development process. 


Once development has been completed, testing can begin in earnest. The testing phase validates that the development process has yielded a software product that meets the quality standards of the requirements phase

If errors are found, they are documented, addressed, and rechecked until they are entirely resolved. Many different types of testing need to occur during this phase of the software product development process. 

Functional testing is vital, as are security, load, and performance tests. Your organization needs to ensure that the full array of tests are performed on the software product before it is moved forward to the deployment phase. 


Once your software product has been thoroughly tested, it is time for deployment. Some businesses fully deploy their software product immediately; others sometimes do a sequential deployment where parts are rolled out in limited segments. 

Your organization must determine the best deployment strategy for its software product and company goals. Whatever route you choose with the deployment of your product, you must ensure that the software is fully functional and ready for real-world users. 

The last thing your business wants to do is roll back deployment because issues were found after deployment. Ensure that your software product is ready before final deployment. 

Support and Maintenance 

If your software succeeds, support and maintenance will be the longest and most involved part of the software product development process

As your software ages, you must provide ongoing support for users and perform regular maintenance to make upgrades and address bugs and errors that pop up. 

Unfortunately, many businesses overlook the value and importance of support and maintenance. This leaves them at a disadvantage when it comes time to deliver these services. 

In addition, many organizations fail to properly budget for this aspect of the software development life cycle because they underestimate the size and length of this phase. This phase of the process will last for the lifetime of your software.

A Brief Overview of the Popular Software Development Methodologies 

There are several different ways to approach software product development. Each popular development method will use the same steps of the development process we have already covered, but they do so in different ways. 


The waterfall approach to development is the simplest and one of the most common. The waterfall method follows each step of the development process in order, and steps will never overlap. Before you can move on to the next step in the process, the previous one must be completed. 


The Agile development methodology is focused on continuous release and improvement. Agile development has become very popular with modern software development teams because it delivers software products in quick, incremental cycles. This approach helps businesses get software out faster and incorporates user feedback into the process more thoroughly. 


The scrum development method is defined by short sprints. The scrum is led by a scrum master who defines the project’s timelines. Each member of the team has tightly defined roles and responsibilities. This method is great for teams with stable goals and priorities that won’t change much over time. 


The Kanban method is defined by collaboration. Typically, there are no defined roles in a Kanban team. However, you might still have a project manager. The team is encouraged to collaborate and work together to ensure no one member becomes overwhelmed. This method is great for teams with wide-ranging priorities. 

Final Thoughts 

The software product development process is lengthy and costly. Before you fully invest in software development, it is helpful to understand what the process looks like and fully flesh out an idea and its technical requirements. If you want to learn more about software product development and the different factors that affect it, contact an experienced software development partner like Koombea.

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