For decades software delivery has occurred in almost every industry in some shape or form. There have been significant innovations over the years that made lives easier for most people.
As processes and methodologies change, the term Software Delivery Life Cycle (SDLC) took hold. This acronym became the common language when it came to software development, and it made sense. As in life there something is born (an idea), then grows (developed), then it ends (deployment). It was something that everyone was able to get their heads around.
The use of the team “life” doesn’t seem to fit, however. That term also involves evolution and improvements over time to become better and remove issues that impede moving forward. Yes, there have been different methodologies that came out, with faster development, yet the problems that occurred in the previous methods tend to creep in. There are always delays; there are still issues with requirements; there are still quality issues when deployed, it is still a never-ending cycle.
Take, for example, 12 Software Development Challenges and How to Deal with Them by Ammie Jackson.
Her list of issues have been happening for what seems forever:
Not enough time
Inaccuracy between asked and delivered
Thinking more about tactical delivery and not strategic
Not knowing who the change is really for
Not using the full value of Quality Assurance
Not having Security involved sooner
Lack of emphasis on development and test environments
Overlooked risk management
“Eyes bigger than stomach” cramming in as many features as possible
Little thought about working with integrations, until too late
Looking at these issues, it is not a Life Cycle; it is a Death Cycle. What is meant by this is that there is no evolution. These issues continue to happen in many organizations where it involves typically long hours and days for those that are creating the change. In doing that, the organization will get the change that they want eventually, at a cost. That cost will be the burn out of the people that got it there. Causing low employee satisfaction over time, employees leaving or quality impact on future releases.
Although this sounds like the final bells are ringing, it is not. Things are coming to light, and there is an evolution that is occurring. Where Life will rise from the ashes and the vision of what things should be, will be.
Senior leadership is beginning to take notice and using things like:
Knowledge sharing environments
Organization-wide agile methodology instead of focused solely on Software Delivery
Appreciating and growing value of everyone
These are just a few things that are beginning to take hold that will shape the cycle from Death to Life. Like most evolutions, this one has taken the time to discover the pain points.