A Guide to the Application Development Life Cycle (ALM)

April 19, 2021
Application development life cycle guide

Do you know that a lot can happen in the life of your product, software, or application? Assuming your company has conceived an idea for a product, there are certain processes this idea must go through before it can eventually be released as a product. Application development life cycle is used in the management of these processes. In this article, we will walk you through the stages of the application development life cycle.

What is application development life cycle

Application development life cycle management (ALM) simply refers to the process through which the life of a product is managed from beginning concepts till end of life. ALM allows an organization to outline requirements for a product, design and create the product, test the prototype thoroughly, fix bugs, launch the product, and then execute continuous maintenance to make the product better.

Why is Application Development Lifecycle Important?

Application development life cycle Management is essential to deliver quality releases quickly. It enables you to determine the appropriate requirements – and ensure that they are met.

Another reason why ALM is important is that it assists in improving the development process  – and ensuring that the product is fully tested throughout the process. And, even more importantly, it makes sure every member of your team is on the same page. The integration of ALM tools into the development process will be the most reliable way to achieve traceability and visibility across the development lifecycle.

(Also Read: Application Development Challenges)

Six stages of the application development life cycle

  1. Discovery phase

    Many people assume that they know the exact way their project should be

    However, when they meet their developer, they are met with a literal fusillade of incomprehensible questions that they have to answer: What OS do you want it to run on? How many number of users with several rights for logging in should be on your app? What kind of smartphone screens should your design be optimized for?

    In essence, the discovery stage is pertinent for the developer to convert human language into technical documentation.

    The following phases should be included in a well-devised discovery stage:

    • Research into competitors
    • Specification for technical requirements
    • The setting of deadlines and costs
    • Feature mapping
  1. Design

    This is where you add a unique feel and look to your particular digital project. The role of the designers is to make your app exceptional and execute this in 3 defined steps.

    • Sketch: Sketching is the first step. In this step, the concept of the app will be prepared by the designers. Paper is a great app to utilize, if you have to make a sketch. Apart from the fact that it looks similar to an actual paper sketch, it also allows you to seamlessly covert paper draft into a digital format.
    • Wireframe: Thereafter, you have to transfer it onto a tab and create a black and white model of each screen. Already, these seem more or less like a completed design, but without the real color scheme and content having been included.
    • Prototype: This is the final step of design. A prototype is simply any clickable model of an application that resembles the original app. However, the back-end aspect does not function because it still lies in the future. You can decide to show your prototype to your clients and potential sponsors.

    Your don’t necessarily need a knowledge of programming for the design stage. You can attempt to make your first prototype by yourself, using one of the numerous free mockup constructors available online.

  1. Development

    Your design is now ready, however, there’s still plenty work to transform a model into a fully-functional product. This is the stage where the programmers are required in order to code all the important features.

    The development process is divided into two:

    • The front-end: This can be described as the user side, in other words, it is the face of the program with which user interaction takes place. The duty of a front-end developer is to ensure there’s a perfect user-friendly experience.
    • The back-end: This is the complex functional aspect that enables the functioning of the entire system. Usually, back-end describes the server-side of the app. It is responsible for all the calculations, operations and lastly, for how secure the application is.

    At this level, the programmers set up the first version or the Minimum Valuable Product (MVP).

  1. Quality Assurance

    A number of IT development firms minimize or even skip this stage and proceed to the next SDLC stage which is ‘release’. However, without manual and auto tests, you can not be guaranteed of the quality of your application. It’s just like posting a written content on your social network without proofreading your work – it is more or less impossible to be sure that it contains zero errors.

    About 90 percent of all latent risks should be covered by adequate testing. In order to optimize the testing procedure, automatic testing can be used for some of the checks, and manual tests for the others.

    It is always easier and better to resolve bugs before launching than to continue returning to this step over and over again after releasing the application to the store and you’ve received negative user reviews.

  1. Release

    Now you can release the app to the store or submit it to the business owner to implement and start using in their facilities (if it is a web application).

    It is crucial to understand that if you want your application to stand out and satisfy the needs of your users, then the development must not stop now.

  1. Maintenance

    You keep on refining the application and improve its functionality by including the sophisticated features gathered in the project’s backlog.


The most effective method to approach ALM is to utilize an effective Application development life cycle management tool. With a good ALM tool, teams are given visibility into development status. In addition, they possess a single truth source which provides any useful context they need for quickly making the right decisions. In all, find out how solutions that have been designed to cover the whole application lifecycle will assist you to offer quality software faster.

Contact us at Inventive IT to help you develop your infrastructure environment and learn more about the application development life cycle today.


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