SDLC is a process used in building software. Plan, define, design, build, test, and finally develop It aims to guarantee the quality and correctness of the software built for the customer. The SDLC process aims to produce high-quality software. The development of the system must be completed within the pre-defined time and cost. The SDLC consists of a detailed plan that explains how to plan, build and maintain specific software. Each phase of the SDLC has its own process and results. There are also several models of SDLC, probably one that fit with your team. This methodology is also known as the Application Development lifecycle.

Doesn’t matter if you’re new or not developing software, the SDLC is surely a good methodology to get a project up and running well. And more: besides being highly useful to create, maintain, and fix digital products, SDLC is perfect to increase cooperation between participants and improve resource management and cost-effectiveness.

It seems obvious but achieving good results is quite rare in the technology market.

A study by the Standish Group International on the efficiency of IT projects revealed that 88% of the initiatives are delayed on schedule, in which case the average delay compared to the initial schedule is an impressive 222%.

And gets even worse: considering all the projects that were delivered late and at a higher cost, only 61% of the features initially planned were properly delivered to customers.

That’s why knowing the Software Development Life Cycle is really important. It means being on top of the project, all the time. It means that you’ll be able to align the expectations during all the development process and, finally, get the job done successfully and on time. 

But after all, what are the key Development Team Roles, Responsibilities, and Concerns within the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC)? And who are the stakeholders in software development? 

Keep reading to find more!

What are the key roles in software development?

The structure of software development merges with the key functions of software development. So that’s why it is so relevant to invest in the right people for achieving excellent results. The team must gather different and complementary skills that are necessary to perform the activities of the project. A common list of the roles included in software development is:

Starting from the planning and preliminary analyses to execution itself, it is critical to clearly define all the specific roles for stakeholders and squads involved in software development. Otherwise, the project can get jumbled up into a mess. 

For instance, it can be more useful if the front-end or full-stack engineer participates in the advanced phases of the Software Development instead of being in the initial discussions with the client. After all, it’s more productive for all stakeholders if Business Analyst and the Project Manager gather the necessary skills to find a good solution to solve a user problem with reasonable technical feasibility.

How are the roles involved in each stage of the Software Development Lifecycle?

The standard Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) looks somewhat like this:

Software Development Lifecycle stages

Step 0 – Identify problems to being solved with the Software

Roles involved: Project Sponsor, Business Analyst/Project Manager/Product Owner, UX/UI Designer (see the details in the next section).

Don’t start a project without review and analyze all the problems that the client or stakeholder expects the software to solve. To start this discovery stage it’ll be necessary to set the expectations with the stakeholder (especially with final users) to find what should be accomplished, otherwise, you can make assumptions not backed by evidence. Meetings, calls, research, surveys, heatmaps, and other methods should be used in this phase.

Step 1 – Planning

Roles involved: Business Analyst/Project Manager/Product Owner, Project Sponsor, UX/UI Designer (see the details in next section)

As you can imagine, this stage focuses on discussing the purpose and goals of the project, and how it will be run. It’s important to evaluate all the resources required like the team and financial backing to moving forward.

Project Sponsor

The Project Sponsor is a person (or a group) responsible for providing resources and support for Software Development. As part of this role, Project Sponsors initiate, ensure, approve, and establish all the key guidelines of the project. The main challenge of the Project Sponsor is to keep the project at the highest priority within the organization, manage the budget, approve changes, and inform the project status to the stakeholders.

Business Analyst 

The Business Analyst’s goal is to find a suitable software solution with the best cost-effective for your clients. To achieve this, the BA must analyze all the documents, processes, and systems of the organization to determine all the requirements of the Software Development. Balancing the expectations of business leaders and users with the limitations of technological and financial resources is a great challenge for Business Analysts.

Project Manager 

Project Managers are natural planners. They also are responsible for organizing and directing the team during the Software Development activities to accomplish the scope, parameters, and requirements of the project. Coordinating and transferring all the relevant information from the clients to his team and report to the upper management clearly and effectively is the main challenge of this role.

Product Owner

As a good investigator, PO seeks to discover which problem we’re trying to resolve, raises hypotheses for efficient solutions, defines the product strategy, and manages the relationship with stakeholders. 

UX/UI Designer

The broad responsibility of a UX/UI Designer is to ensure that the product solves the end user’s problem. S/he also is responsible for conducting user research and testing, developing wireframes and task flows based on user needs, and Collaborating with Designers and Developers to create intuitive, user-friendly software.

Note: Depending on the size of a company, the Project Manager and Product Owners may be used synonymously.

Step 2 – Designing Product Architecture

Roles involved: Project Manager/Product Owner/Business Analyst, UX/UI Designer (see above) + Head of Product (see below)

How to design, make, sell, use, and repair a new product? This is the challenge when we are designing the Product Architecture. In this stage, the team involved must create and cluster the scheme to allocate physical components of the product, draft a layout, and identify fundamental and incidental interactions involved.

All the software requirements specifications should be registered in the SRS document, describing software features and performance. It keeps everyone on the same page.

The UX/UI Designer has a very important role in sketching and structuring the scenarios (based on the discovery and analysis phase) for building the product design based on the discovery and analysis phase. 

After this, s/he starts wireframing (an illustration that showcases how the final software will look). 

Also, the Project Manager, Product Owner, Business Analyst, and Head of Product should follow and support the activities during this step as well.

Head of Product

Head of Product, also known as Chief Product Officer (CPO) is a cross-functional role focused on overseeing the development and management of the product’s roadmap (software). This position requires that a person closely works with the engineering, design, marketing, sales, and other departments.

Step 3 – Coding

Roles involved: CTO, Head of Engineering, Technical Lead, Frontend Engineer, Backend Engineer, Fullstack Engineer, and DevOps Engineer.

In this phase, all the development team starts to build the entire system by writing code using the chosen programming language. To be more effective CTO, Heads and other Leaders divide tasks into units or modules for Frontend Engineer, Backend Engineer, Fullstack Engineer, and DevOps Engineer. Therefore it’s easier to manage this long phase of the Software Development Life Cycle process.


The ‘big boss’, also known as CTO (Chief Technology Officer) is responsible for managing the engineering and developer teams and guarantees that the project developed achieves the company’s strategy. It’s crucial for a person who is in this role knowing leading all the operations: managing technological resources, infrastructure and supervising the squads until assisting external relationships and partnership networks. One of the most important functions is to be the center of leadership, keeping the technical edge of the company.

VP / Head of Engineering

One more leadership role in the Software Development LifeCycle is the Head of Engineering. This role is specifically to manage Frontend and Backend teams, driving the goals, strategies, and implementation of systems with excellence in execution to support the business.

Technical Lead

Lead software development or software engineering teams, manage tasks and product releases are the role of the Technical Lead. The main difference between this role and other leadership positions is the focus on technology – the Technical Lead supports engineering tasks such as coding and programming and product releases. 

Frontend Engineer

Selecting, installing, and testing user interface elements of software (usually a website) is the role of a front-end engineer in the Software Development Lifecycle. This includes:  understanding the documents produced by the UX/UI Designer or other stakeholders, selecting, optimizing, and creating graphic elements, developing prototypes, coding, and testing the functionalities of the interface. In short, frontends use main tools such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

Backend Engineer  

Basically, the Backend Engineer role consists of writing server scripts and APIs to be consumed by the frontends and other stakeholders. The backend engineer is responsible for optimizing servers for scalability, speed, and stability, implementing security structures and their best practices, generating reusable code libraries for future implementation, and generating data storage solutions.

The most popular back-end scripting languages include Java, Python, and PHP, though other languages like Ruby, Node.js, Go, Scala, and C++, also work with frameworks like Django, Laravel, Flask, Express, Spring, Phoenix, and Ruby on Rails and databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, for instance.

Fullstack Engineer

Fullstack is a completed web developer or engineer: this person gathers both Front and Backend skills, which means that can work from databases to fixing bugs or other coding issues or 

A full-stack developer is a web developer or engineer who works with both the front and back ends of a website or application—meaning they can tackle projects that involve databases, building user-facing websites, or even work with clients during the planning phase of projects.

DevOps Engineer

DevOps Engineers are developers who get interested in deployment and network operations or sysadmins who have a passion for scripting and coding and move into the development side where they can improve the planning of tests and deployment.

Step 4 – Testing

Roles involved: CTO, Head of Engineering, Product Manager, Product Owner, Head of Product, Quality Engineer, Security Engineer

The goal of this step is to find out whether their code and programming work according to customer requirements. Quality Engineer, Security Engineer, and the leaders are involved in this phase to testing scripts and interfaces according to quality assurance testing (QA) system integration testing (SIT), and user acceptance testing (UAT).

Quality Engineer

Working within the quality team to ensure the overall quality of the software, the Quality Engineer leads quality tests and also is responsible for producing reports and documentation with the results found. Also, the Quality Engineer needs to build a strategic plan to improve the business process considering requirements such as availability, security, safety, reliability, and performance of the software. 

Security Engineer

Software security also is very important and must be tested. As part of the Security Engineer role are activities such as developing security standards, solving existing security issues, assisting with installation or processing of new security products and procedures. 

Step 5 – Deployment & Maintenance

Roles involved: CTO, Head of Engineering, Product Manager, Product Owner, Head of Product,  Technical Support, Database Analyst, Data Scientist

Finally, Deployment & Maintenance is the last phase of the software development life cycle (SDLC). Now it’s time to go live, which means that the product is ready to be used in a real environment by all end-users of the product.

Technical Support

The Technical Support assists the final customer in resolving specific technical issues of the software.  Some technical support teams are also responsible for providing training, monitoring, and maintaining the computer systems and networks of an organization. Sometimes the Technical Support will be installing and configuring computer systems, diagnosing hardware and software faults, and solving technical and application problems, either over the phone or in person.

Database Analyst

The main challenge of a Database Analyst is to collect and interpret data (identifying patterns and trends in data sets)  from different resources to create functional database systems for software development. Also is responsible for this role to evaluate, review, and analyze results, reporting them to the relevant members of the business to improve a business, thus affecting business decisions. 

Data Scientist

It’s a gold role inside the Software Development Lifecycle. Similar to the DataBase Analyst, Data Scientists should collect and interpret data to generate useful insights. The great contribution of this role for companies is using data to find opportunities to improve products that solve complex problems of the customers.

SDLC Roles and Stages of Software Development Lifecycle Overview

Step 0

Identify problems to being solved with the Software

Step 1

Planning and preliminary analyses with the client

Step 2

Designing Product Architecture

Step 3


Step 4


Step 5

Deployment & Maintenance

What is: Stage to discover and identify problems that your software must solve. What is: Phase to talk to the client and gather all requirements information the aims and issues) of the project. What is: Define the SRS document describing all the features and performance expected with the software. What is: Once the design document is done it’s time to code! All components of the software are implemented at this stage. What is: After the coding step is completed, the software developed is extensively tested and corrections are applied if necessary.   What is: Here is the time to go live, monitoring issues for correction or improvements.
Why is important: The more you investigate the problems, the more you can gain insight into their solution. Why is important:  If there is an error in this step, the entire project can go in the wrong direction and frustrate the customer’s expectations. Why is important: the document created here is used as the main guide for implementing system development.  Why is important: Code quality will define the results of the software. That’s why this is the longest phase. Why is important: It allows for fixing critical problems before they will lead to critical losses. Why is important: This phase is important for keeping the loyalty of the client.
What to pay attention to Be careful not to jump to conclusions in this step. Otherwise, you can influence the whole project in the wrong direction. What to pay attention to To avoid any problem with the definition of the project, it is necessary to delve deeply into the pains and needs of the contractor (client). Validate the purpose of the product and what solutions it expects the software to solve. What to pay attention to To avoid any mistakes when writing the SRR doc, specialists recommend don’t skip any information – from the purpose to the Specific Requirements, it’s important to include every detail. What to pay attention to To avoid bugs or lack of quality in the coding phase it is important to have good engineers. What to pay attention to Even though testing procedures may appear on other software development life cycle stages, as a separate one, testing provides a detailed map of breakdowns that need to be fixed. What to pay attention to To avoid any frustration by the side of the client, it’s important having a group of dedicated software engineers at their disposal who can respond to service tickets, suggestions, and technical questions promptly.
Roles involved: Business analyst, Project Manager, Project Sponsor, and the client Roles involved: Business Analyst/Project Manager/Product Owner, Project Sponsor, UX/UI Designer Roles involved: Project Manager/Product Owner/Business Analyst, UX/UI Designer (see above) + Head of Product Roles involved: CTO, Head of Engineering, Technical Lead, Frontend Engineer, Backend Engineer, Fullstack Engineer, and DevOps Engineer. Roles involved: CTO, Head of Engineering, Product Manager, Product Owner, Head of Product, Quality Engineer, Security Engineer Roles involved: CTO, Head of Engineering, Product Manager, Product Owner, Head of Product,  Technical Support, Database Analyst, Data Scientist

How to make sure you have the right people for the job?

Finding the right talent for the perfect position is an expensive and time-consuming challenge. If you want to guarantee effectiveness for hiring leaders, devs and product professionals ask a specialist to assist you with it.  


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