Open In App

Software Processes in Software Engineering

Last Updated : 19 Apr, 2023
Like Article

Software processes in software engineering refer to the methods and techniques used to develop and maintain software. Some examples of software processes include:

  • Waterfall: a linear, sequential approach to software development, with distinct phases such as requirements gathering, design, implementation, testing, and maintenance.
  • Agile: a flexible, iterative approach to software development, with an emphasis on rapid prototyping and continuous delivery.
  • Scrum: a popular Agile methodology that emphasizes teamwork, iterative development, and a flexible, adaptive approach to planning and management.
  • DevOps: a set of practices that aims to improve collaboration and communication between development and operations teams, with an emphasis on automating the software delivery process.

Each process has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of which one to use depends on the specific project and organization.

Software is the set of instructions in the form of programs to govern the computer system and to process the hardware components. To produce a software product the set of activities is used. This set is called a software process. 

Software Development : In this process, designing, programming, documenting, testing, and bug fixing is done.

Components of Software : 
There are three components of the software: These are : Program, Documentation, and Operating Procedures.

  1. Program –
    A computer program is a list of instructions that tell a computer what to do. 
  2. Documentation – 
    Source information about the product contained in design documents, detailed code comments, etc. 
  3. Operating Procedures –
    Set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help workers carry out complex routine operations. 
  4. Code: the instructions that a computer executes in order to perform a specific task or set of tasks.
  5. Data: the information that the software uses or manipulates.
  6. User interface: the means by which the user interacts with the software, such as buttons, menus, and text fields.
  7. Libraries: pre-written code that can be reused by the software to perform common tasks.
  8. Documentation: information that explains how to use and maintain the software, such as user manuals and technical guides.
  9. Test cases: a set of inputs, execution conditions, and expected outputs that are used to test the software for correctness and reliability.
  10. Configuration files: files that contain settings and parameters that are used to configure the software to run in a specific environment.
  11. Build and deployment scripts: scripts or tools that are used to build, package, and deploy the software to different environments.
  12. Metadata: information about the software, such as version numbers, authors, and copyright information.

All these components are important for software development, testing and deployment.

There are four basic key process activities: 

  1. Software Specifications – 
    In this process, detailed description of a software system to be developed with its functional and non-functional requirements. 
  2. Software Development –
    In this process, designing, programming, documenting, testing, and bug fixing is done. 
  3. Software Validation –
    In this process, evaluation software product is done to ensure that the software meets the business requirements as well as the end users needs. 
  4. Software Evolution – 
    It is a process of developing software initially, then timely updating it for various reasons. 

Software Crisis : 

  1. Size and Cost –
    Day to day growing complexity and expectation out of software. Software are more expensive and more complex. 
  2. Quality –
    Software products must have good quality. 
  3. Delayed Delivery –
    Software takes longer than the estimated time to develop, which in turn leads to cost shooting up. 
  4. The term “software crisis” refers to a set of problems that were faced by the software industry in the 1960s and 1970s, such as:
  5. High costs and long development times: software projects were taking much longer and costing much more than expected.
  6. Low quality: software was often delivered late, with bugs and other defects that made it difficult to use.
  7. Lack of standardization: there were no established best practices or standards for software development, making it difficult to compare and improve different approaches.
  8. Lack of tools and methodologies: there were few tools and methodologies available to help with software development, making it a difficult and time-consuming process.
  9. These problems led to a growing realization that the traditional approaches to software development were not effective and needed to be improved. This led to the development of new software development methodologies, such as the Waterfall and Agile methodologies, as well as the creation of new tools and technologies to support software development.

However, even today, software crisis could be seen in some form or the other, like for example software projects going over budget, schedule and not meeting the requirement.

Software Process Model: 
A software process model is an abstraction of the actual process, which is being described. It can also be defined as a simplified representation of a software process. Each model represents a process from a specific perspective. Basic software process models on which different type of software process models can be implemented: 

  1. A workflow Model –
    It is the sequential series of tasks and decisions that make up a business process. 
  2. The Waterfall Model – 
    It is a sequential design process in which progress is seen as flowing steadily downwards. Phases in waterfall model: 
    • (i) Requirements Specification
    • (ii) Software Design
    • (iii) Implementation
    • (iv) Testing
  3. Dataflow Model –
    It is diagrammatic representation of the flow and exchange of information within a system. 
  4. Evolutionary Development Model – 
    Following activities are considered in this method: 
    • (i) Specification
    • (ii) Development
    • (iii) Validation
  5. Role / Action Model – 
    Roles of the people involved in the software process and the activities. 

Need for Process Model:

The software development team must decide the process model that is to be used for software product development and then the entire team must adhere to it. This is necessary because the software product development can then be done systematically. Each team member will understand what is the next activity and how to do it. Thus process model will bring the definiteness and discipline in overall development process.  Every process model consists of definite entry and exit criteria for each phase. Hence the transition of the product through various phases is definite.

 If the process model is not followed for software development then any team member can perform any software development activity, this will ultimately cause a chaos and software project will definitely fail without using process model, it is difficult to monitor the progress of software product. Thus process model plays an important rule in software engineering.

Advantages or Disadvantages:

There are several advantages and disadvantages to different software development methodologies, such as:


  1. Clear and defined phases of development make it easy to plan and manage the project.
  2. It is well-suited for projects with well-defined and unchanging requirements.


  • Changes made to the requirements during the development phase can be costly and time-consuming.
  • It can be difficult to know how long each phase will take, making it difficult to estimate the overall time and cost of the project.
  • It does not have much room for iteration and feedback throughout the development process.


  1. Flexible and adaptable to changing requirements.
  2. Emphasizes rapid prototyping and continuous delivery, which can help to identify and fix problems early on.
  3. Encourages collaboration and communication between development teams and stakeholders.


  1. It may be difficult to plan and manage a project using Agile methodologies, as requirements and deliverables are not always well-defined in advance.
  2. It can be difficult to estimate the overall time and cost of a project, as the process is iterative and changes are made throughout the development.


  1. Encourages teamwork and collaboration.
  2. Provides a flexible and adaptive framework for planning and managing software development projects.
  3. Helps to identify and fix problems early on by using frequent testing and inspection.


  1. A lack of understanding of Scrum methodologies can lead to confusion and inefficiency.
  2. It can be difficult to estimate the overall time and cost of a project, as the process is iterative and changes are made throughout the development.


  1. Improves collaboration and communication between development and operations teams.
  2. Automates software delivery process, making it faster and more efficient.
  3. Enables faster recovery and response time in case of issues.


  1. Requires a significant investment in tools and technologies.
  2. Can be difficult to implement in organizations with existing silos and lack of culture of collaboration.
  3. Need to have a skilled workforce to effectively implement the devops practices.
  4. Ultimately, the choice of which methodology to use depends on the specific project and organization, as well as the goals and requirements of the project.

Like Article
Suggest improvement
Share your thoughts in the comments

Similar Reads