How does the Design Process work?

Design phases

The process of generating software is typically split into four phases. The first is requirements gathering, the second is the design phase, the third is implementation, and the final is testing. Once these are done it is time to deliver the software to the client for their acceptance. As with all projects,

Requirements phase

This is the phase where all the "who, what, when, where, how and why " questions are asked. It is critical that the design team understand the needs of the client, sometimes this involves going into minute details. Changes to the requirements can be made at a later phase, but the impact of these changes (both in terms of cost and schedule) are more pronounced the later they are made.

Design phase

This is where the requirements are mapped out and solutions are designed. Most problems are discovered and resolved in this phase. For example, the design may call for an export of financial information to a particular accounting package. As the design team researches the requirements of that program they may find that it requires information that was not specified in the requirements phase.

Implementation phase

This is where the requirements are turned into code based on results from the design phase. Some clients wish to participate in this phase by receiving early versions (called alpha or beta versions depending on their stability), others do not.

Testing phase

Once a project goes into the testing phase all features should be "frozen". This allows testing to be done on a stable system.


Once these phases are finished it is time to deliver the database to the client for their testing. When the product is accepted by the client the process is finished. At this point, changes to the product are considered to be enhancements and the above phases are repeated, but at a much faster rate.

If you have any questions about the design process please call us and we will be happy to go over this with you.


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Last Updated: July 7, 2005