Life Cycle (glossary)

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(1) The organized collection of activities, relationships and contracts which apply to a system-of-interest during its life. (Pyster 2009, 73)

(2) The evolution of a system, product, service, project or other human-made entity from conception through retirement. (ISO/IEC/IEEE 2015)

(3) Development (life) cycles start with user needs and end with system decommissioning and disposal. Project cycles contain three aspects: business, budget, and technical. (Mooz, Forsberg, Cotterman 2003, 259)


(1) Pyster, A.(ed.). 2009. Graduate Software Engineering 2009 (GSwE2009): Curriculum Guidelines for Graduate Degree Programs in Software Engineering. Integrated Software & Systems Engineering Curriculum Project. Hoboken, NJ, USA: Stevens Institute of Technology, September 30, 2009.

(2) ISO/IEC/IEEE. 2015. Systems and Software Engineering -- System Life Cycle Processes. Geneva, Switzerland: International Organisation for Standardisation / International Electrotechnical Commissions / Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288:2015.

(3) Mooz, H., K. Forsberg, H. Cotterman. 2003. Communicating Project Management. Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley and Sons.


For additional discussion of the different uses of "life cycle", see the Life Cycle Models article.

SEBoK v. 2.3, released 30 October 2020