Software life cycle management was, for a very long time, a controlled exercise. The duration of product design, development, and support was predictable enough that companies and their employees scheduled their finances, vacations, surgeries, and mergers around product releases. When developers were busy, quality assurance (QA) had it easy. As the coding portion of a release cycle came to a close, QA took over while support ramped up. Then when the product released, the development staff exhaled, rested, and started the loop again while the support staff transitioned to busily supporting the new product.
From a development team's perspective, the product release represented a closed-loop process that was repeatable and formulaic. Outside of a bug that might need expert attention from developers, most of the staff was repurposed to focus on the next version as soon as the product was made available to customers.
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