Synchronize and Stabilize

What Does Synchronize and Stabilize Mean?

Synchronize-and-stabilize is a software life cycle development model. It allows the teams to work efficiently in parallel on different individual application modules. This is done while frequently synchronizing the work as individual’s and as members of parallel teams and periodically stabilizing and/or debugging the code through out the development process.


Techopedia Explains Synchronize and Stabilize

The approach was developed by David Yoffie of Harvard University and Michael Cusumano of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The synchronize and stabilize life cycle model defines an approach helping to balance flexibility and structure in software product development. This method involves continuous synchronization of the activity of people as individuals working on a project and as members of parallel teams. The method also involves periodic stabilization of the software product in increments as the project moves forward, not just at the end of the project. This kind of approach evolved at Microsoft while working on large scale projects.

This model has several advantages over the classic waterfall model, which follows a sequential method. It has proven to be a more flexible model when compared to other life cycle development models. The distinguishing feature of the synchronize and stabilize model is allowing changes and modifications at any point in the software development process.

The synchronize and stabilize approach provides a framework with several advantages:

  • It breaks down large projects into small segments, which teams with related skills can handle and complete efficiently.
  • It allows the project to move forward in a systematic way.
  • It allows large teams to work concurrently as small teams by dividing the work into small pieces.
  • It facilitates parallel teams who continuously synchronize the changes and stabilize the product at regular intervals
  • It makes a product team very responsive to events taking place in the market. It allows constant maintenance of the product in ready to ship state.
  • It provides a mechanism to incorporate customer inputs to product features and helps in prioritizing the tasks.

The synchronize and stabilize methodology suits well in today’s fast-paced markets, which develop complex system products within short life cycles. It provides an excellent mechanism to coordinate the work by building a large team into small interdependent teams working individually.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.