Skillsoft Blog

DevOps vs Agile: How Agile and DevOps Interrelate

April 20, 2021 | by Mike Saver
DevOps Methodology vs Agile

DevOps vs. Agile is a false comparison. The difference between Agile and DevOps is that Agile is an approach focused on iterative development with independent and cross-functional teams. DevOps is a practice that shifts operations job roles left into development, providing the foundation for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD).

Agle and DevOps don’t compete. They are highly complementary methodologies when it comes to developing software releases of better quality and with greater speed. The benefits of Agile DevOps combine most notably when managing large-scale enterprise projects. Tech and Dev teams need both to effectively compete where software is a primary differentiator.

AGILE DEVOPS PROCESS

Agile set the stage for accelerated software development and continuous improvement. Agile starts and ends with development. DevOps points the spotlight on the right actors. DevOps starts with provisioning and orchestration and ends with continuous delivery, monitoring, and IT management. Together, the show goes on the road to expand team capacity with a shared vision of continuous improvement.

Agile development is a team sport. Scrum provides the framework for daily communications to rapidly surface impediments to progress on team objectives. Customer stories define work that takes place in sprints 2-4 weeks in duration. Stakeholders track progress in reviews and team members provide candid and transparent feedback in ceremonies at the conclusion of each sprint. Success hinges on sharing skills and expertise, and feedback loops that drive faster development.

AGILE IS A CULTURE AND A MINDSET

“DevOps empowers teams to be more productive and collaborative. You have to find out what brings the most immediate value, and then continuously iterate on the delivery. A shared, customer-focused vision is one of the benefits a DevOps culture brings to an organization.”

-KEN MUSE, CONSULTING
DIRECTOR AT WINTELLECT,
A SKILLSOFT PARTNER

New releases are expected multiple times per day. Pressure on development teams is extreme to build more better-faster without sacrificing quality, performance, security, reliability, or resilience.

Organizations committed to IT Modernization rely heavily on Agile and DevOps to meet software development goals when skilled resources are increasingly more limited. The synergy which results explains why Agile and DevOps are the rock stars of technology today after so many years of calm proficiency.

Synergy with Agile & DevOps

Software Life Cycle Process Step:

Agile Value:

DevOps Value Add:

Synergy: Agile & DevOps Together

Plan, Code, Build

Scrum team discipline. Customer stories drive work. Small projects. Team free to explore and fail fast.

Organization-wide engagement. External feedback loops. Automation. Fluid job roles. Microservices.

Transparency. Shorter build cycle. Internal & external feedback. Operational awareness. Resource flexibility.

Test, QA, Security

Specialized job roles. Skills certification.

Confidence in testing. Set standards and governance.

Automate repetitive work. Build security literacy. Measure compliance against standards.

More testing across platforms. Security is a team responsibility. Share ownership.

Infrastructure orchestration

Provision risk-free development environments for learning and experimentation.

Containers. Infrastructure as Code. Remote source code repositories. Protect Data pipelines

Lean infrastructure, scalable and secure. Rapid provisioning. Developer engagement.

Continuous integration continuous delivery (CICD)

Small chunks of code that can be integrated into full programs. Separates dev and deployment decisions.

Automate process for integrating code into releases that are deployed based on business need.

Shorter development / delivery software life cycle. Reliability and sustainability. Safe and secure app pipeline.

Monitoring and Feedback

Daily stand up. Sprint ceremonies. Backlog management. Retrospectives. New customer stories.

Automate monitoring that identifies failures before impacting customers. Assure compliance.

Optimize the flow of information to prevent failures from impacting customer experience.

IT management

Process approached to managing work, skills development, team contribution and software pipelines.

Tools and automation approach to remove operations bottlenecks. Operational accountability in dev.

Focus on team goals and objectives. Upskilling. IT modernization. Greater collaboration.

LEARN TO ENHANCE TEAM PRODUCTIVITY WITH DEVOPS AND AUTOMATION.

The synergy from Agile with DevOps helps teams meet service level agreements, predict outcomes more accurately, and proactively address backlog issues. Automated testing, QA, monitoring and feedback ensure these claims are grounded in metrics and part of the fabric of continuous improvement.

Agile and DevOps training helps teams become better collaborators. Cross-functional job roles are a catalyst for more frequent communications and fewer handoffs where things may fall through the cracks. Good communications practices spill over to dependable customer follow-up. Other indicators of ways Agile and DevOps are increasing team value or team capacity include:

  1. Failing fast takes less time and doesn’t waste resources.
  2. An iterative development process makes room for new ideas.
  3. Automation supported by machine learning reduces code failures.
  4. Change in direction is a normal component of software development.
  5. Continuous delivery of new releases is a business objective and not just an IT ambition.

DevOps is not a coordinating function. It’s a process, style, and mindset. Teams fail in working together when they don’t know all of the dependencies that need to be checked, tested, integrated, and deployed. You can’t get to DevOps by working in silos.

For DevOps to be successful, it assumes you’re not working in a top-down structured way. Developers work in self-organizing agile teams to build together, adjust to feedback, and take customer input before they even begin building. A fully evolved DevOps team operate on the agile ethos of putting the customer into the product initially. Before writing code they’ll have to throw away later.

Are you ready for DevOps? Explore some of the key challenges for DevOps transformation. Download IDC's Addressing the Challenge of Adopting and Scaling DevOps below.

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