Many people still think that Agile and DevOps are at odds, but this isn’t true at all. In fact, Agile and DevOps can work hand in hand to make your entire software development process more efficient, flexible, and adaptable to change.
Understanding Agile and DevOps will help you design, develop, and deliver better products to your customers faster than ever before. Both DevOps and Agile have their place in software development because they solve different problems.
As per Statista, both are leading approaches for software development. The infographic below offers insights into their popularity worldwide.
Notably, most enterprises implement them to achieve high-quality software in comparatively little time. There are numerous similarities between these concepts when it comes to their approaches. For example, both promote simplicity, encourage frequent integration, insist on communication, etc.
In simple words, when you bring these two concepts together and ensure that your entire team adheres to best practices in both processes: You get better software faster than ever before.
The infographic table below illustrates how do Agile and DevOps interrelate effectively:
The table above offers insights into a firm’s possible advantages by implementing them together. To properly understand how the two go hand in hand, it is necessary to analyze them separately.
Let’s brush up on your knowledge of these two technologies and analyze their pros and cons.
What is Agile Methodology?
Agile is a lean approach to software development, emphasizing agility. In simple words, it involves feedback and adaptability over processes that are slower, more rigid, less flexible, or slower.
Agile is an incremental approach to managing work using self-organizing teams, providing feedback throughout each phase.
The Agile philosophy is rooted in three central values:
- Customer satisfaction by rapid delivery of useful software.
- Teams of self-organizing people that can respond quickly to change.
- Continuous attention towards technical excellence & sound design.
There are several advantages to Agile methodology, but there are also some limitations and drawbacks that you need to consider. Let’s explore them.
Pros of Agile Development Methodology:
- Rapid feedback allows you to discover changes in your business environment early on to react accordingly.
- Teams that use Agile have a faster response time to changing market conditions.
- By responding more quickly, you can increase your return on investment in terms of time to market, time to revenue, or other similar metrics.
- It is much easier for a specialist team to focus on their portion and not get stuck worrying about how things fit together as a whole.
- Teams using Agile methodology to respond more quickly help lower overhead costs because there are fewer wasted resources.
Cons of Agile Development Methodology:
- While developers can do work in small increments, those small increments need to fit into whatever extensive framework you’ve established.
- Your ability to make fast changes is severely limited unless you want to get everyone up-to-speed each time something needs adjusting or changing.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is a movement that promotes communication, collaboration, and integration between software developers who create new applications (Dev) and IT professionals who operate, maintain, and support those applications once they go live (Ops).
Do you know, as per a survey report of 2020, 48.1% of enterprises consider DevOps as critically essential to scaling software development?
In essence, it’s about getting both sides to work together better. It’s not just a development problem; ops people need to be on board too. The widespread adoption of DevOps methodologies has many benefits for IT departments, large and small.
Let’s explore them:
Pros of Using DevOps:
- Teams that use DevOps are more productive than those without it because both devs and operations collaborate better, leading to higher-quality code going out in production.
- It ensures fewer mistakes, faster releases, and better testing.
- Automation is a crucial principle of DevOps. DevOps services companies can automate everything, including processes, system tools, configuration management tools, network configurations, etc.
- Rapid, frequent releases put a lot more code in users’ hands—and that means a greater chance for bugs to get into production systems.
- Successful DevOps organizations keep their overall bug counts down by integrating continuous testing into every step of the process.
- Deploying multiple times per day also helps developers pinpoint when a new bug was introduced in a previous release by noticing which changes triggered different errors.
Cons of Using DevOps:
- In some organizations, automating tasks requires going against cultural norms. Many IT organizations are resistant to change, significantly increasing their workload.
- It can also be challenging for developers to adapt if they don’t have a lot of experience writing scripts or know what tools are available.
That was all about these two modern-day processes. Having brushed up on sufficient knowledge about them, let’s look at how they go hand in hand.
So, How do Agile & DevOps Interrelate?
Developers and IT operations teams have different goals and motivations. In most cases, Agile development teams are focused on meeting deadlines & releasing product features.
However, the entire software development team is interested in continuous deployment, continuous delivery, automated testing/deployment, test-driven development (TDD), continuous integration (CI), and other practices that work well with DevOps.
These are all processes that focus on improving software quality from end to end—and they’re all part of building a successful product. Although Agile is often necessary for technical applications such as software engineering or information technology (IT), you can apply it to diverse software or digital projects.
However, it’s important to remember that Agile refers only to a set of principles, not to specific processes, tools, or techniques. There are different ways to implement Agile principles, making them flexible enough for almost any organization. (Scherr)
That’s why DevOps and Agile go hand in hand; they work well together and produce impressive results when used alongside one another.
So, what are some benefits of using them together?
From its inception, Agile was meant to be paired with DevOps. Simply put, both processes aim to optimize business performance. However, each one is geared toward a different type of company:
DevOps favors companies that want to be more flexible. Agile is best for companies that want a stronger relationship with their customers—and both processes do an excellent job at building up a company’s lean muscles.
Advantages of using Agile & DevOps together:
- The collaboration between these two teams will make your company run smoother than ever before!
- Agile is great for bringing together a team with different specialties: sales, marketing, software development. It helps them build products more quickly, without sacrificing quality.
- With DevOps, new code gets sent from developers to their internal QA teams almost immediately. It means that issues can be caught much faster and with less wasted time trying to figure out where something went wrong (and why).
- Continuous integration means that QA teams don’t need to wait until a project is complete before testing it; they can test early and often instead.
- Ultimately, it increases quality across all aspects of your project because there are fewer chances for bugs to creep into your product as you build it. And continuous deployment ensures customer satisfaction by sending every new version of your product straight to them!
However, combining the two complex processes in a single firm is not an easy ride. There’s a challenge that arises when you bring so many stakeholders into one project:
How do you make sure they are all communicating well?
- Developers need to speak directly to customers, who may have different expectations or needs.
- QA testers can’t work if they don’t understand what they are being asked to test.
- Back-end developers need to communicate with their front-end counterparts.
And so on. Enter DevOps! DevOps brings cross-team collaboration through continuous integration and deployment practices to ensure teams communicate effectively.
Both the processes are equally complex. The tricky part is to implement them together in an efficient way. Thus, it requires a more significant investment of time and effort.
Moreover, the flexibility & dedication required for such a process is relatively much higher than implementing one of them at a time. It is ideal for taking the help of a business transformation agency to ensure a streamlined approach for implementing them in your organization.
As you can see, both DevOps and Agile promote an iterative approach to project management. If your organization wants to run lean but still focus on results, these philosophies make a lot of sense.
Doing either one well, however, requires a cultural shift away from silos; you must create an environment where all parties—from QA to development to marketing—work together toward common goals.
That’s why it’s brilliant for companies with legacy infrastructure that’s falling behind current industry standards to begin integrating DevOps principles into their workflows today.