Last Updated: November 18, 2023
DevOps vs Agile
Published On: October 19, 2023

Blog Summary: This blog aims to shed light on the key differentiators and harmonious relationship between Agile and DevOps. We will uncover their combined practices that drive innovation and enhance software delivery. In the end, readers can understand and identify how their unique roles are essential for fostering a collaborative and efficient software development lifecycle.

Agile and DevOps have come a long way in the realm of software development. They have expanded their footprint beyond it to shape project management and revolutionized how organizations track progress metrics.

If you find it hard to believe that, here’s why you should not:

The US region boasts of at least 71% of companies seeing 64% more project success rate with Agile project management. Similarly, almost 95% of CIOs trust using multi-cloud strategies as part of DevOps for enhanced performance and security.

At its base, DevOps combines development and IT operations teams to create a robust delivery process. On the flip side, Agile is a set of methodologies to make tasks of that release cycle more manageable and smaller with better collaboration.

The boundaries between both are sometimes extremely similar as they both aim to provide consistency, speed, and cost-efficiency to help deliver high-quality software development for organizations.

Let’s expand more on DevOps vs Agile in the following sections.

What is Agile?

Agile Methodology

If Agile methodology is the protagonist in the development scene, it makes its older counterpart, Waterfall, an antagonist. Let us explain in detail.

30 years ago, organizations had to wait for a long time to find solutions to the problems affecting software development. The Waterfall approach was a norm across development teams and was designed in a way that lacked adopting any changes in the course of action. It required members to stick to the set of requirements and scope as laid out when a project began.

Ultimately, the delays meant that critical problems would go unnoticed and, hence, unsolved for years. Even when the development team found a solution, the nature of the problem changed and became irrelevant. Developers also struggled because the products brought to market were no longer competitive to survive. In the end, the organizations had many projects that needed to be completed.

However, Agile gave way to new approaches for completing software projects. Agile methodology stood the test of time by creating a continuous loop of delivery, which means that new software can go to the market at any time.

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Core Values of Agile Manifesto

With a shared goal to expand team resources looking to adopt the Agile methodology, it included a different approach to meet the evolving needs of organizations. The four central values of the Manifesto are:

  • Prioritizing individuals and interactions instead of tools and processes
  • Prioritizing building a working software over complete documentation
  • Collaboration with customers over negotiating with customers
  • Responding to changes instead of following a plan

These values are backed by some guiding principles that work towards keeping the flow of information intact:

  1. Early and continuous deliveries to provide maximum customer satisfaction.
  2. Flexibility to welcome changes at any point of the delivery cycle.
  3. Timely and frequent delivery schedule by shortening the development cycles.
  4. Making the software the benchmark for measuring progress.
  5. Finding moments to reflect and look for improvement opportunities.

What is DevOps?

DevOps Methodology

The institutional divide between development (Dev) and operational (Ops) teams makes the software development and release cycles complex. The complex process increases the bottlenecks, and teams blame other departments. Hence, it leads to poor tracking of responsibilities, lack of accountability, and results in delays and shortcomings in product quality.

DevOps works on cultivating a healthy culture across an organization that ensures productivity boost, reducing employee burnout and increasing job satisfaction. The organizational performance and success jump up to 30% by adopting the cohesive and inclusive culture of DevOps methodology when compared to the ones that lack it.

Implementation of DevOps is a driving force that fixes the broken places of a development process. Often, all the groups in a development team are unaware of the roadblocks, have wrong insights, or even have contrasting visions. It leads organizations to ask themselves one common question – how to expand their agile teams to greater effectiveness?

There won’t be any synchronization if the process is not implemented across teams properly. Implementing Agile is different from successfully extending it across organizational teams to facilitate better delivery of projects. Agile principles and practices bring increased automation in software processes and collaboration between teams.

DevOps Principles

The continuous loop is guided by a set of principles that keep the teams consistent and oriented by promoting the security of DevOps projects.

1. Collaboration

Collaboration depends most prominently on a proactive approach and cultivating a practice of logging the issues as and when they arise.

2. Informed Decisions Based on Data

Whether the team has to select the right tech stack or tools, each decision should be taken based on collecting accurate data around it.

3. User-centric Decisions

Customers should be at the forefront of each software development process in a DevOps lifecycle.

4. Continuous Improvement

Teams must constantly work on adding new features and updates, which helps build a minimum viable product to meet customers’ needs as soon as possible.

5. Consistent Accountability

DevOps follows a logical approach to generate a sense of responsibility throughout the phases of a lifecycle. From planning to the end, both teams work simultaneously in each phase.

6. Automation of Each Phase

DevOps aims to bring automation across each phase of a software product lifecycle to bring speed in the pipeline and reduce manual tasks.

7. Learning Through Failures

DevOps brings a change of approach where it doesn’t avoid failures and focuses on taking more risks and maintaining flexibility to treat it as a learning experience.

Can DevOps Replace Agile?

Short answer? No, DevOps can’t replace Agile. The long answer is that DevOps management and Agile methodology are coexistent; they can’t replace each other. Organizations use both of them, and they can’t choose one.

Compared to earlier methodologies that focused on delivering a perfect product all at once, DevOps focuses on adding incremental improvements. In its purest form, the integration between the development teams and operations teams can only be strengthened by sharing information and working together.

When Do Agile and DevOps Work Together?

Organizations that support DevOps culture are in favor of using it with Agile methodology. In fact, they see DevOps as an extension of Agile because of its cross-functional teams. It includes a tester, a developer, and a designer.

By adding a member from the operations team, they can ease the process of deployment from development. Continuous integration and communication increase the transparency between the teams.

Hence, DevOps is the missing puzzle piece from Agile. Some specific agile principles are only realized when Agile is put into practice. Enhancing software quality allows for streamlining the development process. Let us explain through an example.

Picture a scenario where your organization is in the midst of adding a new feature for a web application. DevOps practices with an Agile framework facilitate continuous integration and deployment. It ensures that each iterative change made by the Agile team is efficiently integrated and deployed to the production environment.

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DevOps vs Agile: The Similarities

On one hand, the goal of DevOps is to create a continuous loop of integrated software development with collaboration and customer-centric decision-making. In contrast, Agile methodology took birth due to shortcomings in the Waterfall model because it wasn’t adaptable to the modern world.

Hence, DevOps and Agile are similar in many ways:

Integrated Automation and Testing

Agile and DevOps both emphasize achieving stability by operating in a fast, secure, and reliable environment. Both approaches work on accomplishing this by integrating testing on a daily basis to bring flexibility and security through automation.

Emphasis on Maximizing Productivity

DevOps and Agile both are business inclined and hence work towards achieving a shared goal. If Agile provides enough flexibility for the teams to concentrate on one target, DevOps leads to faster software releases. Ultimately, they both save time and make teams more efficient.

Building a Collaborative Workplace

Even if they have different approaches, both Agile and DevOps methodologies aim to teach a workplace culture where the flow of information is smooth, and communication is hassle-free. It allows organizational teams to detect issues early and solve them on time to increase productivity and efficiency.

Lean Philosophies are a Major Inspiration

Agile and DevOps both share common principles derived from Lean philosophies with their roots in continuous improvement and customer-centricity. They emphasize the importance of iterative development, quick feedback loops, and the elimination of waste to optimize processes.

DevOps vs Agile: The Differences

Agile and DevOps, while complementary, serve different purposes in the software development lifecycle. Agile focuses on iterative development and collaboration, enabling teams to deliver high-quality software flexibly and incrementally.

In contrast, DevOps is a continuous cycle of automation, collaboration, and continuous delivery.

Here are the significant differences between both:

Customer-centric Development vs Automated SDLC

Agile methodology revolves around customer-centric development, with a focus on delivering valuable software frequently. It promotes planning with effective responses to change, development, quick delivery, and continuous improvement. Hence, it promotes a collaborative environment where cross-functional teams work closely together to meet customer needs.

DevOps, in contrast, centers on automating and monitoring the software delivery process, with an emphasis on collaboration between all the teams. It aims to reduce the time between writing code and deploying it to production, enabling organizations to deliver features, fixes, and updates more frequently and reliably.

Iterative Approach vs Integrated Approach

Agile’s iterative approach allows for rapid responses to change and encourages constant feedback from stakeholders. DevOps integrates various tools and practices to streamline the software development lifecycle, including continuous integration, continuous delivery, and infrastructure as code, to foster a culture of shared responsibility and rapid iteration.

While Agile focuses primarily on the development phase, DevOps extends its reach to the entire software delivery pipeline, including development, testing, deployment, and monitoring.

Shared Ownership vs Incremental Deployments

By fostering collaboration and communication across teams, DevOps encourages a culture of shared ownership. Teams work together towards delivering and maintaining applications more efficiently.

In essence, Agile is a software development methodology that prioritizes customer satisfaction and adaptive planning. At the same time, DevOps aims at spreading collaboration and automation across the lifecycle of a software project.

Development Phase vs Entire Pipeline

While both approaches aim to improve software efficiency and quality, they operate at different stages of the development process. Agile focuses on the development phase, and DevOps addresses the entire pipeline.

It promotes the automation of manual tasks, such as configuration management and deployment, ensuring that software releases are consistent, predictable, and of high quality.

When implemented in conjunction, Agile and DevOps can create a powerful synergy, enabling organizations to deliver reliable and faster software projects.

Agile and DevOps in Conclusion

Even though DevOps and Agile differ from each other in many contexts, they have a shared goal of increasing software quality and speed. Hence, it’s a good idea to integrate them and let them co-exist.

The fast pace of technological advancements ensures that organizations will be able to continuously find newer approaches to find solutions for issues affecting the software development processes. When making a decision, CEOs and CTOs must ensure that it aligns with the software development process in a way that builds, tests, and releases the software faster in the market.

Moon Technolabs is your frontline partner for a faster software development release cycle by empowering your teams and solving the problems before they become significant issues.

FAQs

Agile methodology benefits organizations with increased adaptability to change, faster software deliveries, improved engagement, and enhanced product quality. It fosters a collaborative and user-centric approach, enabling teams to respond to evolving requirements more effectively, ultimately leading to better business outcomes.

DevOps accelerates software delivery and improves collaboration between development and operations teams. With faster deployment frequency, it reduces failure rates of new releases by faster problem resolution, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction.

CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery) practices automate the software release process through a shared repository of code. With automated testing, it ensures that software can be released reliably at any time, quickly, and efficiently while maintaining high quality.

Agile and DevOps serve distinct yet complementary purposes in the software development lifecycle. While Agile promotes iterative development, DevOps emphasizes collaboration and automation across the delivery pipeline. Hence, it’s better to integrate them instead of choosing one of them.

The DevOps lifecycle encompasses the following continuous cycle of stages - development, testing, integration, deployment, and monitoring. By integrating automation, feedback loops, and continuous monitoring, the DevOps lifecycle aims to ensure efficient and high-quality software delivery while fostering a culture of continuous improvement.
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Jayanti Katariya

Jayanti Katariya is the CEO of Moon Technolabs, a fast-growing IT solutions provider, with 18+ years of experience in the industry. Passionate about developing creative apps from a young age, he pursued an engineering degree to further this interest. Under his leadership, Moon Technolabs has helped numerous brands establish their online presence and he has also launched an invoicing software that assists businesses to streamline their financial operations.

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