Understanding the nuances of Agile and DevOps | HCL Blogs

Understanding the Nuances of Agile and DevOps

Understanding the Nuances of Agile and DevOps
June 29, 2020

In the fast-paced environment and dynamic business requirements of today, there was a need to break away from the traditional SDLC methodologies to a more nimble and agile approach. This led to the emergence of Agile, an iterative and collaborative method that reduces the overall time-to-market.

Agile requires active participation of the business team. As a result, the software development life cycle is dramatically reduced. The focus is shifted from comprehensive documentation to creating an operational software as quickly as possible so it could be tested and iterated upon quickly. Agile brought about the idea of software as a service (SaaS), where there is no final product as the software is continuously improved upon.

This idea has further evolved to have an integrative approach with operations and continuous automation to ensure that the improvements required are worked on immediately for seamless delivery to the client, which is the crux of DevOps methodology.

Agile vs DevOps

The effectiveness of Agile and DevOps methodology depends on the application, team size, change management, training, and top management support.

DevOps results in increased productivity of IT and business teams and cost efficiency.

Agile and DevOps are not separate concepts and move hand in hand. While Agile focuses on making developers and the processes more efficient, DevOps includes both the development and operations team to enable continuous integration, continuous delivery, continuous quality control, continuous automation, continuous feedback, and quick response time.

This results in increased productivity of IT and business teams, cost efficiency on maintenance and upgrades as the process is integrated.

It also results in economies of scale and reduces capital expenditure. This ensures better quality and reliability and reusability of system components, ushering in customer delight.

Some of the key differences between the Agile and DevOps are reflected in the table below.

Agile

DevOps

Focuses on Speed

Focuses on speed, scale, automation, and quality

Ends at the deployment phase

Stretches to operations and monitoring

Uses Scrum and Kanban etc. to achieve results

Focuses on continuous integration, continuous delivery, continuous testing, and continuous monitoring

Feedback is from customers/business

Feedback is primarily from self (customer feedback is also a part

Phases in Agile vis à vis DevOps

Agile methodology is iterative and collaborative in nature and focuses on small but quick releases based on customer feedback. On the other and, DevOps is a practice of bringing development and operations teams together to enable continuous integration and continuous delivery.

phases

Agile Benefits

  1. Stakeholder and Team Collaboration: Both the stakeholder and the team engage with each other multiple times before, during, and after each sprint. 
  2. Change Management: New business priorities and also the overall product improvement can be accommodated along with the product subset that is to be delivered in each iteration.
  3. Project Visibility: While change and productivity are so very important, visibility is the key that paves the road to agile success.
  4. Business-IT alignment: Alignment of IT and Business to the strategy, mission, and goals of the organization.
  5. Customer Experience: This is to make customers advocates for the company by delivering more than expectations
  6. Transparency for Clients:  From feature prioritization and iteration planning to review sessions and periodic software builds, clients are involved in every stage of the SDLC.
  7. Employee Satisfaction: Every team member needs to actively participate in Agile meetings, and it is but natural for employees to feel more engaged and productive.

 The main principles of DevOps are

  1. To encourage a collaborative culture and environment: The bringing together of development and operations to communicate, collaborate, and integrate with enterprise goals is the first step.
  2. Continuous Integration, continuous automation, continuous development, continuous delivery, continuous deployment are the four key aspects of the DevOps framework. The framework encourages continuous automation and streamlines continuous improvement and innovation to ensure results are always of better quality than what was desired or initially targeted.
  3. Focus on customer needs: This requires one to be dynamic and feel the customer pulse and ever-changing needs of the market, to innovate and deliver the best solutions and products to achieve customer satisfaction. The aim is to develop higher value and customer-centric products and services.
  4. End-to-End Responsibility: Developers and operations work as a team and have complete responsibility of the deliverables, innovations, and customer satisfaction.

 DevOps Benefits

  1. Shorter Developmental Cycle: DevOps framework results in a shorter development cycle because of continuous delivery, continuous improvements, Continuous using of automation testing and fixes
  2. Increased Speed of Delivery: Seamless communication and collaboration between teams and continuous integration and delivery results in quick turnaround time.
  3. Reducing Errors and Defects: The DevOps teams are continuously integrating and continuously testing to ensure that the codes are defect-free and of high quality
  4. Collaborative Working and Cross-functional Learning: DevOps framework primarily aims at a culture of clear communication lines and collaboration between teams to ensure that the best solutions are provided and various teams understand the end to end components and are not restricted in their understanding of what it means to the end client.
  5. Innovation and Increased Effectiveness: Innovation and Digital transformation is the buzz word to improve productivity, sales outreach, and customer satisfaction. There is also more time to innovate because there is less to fix and maintain.
  6. Improved Customer Satisfaction: Since the DevOps framework is pro-active it ensures that results mostly exceed expectations and customer demands are often attained swiftly with no time lag.

Conclusion

Using Agile and DevOps in sync is the best approach as they are complimentary.

In today’s competitive world improving the bottom line has taken precedence over everything else. Hence, DevOps is the go-to-market strategy that will result in bringing efficiency and effectiveness in the processes, ultimately resulting in skillset upgrade and cost optimization. It also delivers superior value to customers.

With the recent work-from-home approach that most companies have successfully incorporated in their DNA, there is no better path than an integrated one to solution designing and solving problems.