Agile vs. DevOps has been a long-standing debate. Agile development embraces the dynamic nature of project management by prioritizing scalable software over rigid processes. DevOps, by comparison, is focused on removing restrictive silos between development and operation teams to support continuous delivery. There is some overlap in their fundamental ideas, but each focuses on different stakeholders and business goals.

Many enterprises don’t realize how much these two methodologies have in common. In recent years, businesses have started to ask: Can DevOps be Agile? Are scaled Agile frameworks able to push DevOps capabilities forward and is DevOps what Agile frameworks need to achieve enterprise-scale functionality?

Studies show that teams who adopt Agile-backed DevOp approaches can yield exponential gains to their productivity and drive digital transformation. Here are the key ways enterprises can learn to embrace Agile and DevOps together.

Agile vs. DevOps: Competing Methodologies?

It’s common to think of Agile and DevOps as an intersection of ideas, but they are really accelerants of each other’s capabilities. Viewing these two methodologies as steps towards continuous delivery helps visualize them as progressive stages. It’s important to understand what role plays in the software development lifecycle (SDLC) to appreciate how they complement each other.

Agile’s Role in Enterprises

Agile development dates back to the ‘90s when Scrum, XP, and feature-driven development were introduced. In 2001, the Agile manifesto helped define the methodology as we know it today and replaced the traditional waterfall approach.

The manifesto outlines Agile’s philosophy as, “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Working software over comprehensive documentation. Customer collaboration over contract negotiations. Responding to change over following a plan.”

Agile’s goal is to be flexible and work with internal and external stakeholders to develop software that meets their needs, while also focusing on predictability and scalability. Businesses practice Agile today in many ways: conducting scrum sessions, using Agile practices for project management delivery and milestones, and even incorporating it into HR workflows. According to a study by Organize Agile, nearly half of organizations globally—including Apple, Microsoft, and IBM—have been using Agile methodologies for over three years. The top-cited reason for using Agile is increased flexibility to keep up with rapidly changing environments.

DevOps’s Role in Enterprises

DevOps was introduced in the late 2000s and was described as “Agile applied beyond the software team”. In many cases, organizations started small by applying Agile methods and scaling them with Scrum and XP. When DevOps was introduced, experienced Agile teams were eager to expand beyond development and QA.

Before the concept of DevOps, organizations typically had dedicated development and operations teams that operated in silos. DevOps merges these teams into a single unit where engineers can work across the entire development lifecycle—from development, testing, and deployment, to operations. In some cases, security and QA teams are incorporated into the DevOps model. These multi-functional teams are given unified performance metrics that closely align with business objects and focus on continuous software delivery.

The DevOps methodology is dynamic and there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach. A 2019 report by DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) found that the highest DevOps performers were focusing on team-level (continuous integration, automated testing) and organization-level (architectural changes, approval policies) efforts in tandem. Organizations with high performing DevOps strategies tend to see benefits such as faster time-to-deployment, enhanced security, and quicker recovery times.

Key Differentiators

As mentioned previously, Agile and DevOps target different stakeholders in the software development lifecycle. To eliminate confusion, it’s helpful to break down their key differentiators:

  • SDLC: Both methods implement software development, testing, and deployment. However, Agile typically stops after these stages. DevOps expands to include operations (which happens continuously).
  • Ownership: In Agile, separate people own development, testing, and deployment. In DevOps, the team owns the process together. Essentially, development is operations and operations is development.
  • Feedback: Agile relies on stakeholder feedback (facilitated through the Product Owner); DevOps relies on team feedback.
  • Speed: Agile focuses on speed through adaptability; whereas DevOps focuses on speed through automation.

The Benefits of Agile and DevOps Together

Understanding the ideas and practices of these two methodologies is the first step in leveraging their synergistic potential. They are different, yet they are both very powerful tools and should be adopted in tandem during your SDLC. 

In fact, 75% of survey IT professionals agreed that Agile and DevOps are more effective together. Why? Combining these methods allows feedback to span from customer experiences through to engineering requirements. This creates a feedback loop, which shows how well the software delivery is supporting business needs.

To achieve true IT agility, organizations must look beyond software development. Agile development and Agile operations are the foundation for IT environments that react to rapid change. But agility alone is not enough. Businesses need a holistic view of their SDLC beyond individual processes or silos and this requires incorporating a DevOps approach.

Benefits of adopting an Agile-backed DevOps approach include:

  • Agile and DevOps foster IT flexibility by aligning business objectives and metrics across teams, while also providing effective feedback through every step of the SDLC.
  • Enhancing Agile for continuous delivery allows businesses to build the right product for the right audience at the right time.
  • Integrating Agile and DevOps helps streamline software development, resulting in better collaboration, minimized risks, and quicker time to deployment.

Finding Tools That Support Agile and DevOps Together

DevOps and Agile teams are supported by a variety of tools for their specific methodology, but few tools exist that can support both. An Agile-backed DevOps solution understands that the most critical way to complete your organization’s DevOps framework is to enable Agile teams to scale and sprint faster.

How Does KloudGaze Support Agile-Backed DevOps to Fuel Digital Transformation?

KloudGaze is the first fully-automated platform that provides analysis across each stage in the SDLC and integrates with key tools to deliver powerful ROIs. KloudGaze uses SmartAPIs to foster better DevOps and instantly generates dependency views of your entire landscape at code-level.

This granular view supports powerful analytic capabilities and immediately pinpoints issues in your infrastructure. Unifying your data into a singular dashboard promotes Agile-backed DevOps by aligning business objectives and metrics across teams and departments. This detailed reporting supports Agile business functions by allowing swift response rates for deploying resources to address problems. Having the data available in a single dashboard unifies the metrics for your DevOps teams too as they move through the development lifecycle.

In short, with KloudGaze you can replace costly manual analysis and immediately assess impacts from even the smallest change across your entire infrastructure. KloudGaze eliminates the unknowns in your enterprise, which improves QA, delivers better products, eliminates risk, and makes Agile-backed DevOp teams much more effective.

Find out more about how KloudGaze’s agentless solution can propel your DevOps forward with an Agile-backed approach by requesting a free trial of our platform. If you have additional questions about KloudGaze contact us here.

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Agile vs. DevOps. Scrum vs. continuous delivery. Are these two approaches to software development really that different? See how an Agile-backed DevOps approach can fuel digital transformation.

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Agile vs. DevOps has been a hotly debated topic, but it doesn’t need to be an either-or proposition. See how organizations are using Agile and DevOps together to fuel digital transformation.