Agile Vs DevOps: What’s the Difference
Find out the distinctions and parallels between the software development and project management approaches used by DevOps and Agile.
DevOps and Agile are two distinct but complementary approaches in software development that aim to improve collaboration, efficiency, and the overall delivery of high-quality software. While they share some common principles, they focus on different aspects of the software development lifecycle.
Agile is a methodology that approaches project management and software development iteratively. In order to solve issues and enable faster releases to meet deadlines, it places a strong emphasis on collaboration and communication between cross-functional teams. Agile places a strong emphasis on user input to raise the caliber of its products.
The process concentrates on the incremental deployments made during each sprint and combines them for final testing.
Agile’s basic principles start with the idea that people should be valued more than tools and procedures and that the right team should work together to solve problems and uphold a positive work environment. This process puts delivering software to clients ahead of spending a great deal of time creating copious documentation.
Being adaptable and quick to adjust to changes is another Agile core value, as is ongoing customer development and collaboration as opposed to contract negotiation.
- Iterative development: continuous delivery of small, incremental improvements.
- Customer collaboration: regularly seeking and incorporating feedback from customers.
- Responding to change: being adaptive to changing requirements throughout the project.
- Agile defines roles like scrum master, product owner, and development team.
- It encourages close collaboration among cross-functional teams.
- Common artefacts include the product backlog, sprint backlog, and increments of working software.
DevOps is an approach that brings together a company’s software development and IT operations teams to foster collaboration and increase productivity. Through the integration of people, practices, processes, technologies, and tools, DevOps enables teams to achieve enhanced transparency and automated, reliable code deployment.
The continuous delivery of high-quality software is the main objective of DevOps. Continuous development, integration, testing, deployment, feedback, monitoring, and operations thus form the foundation of its tenets. Unlike traditional software development methods, DevOps teams constantly build, test, deploy, and monitor. This shift and emphasis on continuity lead to more dependable, quickly deployed systems that are also simple to integrate. Additionally, because DevOps heavily relies on automation, the methodology boosts output quality and speed.
To learn more about the DevOps culture and practices, you can read our guide on Key DevSecOps and the Importance of Early and Frequent Automation.
- Automation: use of automation tools for testing, deployment, and infrastructure provisioning.
- Collaboration: Promoting communication and collaboration between development, operations, and other stakeholders.
- Continuous delivery: ensuring a continuous and reliable flow of changes into production.
- DevOps is more about collaboration across roles than defining specific roles.
- It encourages a shared responsibility for the entire software development lifecycle.
- DevOps artefacts include automation scripts, deployment pipelines, and infrastructure-as-code configurations.
The similarities between DevOps and Agile
There are many parallels between the Agile and DevOps approaches. Not surprisingly, given that the Agile manifesto mentions DevOps and that the latter was developed to address some of the gaps in the Agile methodology. Below is a summary of some of their most notable parallels.
Pay attention to the client
Agile and DevOps place a strong emphasis on providing value to clients and end users. DevOps reduces downtime, responds quickly to user feedback, and releases software frequently and reliably in order to provide value and satisfy customers. Agile ensures that customers’ needs are met by collaborating with them and soliciting feedback frequently.
Strong collaboration and communication
Both Agile and DevOps place a strong emphasis on teamwork and communication. By fostering collaboration between development and operations teams, DevOps dismantles conventional silos. It also encourages teamwork in the creation and implementation of software.
Agile encourages teamwork and maintains alignment through regular meetings such as sprint reviews and daily stand-ups.
Motivated by the concepts of Lean
Lean principles serve as an inspiration for both Agile and DevOps in their pursuit of optimizing software development and delivery. Lean focuses on removing waste, which Agile and DevOps accomplish by delivering the most valuable features first and automating repetitive tasks, respectively. Lean also places a strong emphasis on continuous improvement, which Agile and DevOps accomplish through retrospectives and automated monitoring, respectively.
Another similarity between Agile and DevOps is continuous improvement. DevOps finds bottlenecks and areas in the pipeline that can be improved by using automation, continuous integration, and delivery. Regular retrospectives are used by agile to assess and improve their processes.
Iterative development is embraced by DevOps and Agile. Code changes are regularly integrated and small, incremental updates are sent to production systems by DevOps’ continuous integration and delivery process. Agile releases incremental updates in the form of sprints, which are brief iterations.
Team autonomy and empowerment
Agile and DevOps both emphasize team autonomy and empowerment. Whereas Agile features self-organizing teams with decision-making authority when it comes to taking on tasks, DevOps forces development teams to assume responsibility for the deployment and operation of their software.
Acceptance of change
Agile and DevOps teams welcome change and don’t try to avoid it. Both of them accept change in different ways because they both realize it is inevitable. While Agile was designed to accommodate last-minute changes to the development process, DevOps’ use of continuous delivery and deployment enables its teams to quickly adjust to changes in the market or in the needs of its users.
Both Agile and DevOps place a high priority on quality assurance. DevOps uses automated testing to maintain code quality, whereas Agile integrates testing at every stage of development to guarantee that every software release satisfies quality requirements.
Although DevOps and Agile share many characteristics, they also diverge greatly. These are a few of their main distinctions.
Agile is primarily a development-focused methodology.
DevOps is more about the collaboration and automation of the entire software development lifecycle, including development, testing, deployment, and operations.
Agile focuses on delivering value to the customer through working software.
DevOps focuses on improving the efficiency and reliability of the entire development and delivery process.
DevOps aims to foster effective collaboration and communication between software development and operations teams. Unlike traditional development methods, DevOps eliminates the silos between the two teams and emphasizes a shared responsibility for the entire DevOps lifecycle.
Agile places a strong emphasis on stakeholder and team communication and collaboration. It has cross-functional development teams and self-organizing teams.
The integration of several teams is essential to DevOps. Its teams are typically larger overall as a result. To succeed, DevOps teams need individuals with a variety of skills and skill sets to share responsibilities.
Smaller teams are essential to agile in order to reduce risk and speed up execution. Agile team members are often multi-talented masters who can tackle any assignment.
DevOps achieves its objectives through automation and CI/CD pipelines. Software may be released consistently and swiftly by automating the building, testing, and deployment processes.
Agile uses the Scrum and Kanban frameworks based on daily stand-up meetings, backlog management, sprint reviews, and sprint planning. By using these techniques, Agile teams can produce a potentially usable product increment at the conclusion of each sprint.
DevOps places a strong emphasis on thorough documentation to promote efficient teamwork. The system is based on the idea that everything should be meticulously documented, including updates, procedures, and communication.
Agile promotes properly working software against comprehensive documentation. Agile teams benefit from increased flexibility and ease of use by having less paperwork.
Agile is more about the iterative and incremental development of software over short periods of time (sprints).
DevOps is about the continuous and automated delivery of software changes to production.
Roles and Responsibilities:
Agile defines specific roles with distinct responsibilities.
DevOps encourages a culture of shared responsibility and collaboration.
With these ideas in mind, it’s apparent that both Agile and DevOps aspire to provide end-user value in a more efficient manner – albeit from distinct perspectives. Agile concentrates on improving the productivity of developers and development cycles, whereas DevOps involves the operations team to facilitate continuous integration and delivery.
While there are numerous differences between the Agile and DevOps approaches, there are also many commonalities. DevOps and Agile are complementary and may be coupled to make your development and delivery processes faster and more efficient, so you can swiftly produce higher-quality software. Don’t allow those differences to prevent you from employing one or the other.