Written by Kevin Heisey
on March 01, 2022

While some organizations have successfully merged Agile and DevOps methodologies from the onset of their transformations, many find they are maturing Agile processes and DevOps frameworks on separate tracks. Large scale organizations are recognizing the benefits of merging Agile and DevOps practices at the enterprise level. The combination of Agile and DevOps can lead to more efficient operations, shorter development cycles and quicker value delivery.

In Agile software development, cross-functional teams break down processes into increments and work in short Sprints, with each subsequent increment driven by customer feedback. Agile development allows for rapid, initial value delivery and adaptability to customer needs and changing conditions as teams continuously innovate and improve products Sprint-by-Sprint with less focus on the operational aspects of software delivery.

DevOps integrates people, processes and tools to align development and IT operations to facilitate collaboration and improve productivity. Bringing the Development and Operations teams together ensures that the right applications are developed and reduces the steps necessary to deliver products.

Together, DevOps improves collaboration between the Development and Operations teams and Agile methodology makes development more efficient and responsive to rapidly changing customer needs and market conditions.

Cloud Practice Lead, Mike Trivette and Chief Transformation Officer, Mason Chaudhry address the merger of DevOps with Agile in Mike and Mason’s Tech TalkIntersection of Agile and DevOps, available on xScion’s YouTube channel. Four tips they share to successfully leverage both Agile & DevOps include:

1.    Understand that Agile and DevOps are not Business Goals

Establish a clear rationale for embracing Agile and DevOps starting with a clear perspective of what each is and is not. Agile and DevOps are not business goals – they are tools that can help you better achieve your business goals. Leveraging both can make your organization more efficient.

2.    Break Down Silos

The key to breaking down silos and obtaining buy-in is to demonstrate the benefits of both Agile and DevOps. Display how Development and Operations teams can work together to create effective solutions. Bring teams together with the purpose of learning from each other and understanding how Development impacts Operations and vice versa so a higher level of knowledge and capability can spread organically throughout the organization.

3.    Merge Agile and DevOps

Individuals with Agile backgrounds can be hyper-focused on Sprint Planning, Program Increment Planning and the Agile practices they are familiar with while leaving out the automation elements that are key to DevOps. Integrating automation into Agile workflows and planning can free Developers from repeated, manual tasks so they can focus more on developing products for the customer.

Choosing between Agile or DevOps for software development is not the best option. To get the most ROI and value from Agile and DevOps, merge the two in a collaborative way that enhances both approaches. DevOps brings an automated continuous integration and deployment pipeline and frequent releases, while Agile brings a customer focus on rapidly adapting to changing needs. If you can bridge the distinct cultures and create common ground where both sides understand the value of functional readiness and automation, it leads to buy-in across teams and smoother, more effective processes.

4.    Create Value

The purpose of merging Agile and DevOps is to create value more effectively with a Value Stream. You want to reduce friction between your Agile frameworks and DevOps frameworks, and merge the two in a complementary way that focuses on reconciling the gaps between customer needs, development and test themes. You create value best when your teams and organization are focused on the overall Value Stream, from start to finish with the goals of addressing the customer, development, testing and operations to deliver value through better products. Merging the best of Agile and DevOps allows you to do that well.

Download the 4 Tips for Integrating DevOps & Agile infographic for a visual overview.