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How to Combine DevOps and Agile: Expert Opinion

February 4, 2021

DevOps and Agile have gained massive popularity in the software development business. How do these things come together?

We’ve asked Vitaly Skuratovich, ISsoft’s DevOps expert, how Agile and DevOps concepts are different, and how they can complement each other at scale.

How Are Agile and DevOps Different Concepts?

Today Agile and DevOps are interdependent cultures. It’s vital to combine Agile with DevOps practices to gain all its benefits.

While on the subject of DevOps, it implies short delivery cycles, frequent tests at each iteration, and increasing automation. DevOps aims to release software to production faster, using CI/CD approaches’ principles and processes. If the DevOps team doesn’t follow Agile’s directions, they can’t deliver a high-quality software product quickly. Still, when compared to DevOps, Agile is not just a process; it’s a technique. Both methodologies are used to improve collaboration in a project team.

If a company strives for flexible development, Agile and DevOps should be combined to optimize and streamline the software development cycle because they allow development teams to collaborate and grow together.

DevOps is like Agile’s extension that consists of the stages and practices used to avoid collaboration barriers between various groups in a project team. This reinforces a culture of cooperation that helps the team to respond to changes as fast as possible. Besides, Agile and DevOps optimize SDLC’s phases to deliver a high-quality product in a short time frame. 

Thus, considering Agile and DevOps as different concepts, it’s impossible to benefit from both of them to the full extent. 

How Can Agile and DevOps Work Together?

The Agile methodology implies that project teams understand each other’s roles and tasks, while understanding and interoperability are of prime importance for a scrum master, project manager, and product owner to efficiently manage the software development. It’s essential to understand each step necessary for product delivery and its production release. That’s why the combination of Agile and DevOps helps software project’s staff optimize all the processes.

  • It’s reasonable to apply DevOps practices at early SDLС’s phase.
    Employing DevOps practices as early as possible allows the development team to accelerate all the project processes. DevOps practices ensure faster product release by employing continuous delivery and getting faster feedback because developers can fix system bugs in the early stages. DevOps allows the team to automate certain processes, saving their time focusing on the product’s quality.
  • Collaboration is an integral part of Agile and DevOps.
    Serving as an intermediary between the development team, the IT operation team, and end-users, DevOps engineers develop efficient communication within the team, enabling continuous collaboration, one of the leading Agile’s principles. For instance, a properly implemented monitoring system provides complete information on the system load, making it easier to fix and add changes to the product quickly.
    Nevertheless, DevOps ensures system scalability and fall-over protection, saving developers’ time and client’s money. It’s all about DevOps best practices and efficient process management, which reduces development and release costs.
  • The earlier DevOps is applied in Scrum ceremonies, the better.
    DevOps engineers help improve the project team’s productivity by participating in all the activities. They can quickly respond to changes and adapt existing DevOps processes related to the project pipeline and infrastructure, which results in faster responding to changes in sprints, making them more flexible.
  • Automation is essential for DevOps practices.
    Automation should be implemented in software development projects. For example, DevOps engineers can make regular reporting easier and increase the transparency of project management processes. QA automation can also be considered for optimizing manual processes (e.g., providing access to the system during the onboarding process, etc.).

What Are the Benefits of DevOps and Agile Approach?

Agile methodologies are more efficient than others. Combining our Agile and DevOps approach, clients can get a lot of benefits for their software projects, including:

  • faster and streamlined product release processes;
  • better team communication and collaboration;
  • more value and less risk in each release;
  • fewer errors and quicker corrections through automation and testing;
  • high transparency for the clients;
  • higher level of user and customer satisfaction.

What’s ISsoft Approach to Agile and DevOps Combination?

At ISsoft, we don’t consider Agile and DevOps as separate concepts; they are continuously connected in our Agile-based projects.

Our project management is based on best practices, should it be Agile or another methodology. We need to be flexible and adapt our project’s activities to new challenges as quickly as possible, so DevOps practices should accumulate a lot of comprehensive knowledge.

Teamwork and Collaboration

DevOps engineers must be skilled in the Agile methodology. Our approach is focused on closer communication between software developers and DevOps engineers. Any Agile methodology ensures it because project teams need to perform short-term and long-term tasks. Thus, our mission is the continuous improvement of teamwork skills.

DevOps Implementation at Early Stages

We strive to implement DevOps from the discovery phase of the project. As we’ve mentioned earlier in the article, DevOps makes all Agile processes to be performed faster.

Continuous Testing and Automation in Each Phase

Automation is an excellent DevOps practice. Employing DevOps allows the development team to test the application by covering functionality with tests and implementing QA automation for saving time that might be spent on manual testing. For example, one of ISsoft’s projects included only manual tests, and DevOps engineers suggested automation implementation that reduced QA engineers’ workload by 60%. And it’s just one of numerous examples we can provide. In general, an effective DevOps and Agile combination increases performance by 50-60% for each step of a development cycle.

Backlogging Process

DevOps engineers take part in all Scrum ceremonies, they monitor the project development and suggest what is worth improving. They add backlogs, discuss them with the development team, and move the issue to an active sprint. 

Technology Stack

Using the right technologies to implement DevOps best practices is vital for Agile-based projects’ success. For the years in the software development business, we’ve tested and applied hundreds of tools. Here’s the DevOps tech stack consisting of the tools that have proved their efficiency and will still stand out in 2020-2021.

At ISsoft, our project development teams are staffed with professional DevOps engineers who collaborate efficiently with developers to deliver high-quality software products. If you have a project idea, feel free to contact our company experts.

by Vitaly Skuratovich

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Vitaly Skuratovich is DevOps Tech Lead, Group Manager, and Mentor at ISsoft. He is an experienced DevOps and Azure AWS Google expert with over 16 years in IT and 7 years as a DevOps Engineer.