DevOps vs Agile: Meaning | Difference's

The DevOps approach prioritizes the improvement and streamlining of processes along the way. Agile is all about collaboration and constantly changing needs.

Digital Delivery
8 min
Digital Delivery
DevOps vs Agile: Meaning | Difference's

Agile and DevOps are both common practices used for modern software development. The agile methodology started to gain a lot of traction back in the early 2000s. At first, it completely transformed the way that teams worked on software and other products and was widely embraced as the new industry standard.

It hasn’t lost favor with software development teams, but some companies started to notice a separation happening between developers and the processes and requirements of the operations team.

Developers write the software while operations teams deploy and manage software products. The DevOps methodology arose out of the need to align development and operations teams. So does it serve as a replacement for agile? Or do the two-act in tandem?

There are many similarities and many differences between the two, and it’s not always clear whether they work together or if it's up to every company to choose one approach. Let’s take a closer look at DevOps vs Agile to find out which approach leads to the greatest efficiency and more reliable results.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a software development practice focused on delivering value by tightening the connection between people, processes, and technology.

The goal is to help bridge the gap between software developers and operations, instead of having development teams write applications to hand off to a completely separate operations team who deploy and manage them without having any sense of how they were developed.

In DevOps, developers, and operations teams work together throughout development, deployment, and ongoing management.

In many situations, DevOps calls for the collaboration of development, IT operations, quality engineering, and security teams. This helps create more efficiency across the entire workflow involved in launching a new product, release, or update.

devops. devops methodology, devops approach

The DevOps approach values stability and consistency and prioritizes the importance of improving and streamlining processes along the way. It helps companies to increase efficiency, take advantage of programmable processes, and implement more automation.

Unlike agile, which is a methodology just for development teams, DevOps is cross-disciplinary. It involves development, operations, and quality assurance, seamlessly connecting all areas of software production.

The result is continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment, without any gaps.

What is Agile?

Agile is an iterative approach to software development based on the Agile Manifesto. It is centered around collaboration, customer feedback, and making product releases timely and efficient.

It came about in the early 2000s and helped development teams to face changing market conditions and the needs of their customers.

The fundamentals of agile are based on the effort to create a functional prototype of build in the midst of constantly changing needs and requirements. It relates to lean manufacturing and involves close collaboration between stakeholders and developers.

The work happens in small batches, with constant course correction along the way. One of the main benefits of agile is that if customers aren’t happy with a software product, changes can be implemented in real-time.

Knowing that customer needs can shift at any moment, agile helps companies remain adaptable and keep pace with customer needs and expectations.

It was a welcome upgrade to the waterfall methodology because it allows for continuous changes to be made throughout the development process, leading to a faster product release.

waterfall, agile methods

The agile process is specific to developers and how quickly and efficiently they can complete a project. With every new iteration, the software product is handed off to different teams for delivery, deployment, and ongoing maintenance.

DevOps vs Agile: Similarities and Differences

Adopting agile and DevOps practices in software development are confusing for many companies. The first step to lessening the confusion is to understand the differences between the two methodologies and the role they each play.

Key Differences Between DevOps vs. Agile

  1. DevOps brings together two independent teams in order to enable quicker software releases while Agile brings smaller teams together to collaborate so it can respond in real-time to customer needs.
  2. DevOps is focused on constant testing and delivery while Agile works to facilitate constant changes.
  3. DevOps team members have diverse skill sets while Agile teams have similar skill sets.
  4. DevOps works with shift-left and shift-right principles while Agile leverages just a shift-left principle.
  5. DevOps is focused more on operations and business readiness while Agile centers on functional readiness.
  6. DevOps aims to meet deadlines and benchmarks for new releases while agile works in “sprints” to release as quickly as a product is functional.
  7. In DevOps, feedback comes from the internal team while in Agile it comes from the customer.
  8. DevOps team members have specific skill sets and roles while in Agile any team member can do what is needed for the project.
  9. DevOps prioritizes automation while Agile doesn’t place a strong emphasis on automation.
  10. DevOps addresses the gap between development and operations.
  11. Agile addresses the gap between customer needs and the development team.
  12. Developing, testing and implementation are equally important in DevOps while developing software is the only focus on Agile.
  13. Puppet, Chef, TeamCity OpenStack, and AWS are popular DevOps tools while JIRA, Bugzilla, and Kanboard are popular Agile tools.

DevOps and Agile Together

Agile and DevOps are not mutually exclusive software development methodologies. In fact, there are many benefits to merging agile and DevOps. Both offer a structure and framework that can work together to speed up software delivery.

Agile is strong on methods to organize work, like Scrum or Kanban, and DevOps helps build a more consistent and reliable process of delivering software more quickly.

DevOps is almost like a missing piece of agile. It works to take the philosophy and values of the Agile approach and extend them to the operations process.

Without DevOps, Agile can’t be employed in the most complete way and without Agile, DevOps can’t be fully realized either. For instance, the Agile Manifesto references DevOps principles, such as continuous integration and delivery.

Ultimately, Agile and DevOps have the same goal: to release better software more quickly. The two practices are now so widely accepted that it is rare to find software production companies that use one without the other.

Still, some teams have trouble seeing the benefits of one or the other or have not had success fusing the two.

Recommended reading; Why Agility Fails.

How Adservio can help

When done right, your company can choose one practice, or combine Agile and DevOps to bolster your software development and delivery processes. At Adservio, we can help you figure out a customized approach to your software development that leads to better products.

Ready to learn more? Reach out to our team of experts to learn more about how we can help you find workflows and practices that optimize your development process.

Published on
May 10, 2022

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