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Agile and DevOps gained fast traction over the past decade due to various reasons such as better collaboration among the IT and operations team, fast product delivery, higher security, and better transparency, to name a few.
In a recent survey by Statista, nearly 47% of the respondents claimed that using DevOps has transformed their product development and business drastically. While DevOps complements Agile software development significantly, there are some basic differences between the two.
Agile is a product development methodology, and DevOps basically refers to a culture that facilitates collaboration among the development and other teams of an organization. But that’s not it, there are a lot of factors that not only differentiate one from the other but interrelate them too.
No matter whether you are a product developer, building your startup, or scaling up your business, you must have a clear concept of Agile, DevOps, and their correlation. Wondering how or from where to start? Read on!
What Is Agile?
Agile is defined as a software development and project management methodology that is based on an iterative approach. In Agile development, the software development process is divided into several stages or phases and each of the phases takes an iterative approach to make it more efficient and faster. An Agile development methodology is based on the six main phases -
This is the first phase of Agile development methodology where the product idea, project scope, product key features, solutions, product goals, and other details are defined and planned. The main idea behind the concept phase is to keep the whole product development plan clear based on your core product idea and the relevant business goals.
In this stage, the idea or concept of a product needs to be transformed into a well-defined outline to get started with the product development process. Everything related to the product development including the resources needed, steps to follow, the teams involved, and other factors are needed to be planned for smooth execution of the development process. You need to opt for the right tools, and framework and create the mock-up for the product design after taking the required inputs from the stakeholders.
The iteration phase is often considered the main pillar of the Agile development methodology and also it’s the longest phase of the Agile development process. In this phase, all the product requirements, end-user inputs, key product features, and other relevant information are collated to execute the iterative product development process.
In the first iteration, you need to deploy the minimum and core features, in the next iteration you can add more features, incorporate the changes based on the customer feedback, and continue with these iterative steps until the complete product is developed.
As the name suggests, the next phase refers to the release of the product after the quality checking is done. Starting from executing proper documentation to testing the product to detect and fix any possible bugs and errors - this phase includes these all to release a bug-free and quality final product.
After the release of the final product, you need to keep the product up-to-date in terms of the dynamic market trends, end-user requirements, and other factors. It also includes keeping your product bugs-free, secure, and market-driven.
While this may not be applicable for all products, the retirement phase is relevant when a product is replaced with a newer version, obsolete/no longer needed, or has other reasons for the owner to withdraw it from the market.
What Is DevOps?
DevOps is defined as a combination of methodologies, tools, approaches, and cultural philosophies of the software development and IT operations teams of an organization. The main goal of DevOps is to ensure faster delivery of high-quality products while improving the organization's culture. One can implement DevOps for any product development by executing the DevOps lifecycle through the following stages.
1. Continuous Improvement
Continuous improvement is often considered to be the first stage of the DevOps lifecycle where you need to define a complete plan and set of strategies to execute the product design and development process.
Be it managing the backlogs or deciding the milestones based on the audience requirements, this stage looks after all to ensure effective product development and release through continuous improvement.
2. Continuous Integration
The continuous integration facilitates easy code integration by several contributors for developing a single product. In this stage, the developers can easily merge the required code changes in a central repository to deploy, test, and run them efficiently. This process not only helps release error-free quality products but also speeds up the product delivery process.
3. Continuous Testing
This stage of DevOps is dedicated to ensuring the quality of a product through a thorough quality analysis (QA) process. You need to ensure the usability and functionality of the product are as expected and it accommodates all the key requirements of the target audience through its dedicated features and solutions.
4. Continuous Development
This is the stage of DevOps that refers to the planning and coding method for your product where the development is done by dividing the whole process into smaller stages. This stage helps the developers have a clear idea about the whole project scope, expected product solution, and the aligned project vision and deploy the product accordingly.
5. Continuous Feedback
Starting from user behavior analysis to incorporating their feedback into coding or deployment - this stage helps you in all to bring out the best in your product. You can conduct quizzes, polls, dedicated social media voting, and campaigns to collect user feedback, and implement the required changes as per their feedback to build the product as expected.
6. Continuous Monitoring
You need to monitor the performance of your product in-depth to assess whether its functionalities are as expected and whether the features and solutions are catering to the product goals. And this stage lets you monitor your product to find out any possible shortcomings or areas to improve to enhance its quality.
7. Continuous Operations
This is the final stage of the DevOps lifecycle that reduces downtime, speeds up product operations, and ensures the product’s efficiency and operability in the long run. Also, it helps you develop and maintain a market-driven product and lowers the delivery time.
What Is A Common Misconception About Agile and DevOps?
While the adoption of Agile and DevOps is widespread across several industries starting from B2B SaaS to eCommerce, there are a lot of misconceptions about Agile and DevOps. One of the most common misconceptions about Agile and DevOps is, people often think that they are synonyms which is not true at all.
The prime reason behind this misconception can be that Agile and DevOps are used together as both have one common goal to streamline and improve the business and development operations and speed up the product delivery. But the way they work, the main concepts and methodologies are completely different from one another.
Agile can be defined as an operational methodology that divides a lengthy and complex process into several smaller and simpler components for the respective teams/employees to execute easily and quickly. DevOps, on the other hand, is a collaborative approach to facilitate better communication and contribution of development and IT teams. While Agile simplifies the complex tasks and workflows, DevOps helps ensure better transparency, communication, and efficiency for an organization.
How Do Agile and DevOps Interrelate?
Despite being different from each other, DevOps and Agile go hand in hand when it comes to improving the company culture and product development process. Agile and DevOps are often used together and have strong interrelation between them.
Both Agile and DevOps are considered to be the building blocks of quality product development in a hassle-free way. The Agile methodology helps build the foundation of the DevOps while the iterative approach of the product development is backed up by the DevOps practices. Both DevOps and Agile can coexist in several parts of your technology or practices as both have some common goals.
One of the vivid examples of the coexistence of Agile and DevOps is virtualization technology that involves the DevOps based IT environment as well as Agile approach for growth and scaling up. With more businesses being aware of the advantages of DevOps and Agile, they are integrating both of them simultaneously to improve their organizational culture, product development process, and product quality.
Be it Agile or DevOps, you can only unleash the power of the right methodology in the right way when you have the expert professional team. We, at Third Rock Techkno, offer a range of product development solutions based on Agile and DevOps to give you competitive advantages. Have a look at our portfolio and contact us today to get started.