Agile Vs. DevOps: What’s the difference?

In the IT business, one of the never-ending debate topics is – Agile vs. DevOps. However, both processes are completely different from each other; yet they still have some similarities. In this blog, let’s first have a quick look at defining agile and DevOps methodologies, their differences, and similarities.

Defining Agile

Agile methodology is a practice, which promotes continuous iteration of development and testing throughout the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle) of the project. In the Agile method, both development and testing activities are concurrent which involves a continuous iteration of development and testing in the SDLC process. 

The Agile Manifesto essentially emphasizes the following viewpoints:

  • The interaction of the people on the devices and process.
  • Discussion on programming workflow
  • Acknowledging any changes in the plan
  • Establishing cooperation with the potential clients over harmonization of the terms of the agreement.

Agile is a software development process, which is lined up with the Agile Manifesto’s qualities and standards. It’s founded on iterative development, which centers around the cross-functional groups’ partnership to get the required solution.

The Agile development process breaks the product into small pieces and integrates them for final testing. It can be implemented in several ways, including scrum, XP, kanban, etc. This methodology emphasizes interactive, incremental, and evolutionary development, which one or the other way also affects the total development cost.

However, the overall custom software development cost of agile development depends on the specific methodologies used and the program’s constraints and requirements with agile methods.

Defining DevOps

The software development method, DevOps, is a combination of two words i.e. development and operations. It is defined as an alignment of development and IT operations. Fundamentally, it’s a technique used by IT professionals and teams for collaborating and building a relationship with each other. The DevOps has acknowledged improvements in skills since it has been introduced.

Alike Agile, DevOps is possible to incorporate in so many ways, including scrum, kanban, etc. It allows deploying the code faster and in an automated way. It also helps to increase an organization’s speed to deliver apps and services more quickly.

Features: Agile vs. DevOps

AgilityAgility in deployment only.Agility in both deployment & operations.
Key Focus AreaTimeliness is the key priority.Both timeliness & quality have equal priority.
Process/PracticesIt includes practices such as Agile, Scrum, Agile & Kanban.It involves processes such as CI, CD, CT, etc.
Source of FeedbackFrom customersFrom self-monitoring tools
Scope of WorkAgility onlyAgility & need for automation
Release Cycles/Development SprintsSmaller release cycleSmaller release cycle with immediate feedback

The Differences

Methodology & Deployment

Agile: In this software development methodology, the development team focuses on creating and launching the software.

DevOps: On the other hand, DevOps uses pre-built software that can be deployed and is reliable. It has no role to play in software development. Moreover, developers with DevOps use the waterfall method to develop the app.

The number of members of Team

Agile: If you begin with app development with Agile methodology, you need a big team for your project. However, working with a good number of people means it may hinder the speed of working.

DevOps: On the contrary, this demands the collaboration of different teams working together. In this methodology, the development team gets solutions and services free of cost to use models to work like Kanban and scrum. Nevertheless, when an application needs to be unveiled, every team has to collaborate with the deployment team to proceed with the plan. Although DevOps has no relation with any deployment model.

Cross-Functionality vs. Segmentation

Both Agile and DevOps are different from each other regarding how teams work on creating an app.

Agile: The Agile methodology enables every individual to be skilled in all kinds of work. Developers who work with the Agile method become an all-rounder; therefore, they can substitute each other without hindering the project’s work. It fosters efficiency, quality and enhances communication among team members while promoting the speed of development.

DevOps: On the other hand, DevOps needs two individual teams: the project’s development and operation professionals. Both teams require close coordination with one other to obtain the best possible results.

The difference in approach to planning

Both the app development processes are dissimilar in their planning approach.

Agile: In the Agile method, developers develop new versions and updates in the given timeframe. The whole time frame and process is known as the Sprints. The developers get the closest time to implement multiple required functionality after getting feedback.

DevOps: On the other side, DevOps is only selected to optimize business operations. Generally, a project manager has two options to choose from. In the first scenario, it’s possible to deploy updates as soon as it is visible or wait until all updates are visible. Plus, these updates are deployed keeping in mind the business units. This way, developers in DevOps do not run short with time to deploy updates but aim to get maximum business operations.

Key Differences: Agile vs. DevOps

  • Agile is all about an iterative approach that focuses on collaboration, customer feedback, and small rapid release. On the other hand, DevOps is a practice of bringing together development and operations teams.
  • Agile focuses on “constant changes”, whereas “DevOps” focuses on constant testing and delivery.
  • Agile requires a small team, while DevOps focuses on a relatively large team.
  • Agile leverages the shift-left principle, while DevOps leverages both shifts left and right principles.
  • Agile’s targeted area is – software development, whereas DevOps’s targeted area is to give end-to-end business solutions and fast delivery.
  • The Agile methodology focuses more on functional and nonfunctional readiness, whereas DevOps focuses on operational and business readiness.

The Similarities

The Collaboration Process

The collaboration is another aspect where both Agile and DevOps have shared objectives. The team needs to collaborate, whatever technique they choose. Additionally, every team is required to share updates regarding the development process.

Adopting the Lean Philosophies

Both Agile and DevOps methods have widely adopted and implemented the lean philosophy in extensive amounts. This is noticeable, especially in communication.

Both work to enhance business productivity

Although both the application development methodologies, Agile and DevOps, might be different when they progress toward achieving a common goal, which is responsible for improving business productivity. Both methodologies are profoundly reliable software development approaches. Agile drives DevOps to work quicker and DevOps pushes Agile to be intensive.

Agile & DevOps: Can we use both together?

The good news is that it’s not mandatory to stick with one approach only over another. A blend of two methodologies can be used together to ensure increased efficiency. When it comes to software development and deployment, both have significant roles to play.

In Conclusion

After discussing the differences between Agile and DevOps, we conclude that Agile is essentially utilized for building an application, while DevOps is basically for application development. However, there is no need to substitute Agile with DevOps.

Both methodologies work on numerous techniques; therefore, it’s important not to get confused and think that both methods are synonymous. But they are not similar; however, they may have a couple of similarities. Majorly, both are mainly known for their differences.

Want to share your thoughts on Agile vs. DevOps? You can comment below.

Hardik Shah

Hardik Shah works as a Tech Consultant at Simform, a leading custom software development company. He leads large scale mobility programs that cover platforms, solutions, governance, standardization, and best practices. Connect with him to discuss the best practices of software methodologies @hsshah_.
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