Scaling Development beyond Agile: The DevOps Way

Faster marketing’– this has been the common motto of every organization. Brighter ideas and newer approaches have always paved the way for better products.

Adaptive planning, prompt responses to changes, early delivery and continuous development formed the main pillars of what was to be called the agile methodology. Thus, with the introduction of Agile, it was soon able to gain ground – eradicating the limitations of the mainstream waterfall method of developing a product. 

Agile Development

Agile: The Renaissance in Software Development

The Agile manifesto, introduced in 2001, brought an ultimate revolution in software development industry. Agile methodologies have smoothened the way for developers to disintegrate larger software development projects into smaller ones. This, in turn, accelerates the feedback exchange process and makes the product characteristics match the market needs.

A simple Agile scenario consists of a ‘Project’ at the top, which is broken down into various ‘Releases’. Each Release has its own set of ‘Sprints’. Each Sprint, in turn, contains a set of ‘Product Backlogs’. This simple breakdown structure involves an iterative way of planning with constant feedbacks from prospects and continuous development.

Agile-Development-Cycle

What Agile Lacks

Agile methodology has been one of the most successful procedure in developing a software. It gave a toss to the new practices and technology breakthroughs that helped reshuffling and automating the entire software delivery lifecycle. However, there remained some gaps which needed to be taken into consideration.

  1. Focus on Development – It has been recognized that agile methodologies mostly focused on Development phase. Apart from Development, Testing, integration, etc. also play a major role in the process which was not acknowledged in Agile properly.
  2. Increasing Complexity – In agile, there was a belief that a synchronized system design would come out on its own once all the functionalities get added to the product based on user feedbacks. However, that did not happen in reality. Rather, it becomes more complex with each functionality getting added. And with this, the system too must be flexible in order to integrate the constant changes in it.
  3. Isolated Ops Team – Deployment can never be smooth in agile if the Ops team is not in sync with development. Without seamless communication between the teams, the product would eventually not be released to the customer at the pace it was desired. There emerged a growing problem of not meeting the market demand in time.
  4. Delay in marketing – Due to growing complexities in product, the time-to-market also increases, meaning more delays in delivery and marketing.
  5. Increasing Budget- With increased delivery time span, cost also surges hand-in-hand, which in turn raises the overall project cost.

In a nutshell, agile is of limited help when it comes to integrating the operations phase early into the software development lifecycle. Without an integrated system of production to delivery, it is not possible to achieve the productivity as expected from agile teams.

The Evolution of DevOps

Functional silos muted the strong objective of agile efforts to accelerate delivery of quality software applications. And with this, DevOps seized the arena. Through flawless integration, it brought all the working teams together, waning all the existing silos. This intrinsic combination of Development and Operations together enhanced collaboration, communication, integration, and automation. The rise in productivity with quicker delivery baffled the entire IT world.

Dev and Operations

DevOps: The earned benefits

Now the question is, beyond Agile, why should we give a serious thought to DevOps implementation?

Let’s see the various benefits a DevOps system offers:

  1. Overcoming silos- with DevOps enabled, all the teams are now connected and can work together within the same platform, fostering collaboration. Development, Testing, and Operations teams, with combined effort, can work more efficiently with shorter time lags.
  2. Seamless Integration – the Development tools were integrated with the Operations tools which increased transparency of work being done between teams. With continuous synchronization, it is now possible to keep all the tools connected together.
  3. Continuous Deployment- when all the DevOps participating tools are connected to each other, it becomes easier to automate the entire production-to-deployment processes. This increases productivity in the long run and ensures continuous releases.
  4. Better Coordination – with better communication between teams, comes better coordination. And better coordination results in better visibility. A good teamwork keeps an eye on the highly coordinated system.
  5. Quick Delivery- with minimum human interventions and continuous data flow, the rate of product delivery increases. This, in turn, increases overall team productivity.

Constant Monitoring:

With constant monitoring of progress running behind the scene, dependable and consistent releases can be obtained. Customers get rapid solutions when developers and service desk engineers are timely notified for any occurring event. With an automated and integrated platform, various kinds of reports & dashboards can be designed to monitor continuity in productivity.

Above all, with continuous planning, being one of the key fundamentals for all stages, the entire scenario is monitored with utmost efficiency.

Lack of Silos

Conclusion:

With ‘faster time-to-market’, DevOps delivers very well on the quality of the product. In order to cope up with the ever-increasing demands of customers, DevOps has implemented the concept of creating a better applications output in an efficient manner.

NB: This article was originally published by the author at DZone before re-publishing it at Kovair Blog.

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Abantika is a Solutions Engineer at Kovair Software. She specializes in Customer Services and Solutions Delivery. Understanding Customers' pain points, coordinating with associated key stakeholders and configuring appropriate solutions are her major responsibilities at Kovair. At leisure time you will find her busy with music and dance.