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Agile and DevOps: A Transformational Journey

July 27, 2023
Posted in: DevOps, Software
Tags: , , , , , ,

As the technological landscape today is always in a state of rapid growth and development, many companies face the demand for superior products and faster and more efficient services. Most have turned to Agile and DevOps methodologies to help them take on this challenge, acknowledging the potential transformation of software development that is a by-product of these approaches.

This article will look into Agile and DevOps methodologies, their typical aspects, and when they are used simultaneously. We will also review the challenges faced by utilizing these practices and their impact on organizations. 

What is Agile?

The Agile methodology is based on a cyclical outlook to software development and project management that works through test-driven development and feedback loops to tackle any potential issues faced. It is not a single method but a cumulation of individual best practices emphasizing collaboration among team members. The main focus of this approach is the team’s flexibility, the identification of possible difficulties, and the ability to adapt to said difficulties.

While primarily applied in software development, Agile can be used in any business venture, project, and at any position in the organization. Applying these principles allows team members to have better control and improve their receptivity and efficiency toward projects. These beneficial practices are the main reason behind Agile’s replacement of waterfall as the approach adopted by most companies.

The Four Integral Values of Agile

The Agile Manifesto outlines the four fundamental beliefs of this methodology. There is a growing debate about whether the Manifesto may have overstayed its welcome. However, it still acts as the crux for the entire basis of Agile practices. The following are the core values: 

1. Individual Interactions Hold More Importance than Tools and Processes

The needs of a business and its development requirements are met primarily by the people. They are far more crucial and valuable than processes and tools. Suppose the charge of development is taken over by methods and tools. In that case, it will hurt the team’s ability to adapt to change making it less likely for them to meet the customer’s requirements.

2. Focus on Functioning Software than Detailed Documentation

Before the application of Agile, a significant amount of time was taken up by documentation of the product throughout its development. This would slow down growth due to extensive delays caused by the need for meticulous documentation. While Agile does not eliminate documentation, it condenses and makes the process more efficient by providing the developer with the minimum information needed to complete the task.

3. Collaboration over Contract Negotiations

Agile emphasizes the partnership between customer and developer rather than focusing on negotiations on delivery details. Teaming up with the customers ensures that they participate in the complete development process instead of just the beginning and the end. This makes sure that the needs of the customer are fulfilled effectively. Customers can be present for all meetings and regularly interact with the team, ensuring the product is moving along according to their requirements.

4. Emphasis on Response to Change

Change and evolution were considered unnecessary expenses in conventional software practices, and it was to be avoided as much as possible. Agile goes against this concept. Due to the shorter iterations in Agile, it is possible to make changes and restructure the process to fit the needs of the customer rather than trying to accommodate what the client requires into a rigid process. It is a firm belief of the agile methodology that change is always for the better and can increase the value of a product.

Types of Agile Methodology

All Agile techniques come from adapting to change while delivering the highest quality product with proficiency. However, each methodology is unique in the steps used to carry out this overall goal. We will look into some of the most widely utilized Agile methodologies.


All kinds of iterative and incremental projects can be managed through the lightweight structure of the scrum methodology. The product owner makes a backlog through which they collaborate with their team to determine and emphasize system functionality. The product backlog lists the requirements needed to produce a successful software system.

Once the backlog is finalized, no further functionality can be included until the next team. Cross-functional teams deliver software increments once the priorities have been defined during every sprint. After each sprint, the backlog is re-evaluated to choose new deliverable functions for the successive sprint. 


Utilizing a predominantly visual workflow management approach, Kanban lets teams manage the creation of products with an emphasis on uninterrupted workflow. This creates a lesser burden on the software development lifecycle.

The Kanban methodology is based on three primary principles: visualize workflow, reduce the amount of work underway, and boost the flow of work. It is similar to Scrum in encouraging teams to improve their collaboration. It promotes steady partnerships and fosters a space for consistent growth and learning.

Feature-driven Development

FFD is an amalgamation of feature-focused development, ownership of code, and domain object modeling. The object is to form a coherent, model-driven, and less time-consuming iteration process. The process begins by determining a model’s shape, which in turn is used in creating a features list. Once finalized, two-week iterations focus on planning, designing, and building by feature. A feature taking longer than two weeks must be broken down into more minor features. The most significant benefit is its scalability to even bigger teams. 

The DevOps Approach

It is a philosophical approach consisting of practices and tools that are used to consolidate the processes of IT and software development departments. These two groups are usually kept separate and integrating and automating their efforts creates a more efficient and better-quality software delivery.

In its most beneficial form, DevOps aims to incorporate all parties involved, including security, risk management, infrastructure engineering, customers, and the development and operations departments. The cultural shift caused by adopting this philosophy significantly impacts organizations using it. 

The teams apply DevOps tools to automate and expedite the process, which helps to establish reliability. Users of DevOps depend on CI/CD pipelines, cloud hosting, and containers. The tools can be based on open source, distributors of open source technology, or proprietary.

How it Works

A DevOps team consists of IT operators and software developers working harmoniously throughout the product lifecycle. This collaboration is done to improve software development and make it faster. The development and operations teams that were previously siloed are now merged and work in partnership from development and testing to deployment and operations. This encourages team members to develop expertise across multiple platforms.

The DevOps Lifecycle

The DevOps lifecycle consists of phases that are linked together continuously. The loop-like nature of the program encourages constant teamwork and allows for improvement throughout the process. The lifecycle consists of seven phases which are as follows:

1. Development

This phase is concerned with software planning and coding. The planning phase begins with the project’s objectives and nailed-down software code development. There is no need for DevOps tools to carry out planning; however, maintaining the code requires multiple tools. 

2. Integration

As a software practice, this is the most integral part of the entire cycle as it needs members to commit changes to the source code far more often. The changes are carried on every week or even everyday basis. The constant variations in the code allow for early detection of any problems that may be present. Code building involves unit testing, compilation, integration testing, code review, and packaging. The code representing the changes in the functionality is integrated into the previously created code.

Integrating new code must be done regularly and flawlessly into the system to be available to the end users. Jenkins is the tool used most frequently in this phase. When a change is made in the main code repository, Jenkins collects the updated code and creates a build of said code. The build is in the form of an executable file that is sent to the production or test server.

3. Testing

This phase primarily involves constantly testing the software for bugs that need fixing. DevOps tools such as Selenium, TestNG, and JUnit are utilized to carry out this constant testing. These tools make it possible to set up multiple code bases simultaneously, ensuring no flaws in the functionality.

While Selenium carries out the testing, the reports are prepared by TestNG. This entire phase can also be automated with the use of Jenkins. Automation saves considerable time over doing this manually. It also allows users to schedule tests in advance. After testing, the new code is integrated back into the preexisting one.

4. Monitoring

The monitoring phase combines all aspects of the operation in the DevOps system. This is where the information stored regarding software use is stored and analyzed to determine trends and flag any potential issues. Monitoring is mostly combined with the operational capabilities of the application. It presents documentation files or may display large-scale data on the application’s parameters when used continuously. Systemic errors are dealt with in this phase, and it preserves system integrity and security.

5. Feedback

A channel of consistent feedback on the development of the new version of the present software is created in this phase which presents the opportunity for constant evolution. The continuity of this process is essential to the DevOps ethos as it eliminates the need to remove the software from development to check for any problems and saves time and effort.

6. Deployment

This is the phase where the software is deployed to the production servers. Due to the constant deployment, tools such as SaltStack and Ansible are used to carry out configuration management tasks repeatedly. Containerization tools such as Docker and Vagrant are also utilized to maintain consistency across all aspects of the development and testing of the software. This reduces the probability of errors and allows the application to be used on multiple computers.

7. Operations

The primary function of the DevOps methodology is to improve the efficiency of the development process and decrease the time from inception to the market. It removes any unnecessary step that takes away from development, increases the time to identify problems, and takes too long to produce a satisfactory product. All operations in the DevOps system are based on total automation and progressive flow to make the process more rapid.

Challenges When Using Agile and DevOps


As is with change in any environment, it is initially met with resistance. The first challenge with Agile methodologies is choosing which is best suited for your domain. If the wrong one is selected, it can affect the project execution.

A collaborative process is the lifeblood of the Agile system, and a lack of open communication between teams can hinder its implementation. Dependency may develop between team members and other teams due to the involvement of multiple groups. It is challenging to unite all teams behind the same problem, as one team may be more concerned with one issue than another.


DevOps comes with similar difficulties to the Agile methodology while having challenges specific to this system. As this methodology champions constant change, it can take time for teams to adapt to the changing environment affecting their performance. Due to the emphasis on cross-functional teams, there can be a need for more individuals with expertise in one area.

There can be over-dependency on the tools and difficulty integrating them into existing infrastructure. The merger of the IT and development teams may be complicated as they have always used different technologies, and you may have to decide which of the two to keep.


The Agile and DevOps methodologies are the future of software development. After going through this article, we hope that you have a better understanding of how these philosophies operate and the impact they have on a business environment. These collaborative approaches to development and removing obsolete practices remove unnecessary burdens. It makes the development process far more efficient. The implementation of these improves the quality of the product delivered. It enhances the customer experience overall, but challenges must be addressed before they can be applied.

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