Agile vs. DevOps: What Are the Key Differences?


Agile Vs. DevOps: Differences Between The Two Fastest Methodologies agile vs devops

Agile methodology is one of the most efficient software development methods that offers fast and effective results while constantly keeping up with an ever-changing software industry. DevOps, on the other hand, highly focuses on efficient process execution with the help of process automation and effective collaboration.

If these two evolved, modern methodologies go against each other, who takes the cake? Let’s compare Agile vs. DevOps and find out for ourselves!

But first, a brief introduction to both is a must.

What is Agile Methodology?

Agile methodology is a rapid, iterative approach to software development. It focuses on collaboration, user feedback, and Rapid Application Deployment (RAD). Agile started its journey in the early 2000s and has evolved to help the software development industry reach new heights.

The agile approach lets developers do most of the planning and designing upfront. The development process is completed in small batches, where different team members are assigned different batches, and all batches are executed while closely collaborating with stakeholders.

A primary version of the product is released through optimized development and reduced time to market. At the same time, constant improvements are made to the primary version of the application according to user demand.

The best part of agile is that if the software doesn’t meet the target audience’s requirements, the developers can always reiterate a different version to meet the needs.

Values of Agile

Agile methodology is defined by an official document labeled the Agile Manifesto, which has four core values and 12 principles. These values are at the heart of software development.

  • Individuals And Interactions Over Processes And Tools: The manifesto instructs team leaders to emphasize each team member to foster a healthy work environment. For higher efficiency, the manifesto encourages constant communication to keep everyone involved in the development process.
  • Working Software Over Comprehensive Documents: Creating documentation can be time- and resource-consuming, becoming a great obstacle to effective software development. Agile focuses on spending more time on development rather than documentation creation.
  • Customer Collaboration Over Contract Negotiation: Regular customer collaboration allows for collecting valuable user feedback. Working on customer feedback to implement necessary changes eventually brings the best results post-development.
  • Responding To Change Over Following A Plan: There can be frequent mid-project changes, and the developers must constantly adapt to new circumstances and embrace new features instead of insisting on sticking to a certain plan.

What is DevOps Methodology?

DevOps allows a team of software developers to build, test, and release software by incorporating agile practices in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). The methodology relies on increased collaboration and process automation for faster execution and delivery.

The primary goal of DevOps is to bring together developers who create the application and the operations that run the software in production. DevOps also focuses on creating a sound infrastructure for the software product to perform optimally.

DevOps promotes higher levels of transparency, so all teams work in perfect harmony with each other while the project manager has direct insight over the entire development cycle.

The best way to understand DevOps are the two most popular frameworks, which are the “Three Ways” and “CALMS,” which is an acronym for “Culture, Automation, Lean, Measurement, Sharing.”

  • Culture refers to the cultural shift where developers and operations work together.
  • Automation: Utilizing process automation every step of the way for higher productivity.
  • Lean: Lean principles of continuous development are the key to embracing an experimental mindset.
  • Measure: The required practices for measuring results and improving processes
  • Sharing: The importance of DevOps as a group with the right practices

Values of DevOps

The following values result from the current evolution of the DevOps culture.

  • Version Control: All developers submit changes to the repository multiple times a day. Developers must verify all codes before submitting said code to the master repository. This can facilitate collaboration as it’s easier for other developers to track changes.
  • Continuous Integration: Each team members integrate their codes in a shared repository. Each developer segments the entire code into smaller bits that are easily manageable and help to detect potential bugs and merge conflicts much faster.
  • Continuous Delivery: As the developers constantly integrate their code, the functional form of the code is also constantly delivered to the end-user. Smaller contributions result in faster upgrades and delivery of said upgrades.
  • Continuous Deployment: DevOps utilizes automation to speed up the production process. Continuous deployment involves automating the release of smaller updates without posing a threat to the existing architecture.
  • Continuous Testing: This includes testing as much as possible throughout every stage of the development. Automated tests bring in better feedback and perform a risk assessment of the process.
  • Continuous Operations: DevOps team has to constantly work on upgrading the software in a small but frequent manner. As a result, DevOps operations require constant performance monitoring to prevent or reduce downtime and increase availability during code release.
  • Collaboration: DevOps promotes higher amounts of frequent collaboration and user feedback sharing. Development and Operations must constantly communicate and share the necessary information to maintain an efficient CI/CD pipeline.

Agile Vs. DevOps: The Ultimate Comparison

ParametersAgile MethodologyDevOps Methodology
DefinitionIterative approach with a high focus on collaboration and rapid iteration.A collaboration of the development and operation teams for better results.
PurposeFor managing complex projects.Managing end-to-end engineering processes.
TaskFocuses on constant changes.Focuses on constant testing and delivery.
ImplementationIt can be implemented with a range of tactical frameworks.Doesn’t have any commonly accepted framework due to the primary focus on collaboration.
Team Skill SetFocuses on training all team members to have a wide variety of skills.Divides and spreads the skillset between the development and operations teams.
Team SizeThe smaller, the better.Relatively bigger since it also includes stakeholders.
DurationThe duration is managed with sprints. The duration of each sprint is less than a month.Due to deadline-based focus, the goal is to deliver functional code daily or every few hours.
FeedbackFeedback comes from customers.Feedback comes from the internal team and internal users
Target AreaSoftware development.End-to-end business solutions.
Shift-Left PrinciplesLeverages left-shift.Leverages both shift left and right.
EmphasisEmphasis on development. The developer team doesn’t have any liability post-development.Emphasis on taking ready software and deploying it in a secure manner.
Cross-FunctionalAny team member should handle any kind of task that is required for progress.Development and operations teams are separated.
CommunicationDone through daily scrum meetings.Involves spec and design documents and constant communication among team members.
DocumentationComplete software takes higher priority over creating documentation. The process is optional in this method.Documentation takes higher priority since transferring complicated knowledge without proper documentation is impossible.
AutomationAgile doesn’t rely on automation; it’s optional yet helpful.The primary goal of DevOps is automation.
GoalAddresses the gap between customer needs and development teams. Addresses the gap between development testing and operations.
FocusFunctional and non-functional readiness.Operational and business readiness.
ImportanceDeveloping software holds the most importance.Developing, testing, and implementation all take equal priority.
Speed vs. RiskHigh speed, low risk.High speed, high risk.
QualityEasy adaptability to rapid changes and ever-changing requirements ensures high quality.Constant testing and bug removal offer a stable product with complete functionality.
Tools UsedBugzilla, JIRA, Kanboard.AWS, Chef, Puppet, TeamCity, OpenStack.
ChallengesHigh productivity levels are difficult to match every time for all team members.Requires constant optimal environment to streamline work process.
AdvantagesShorter development cycle with better fault detection.Supports agile development life cycle.
Founding ArtifactAgile Manifesto10+ Deploy Per Day conference sessions and The Phoenix Project
Implementation FrameworksScrum, Kanban, ScrumBan, Lean, XPCAMS, CALMS, DORA
AlternativesWaterfallSilo-based development and deployment

How Agile And DevOps Can Work Together

Start By Understanding Both

Agile methodology requires a deep understanding of the agile manifesto and all its core principles. To successfully manage and complete a project, all involved personnel should be updated about every possible knowledge of Agile and DevOps.

Arrange A Collaboration

DevOps primarily relies on constant collaboration between all teams and team members, and all the team members need to understand the importance of increased collaboration and efficient information transfer.

Implement DevOps Practices In Sprints

Now, the agile team needs to integrate DevOps practices in sprints. One of the most crucial steps in this stage is involving everyone from the DevOps team and QA in daily retrospections and processes.

Automate All Possible Processes

Automation is a vital part of DevOps, so there should be maximum effort to automate as many processes as possible in the development cycle.

Measure Success

Measuring critical success metrics within an end-to-end development is part of the DevOps methodology, and the agile team should act on the newfound metrics to improve the success rate.

To Wrap It Up

Even with their differences, the ultimate goal of both agile and DevOps is the same: to deliver high-quality products within a shorter development timespan. Many teams find agile the best methodology ever; some struggle with agile, while others fail to combine both.

Which methodology have you decided to work with? Whether it’s agile DevOps or a combination of both, Impala Intech can be your perfect software development partner while operating according to your chosen methodology.


How Does Agile Handle Infrastructure and Deployment?

Agile primarily focuses on software development, while DevOps encompasses infrastructure and deployment automation.

Can Agile Be Used in Non-software Development Projects?

Agile principles can be adapted for various project types, not limited to software development.

Does DevOps Involve Sprint Planning and Retrospectives Like Agile?

DevOps emphasizes continuous delivery over fixed sprint cycles, so sprint planning and retrospectives are less common.

What Are Some Common Tools Used in Agile Development?

Common Agile tools include Jira, Trello, and Kanban boards for project management and tracking.

What Are Some Common Tools Used in DevOps Practices?

DevOps tools include Jenkins, Docker, Kubernetes, and Ansible for automation, deployment, and containerization.