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Agile Synergy for Success with DevOps in Scrum


As DevOps becomes more popular and gets implemented in organizations of every size, there’s a common misconception that DevOpsExternal Link and AgileExternal Link are completely different systems that aren’t meant to work together. Surely DevOps is just a techie thing to do with perfectionism while Agile is about having daily standups and pleasing your clients, right? Well, no, not exactly.

You also sometimes hear the idea that DevOps means “Continuous Development” and Agile means “Scrum”, and this kind of clumsy simplification can make it even more confusing as to what’s the “right option” for your organization.

DevOps and Agile: A match made in heaven?

The good news is that DevOps and Agile are, in fact, totally compatible with each other. Agile values such as communication and continuous improvement are at the heart of DevOps, while Scrum principles play a central role in DevOps as well — like empiricism, transparency, inspection, and adaptation.

Illustration of DevOps and Agile symbols dancing

At the risk of falling victim to over-simplification ourselves, we can say that Scrum mainly maps to the Agile principleExternal Link, "Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage." Meanwhile, it’s fair to say that Continuous Delivery mainly maps to the Agile principle, "Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software."

All for one and one for all

The consequence of these matching principles is the conclusion that Agile is more about embracing incoming and outgoing change than simple being a collection of ceremonies like standups and sprint planning.

Indeed, rather than trying to choose one from all the available Agile principles, you should consider them together as a whole — and realize that these principles represent an attitude towards change that is common to both Agile and DevOps. Let’s look at what each of them is meant to accomplish and their respective benefits

Drive your projects over the line with Scrum

Scrum is a framework that helps teams work together and simplifies the process of developing complex projects with changing requirements and boasts a number of core benefits:

  • Flexibility
  • Transparency
  • Adaption to changes as they occur.
  • Frequent release of increments and gathering customer’s feedback
  • A simple way to organize the development of complex product
  • Collaboration
  • Greater customer satisfaction
Illustration of people standing in circles seen from above

Staying ahead of the game with DevOps

Amazon defines DevOpsExternal Link as “the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity” and, as a significant development in software production, it has the potential to deliver several benefits, including:

  1. Frequent releases of features with higher quality
  2. Continuous software delivery
  3. Increased effectiveness
  4. Lower volume of defects
  5. Automation in the development process
  6. Improves speed and stability of software development and deployment

To remain competitive in the rapidly evolving and changing software industry, agility has become crucial, and combining both Agile and DevOps helps to create the perfect mix of flexibility and adaptability required to respond to continual changes in the industry.

Flat design illustration of athletes struggling to stay ahead

Furthermore, integrating DevOps with Agile will improve the development process within the team itself, as well as ensure the success of the organization by increasing value for your customers. By using the Scrum framework integrated with DevOps, you get the best of both worlds: smooth communication between the team and your customers by continual iteration, as well as continuous integration and continuous delivery.

Planning for predictability and automating for agility

Scrum becomes the planning process where you easily plan and predict the development. The DevOps process focuses more on automation and increasing speed and agility, automating the day-to-day operational tasks of the developers and a process in which each user story moves through to reach the production environment.

Further Reading

  1. Insight: How to get started with AWS DevOps tools
  2. Case Study: AWS DevOps automates release management
  3. Case Study: Time-to-market optimisations with AWS DevOps

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