Implementation of Agile Practices with DevOps

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By Rishu Mehra

The implementation of DevOps focuses on software scalability by panning out the all-over development cycle. Its benefit is measured based on how well DevOps and the maintenance and monitoring could be deployed with future releases. Although there is a downside to traditional DevOps benefits, the DevOps system does not offer the continuous testing and improvement that Agile offers.

Agile practices are being constantly focused on in the scope of software development life cycle (SDLC). They might define the development aspects of the delivery of software or an application, even though the focus is less on the operational aspects.

Therefore, it is important that both practices are implemented critically in the SDLC of any product.

In recent times, separating Agile and DevOps approaches may end up failing a development system. The current generation of software development leads to the building of the product by implementing:

  • Production deployment
  • Work automation
  • Infrastructure management

When an Agile team is looking at the development cycle and the application’s scope, they need operability to stay in the background.

The solution is merging Agile sprints with the integrated teamwork and the offers of DevOps. By doing that, a team can optimize the development lifecycle and maintenance of the product and delivery system. It helps to correct an imbalance but has little influence over the practices that happen during the continuous development phase.

The benefits of integrating DevOps and Agile:

  • Establishes the release mechanism and improves product offerings
  • Enables better collaboration
  • More value and fewer risks in each release
  • Fewer bugs with quick fixes
  • Increase invisibility
  • Better product quality spikes user satisfaction rates

Considerations While Integrating DevOps and Agile

Implementing DevOps into Agile product development is a complex process. There are several snags that may happen during this process. Here are some pointers about how to help them work smoothly:

Adopting and working with the DevOps framework and Agile approach together makes it vital that team members have a broader understanding of all development aspects. Getting the DevOps business value and the practicality of Agile together is important.

Members, such as the Product Owner, Scrum Owner, and the PM, as well as operations, infrastructure, and sysadmin roles, need to be considered for the software development process with the delivery and maintenance. Business units should be well versed with the intimation of release, service and change management, environment provisioning, automation and tools, and application deployment. Product teams with a build-in-run strategy solve the issue of the Agile development-to-operations exchange.

Successfully attempting a DevOps implementation plan with an Agile framework means defining the product lifecycle. This increases consistency, reduces cost by minimizing waste, and speeds up the time to market. Teams now inherit more of the operational concern within the entire lifecycle. Therefore, it’s ideal if you start to implement some of the DevOps principles right at the beginning of your development process.

Agile workflow is based on divided sprints of the software development process. Therefore, it is strategic to integrate DevOps management while handling sprints.

Here are the instructions to start working and integrating the DevOps approach into Agile Sprints:

  • Invite ops/infrastructure/support personnel to plan sessions
  • Discuss product functionality and operability features
  • Include them in the upcoming sprint
  • Involve the DevOps team in sprint backlog planning and daily meetings, sprint reviews, scrums, and plan alignment

The engagement and collaboration of the development team and operations team also keep the ops team abreast of functionality release timelines. Then, the ops team can help the dev team strategize the release schedule with the utmost accuracy and assist the dev team in releasing the product quickly.

QA should be a crucial part of the entire development lifecycle while integrating DevOps and Agile. Testing besides functional testing applied in Agile and DevOps approaches require performance and load testing of the software. Regular testing is equally as important as continuous development.

Implementing DevOps and Agile together rebuilds the service backlogging process. DevOps framework should include:

  • Scalability of the software
  • Deployment capability
  • Service monitoring
  • Logging
  • Setting alerting
  • Software testing
  • Security and compliance aspects
  • Operational performance

Using the right tools is the most important factor for successful Agile and DevOps adoption into the SDLC. Always remember that the software development process configuration management tools to create and replicate infrastructure using the Infrastructure as Code (IaC) concept are needed for DevOps. This also allows developers to deploy the application on different types of platforms, saving efforts and time.

Automation of the workflow is another part of Agile integrating with DevOps. Automate all the code scanning processes and avoid any potential vulnerabilities as much as you can. Build the artifacts in a repository or automate the release cycle. Automate the required elements entirely so the end-to-end goals become more beneficial and less manual checks are required.

This is the place where Agile and DevOps does not follow the same approach but benefits in their own way. In the Agile approach, teams document their meetings or other communications with pen and paper. On the other hand, DevOps requires the entire design documentation and specs to understand a software release. Keep everything documented to benefit from the whole product life cycle.

After building DevOps into Agile project management, keeping track of its progress, and establishing the metrics to measure its effectiveness is important.

This enables faster production on multiple releases. These could be:

  • Percentage of release date adherences
  • Percentage increase in release numbers
  • Time taken for release to production
  • Defects attributable to platform/support requirements
  • Percentage of NFRs met

You should define and measure all other required metrics that have high business value in your DevOps implementation.

Though DevOps and Agile practices serve to streamline and simplify the product creation and deployment processes, combining Agile and DevOps requires a shift in the organizations. It can improve your development process and deliver results in reliable, scalable, and maintainable applications.

Alibaba Cloud is one of the genius minds that offer the best DevOps tools for your product and your SDLC. With the extensive support of Alibaba Cloud, you will find it easy to implement DevOps with your Agile. Try an Alibaba Cloud Free Trial and evaluate it for your development process. Alibaba Cloud will make your product more powerful and satisfy your developers.

What’s Next?

DevOps and Agile practices require a proper infrastructure transition. This will require considerations about how to make the shift and what tools are needed. In an upcoming article, we will share what Alibaba Cloud offers for better DevOps practices.

The views expressed herein are for reference only and don’t necessarily represent the official views of Alibaba Cloud.

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