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Can Your Agile Culture Scale to DevOps?

If you’ve got  a functioning Agile culture already, you can scale to the continuous integration, delivery, and quality (CI, CD and CQ) practices of DevOps. The Agile tenets of collaboration, validation, automation, and iteration are critical to successfully implementing a DevOps culture. These tenets will enable:

  • Early, often, and ongoing communication among business and IT stakeholders
  • Increased quality based on delivering what the business really needs
  • Effective workflow and progress metrics management
  • Consistent and predictable delivery expectations

Let’s dive deeper into the four tenets and what they mean in Agile and DevOps:

Collaboration

In Agile, you maintain frequent communication between business and IT  and review metrics so  that stakeholders start  – and remain on –  the same page throughout a project. DevOps adds operations to the mix. Collaboration keeps the communication lines open regarding project delivery expectations, completeness, pertinence, and quality. It’s hard to “get things right the first time” without subject matter expert and stakeholder collaboration.

Validation

To establish and maintain successful Agile and DevOps cultures, you need to continually test current and desired functional states.  In Agile delivery, validation needs to include “fail often until it is right”, adding automated regression, integration, and performance testing for DevOps delivery.

Automation

Create reusable templates to speed up the CI and CD automation processes. Automation needs to accommodate rapid and efficient implementation and be able to back out implementation results with the same degree of speed and efficiency. Use automation to manage progress metrics.

Iteration

In Agile, you create and manage consistent and repeatable iteration, or sprint, processes. With DevOps, maintain a version-controlled history for every test and deployment configuration sprint to measure performance. If you start with a well-defined, validated baseline, you can notice and document improvements.

Of these four tenets, collaboration will make or break the success of an Agile or DevOps culture. If you can’t or won’t communicate, Agile will ultimately fail. If Agile fails, then you probably have no business considering adopting a DevOps culture. If you’re “Agile enough,” you’ll be ready to scale DevOps.

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