As DevOps becomes more popular and gets implemented in organizations of every size, there seems to be a misconception that DevOps and Agile are completely different ideas that are not meant to work together.

Furthermore, some tend to think that DevOps means “Continuous Development” and Agile means “Scrum”, and this misplaced oversimplification causes tensions between the two and even more confusion on what’s the “right option” for their organization.

The good news is that DevOps and Agile are, in fact, quite complementary to each other. Agile is at the heart of DevOps; Scrum principles, such as empiricism, transparency, inspection and adaptation, are at the center of DevOps.

Scrum mainly maps to the Agile principle, "Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage."

Continuous Delivery mainly maps to the Agile principle, "Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software."

That means Agile is more about embracing incoming and outgoing change than about ceremonies like standups and sprint planning. Rather than trying to choose among all the Agile principles, they should be considered as a whole. Together these principles represent an attitude towards change that is common for both Agile and DevOps.

Let us look at what each of them is meant to accomplish and their respective benefits:

Scrum is a framework that helps teams work together and simplifies the process of developing complex projects with changing requirements.

Benefits of Scrum:

  1. Flexibility
  2. Transparency
  3. Adaption to changes as they occur
  4. Frequent release of increments and gathering customer’s feedback
  5. A simple way to organize the development of complex product
  6. Collaboration
  7. Greater customer satisfaction

Amazon defines DevOps as “the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity.

Benefits of DevOps:

  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

Benefits of combining Scrum and DevOps

Having in mind the demands of the software industry which evolve and change rapidly, agility has become crucial to remain competitive. Combining both Agile and DevOps will create the perfect mix to become more flexible to the continual changes in the industry.

Furthermore, integrating DevOps with Agile will improve the development process within the team, as well as ensure the success of the organization by increasing the value for their customers.

By using the Scrum framework integrated with DevOps, you get the best of both worlds: smooth communication between the team and the customers by continual iteration, as well as continuous integration and continuous delivery.

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.

In one of our previous insights, we covered how to get started with the AWS DevOps tools using our CI/CD CloudFormation template. In addition to setting up the DevOps pipeline, we assist organizations in implementing or optimizing the Scrum process according to their unique requirements.

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