Agile vs DevOps

A steady increase is being noted in the number of IT companies switching from conventional waterfall project management models to agile methodology and DevOps approach. The agile methodology aims to accelerate the delivery of high-quality software products by unifying development and testing activities and shortening software release cycles. At the same time, DevOps approach helps enterprises to boost the software application’s quality and user experience by unifying development, testing, and deployment. Both agile methodology and DevOps approach help IT companies to expedite delivery or release of high-quality software products. Both agile and DevOps still differ from each other in several aspects.

Important Differences between Agile Methodology and DevOps Approach

Purpose and Goal

Agile methodology simplifies the management of complex projects by making the enterprises adopt an iterative approach. While creating an agile work environment, managers have to focus on accelerating software delivery, facilitating collaboration, and collecting customer feedback. On the other hand, DevOps helps enterprises to manage the entire engineering processed efficiently by bringing programmers, testers, and operations team together.


Agile methodology focuses on shortening release cycles and managing constant changes. An enterprise can implement agile methodology in a number of techniques and frameworks – scrum, sprint and safe. DevOps, at the same time, focuses on facilitating continuous delivery and constant testing. The enterprises can implement DevOps simply by facilitating seamless collaboration between development and operations. They are not required to use any specific framework or methodology.

Emphasis on Software Deployment

Agile methodology focuses extensively on accelerating software delivery and improving software quality. In an agile environment, programmers and testers work as a single team and collaborate with other stakeholders in the project. But their primary responsibility is to develop and release the software. The agile team is not involved with software deployment and support. On the other hand, DevOps approach eliminates the barriers between development and deployment. The approach focuses on accelerating software development as well as deploying the software in a secure and reliable way.

Key Focus Areas

Agile methodology recommends businesses to automate software development and testing activities. But DevOps requires enterprises to automate both software development and deployment to promote efficiency. Agile primarily focuses on functional and non-functional readiness to bridge the gap between development teams and customer needs. On the other hands, DevOps bridges the gap between development and operation teams to improve development, testing, and deployment.

Software Release Cycle

Agile methodology aims to improve defect detection by keeping the software development and release cycles short. In an agile development, projects are measured in terms of sprints. The duration of a single sprint normally does not exceed 30 days. On the other hand, DevOps emphasizes continuous integration and continuous delivery. The approach requires developers to deliver code frequently to production. However, DevOps still support the short release cycles just like agile methodology.

Team Size and Skill Set

Agile methodology promotes agility by requiring enterprises to build small and cross-functional teams. The members of an agile development team must be proficient in both software development and software testing to perform various tasks efficiently and communicate with each other effectively. But DevOps does not require practitioners to build cross-functional teams or unify development and operations team. It requires enterprises to facilitate constant and seamless collaboration between the development and operation teams regardless of the number of members.


Agile methodology focuses on improving application structure and managing constant changes. Hence, it gives more emphasis on flexibility, agility, and responsiveness to documentation. On the other hand, DevOps focuses on facilitating seamless communication and collaboration between development, testing, and operation teams. It requires project managers to prepare elaborate process documentation to keep the members of the development and operations teams on the same page. The process documentation helps each member of the teams to understand the business requirements clearly and focuses on the entire software development lifecycle.

Adoption Challenges

An enterprise can implement agile methodology by taking advantage of a set of tools and frameworks – JIRA and Kanboard. But it still needs to address a number of challenges to implement agile methodology efficiently. While implementing the agile methodology, organizations often find it challenging to build cross-functional teams and keep team members productive. DevOps eliminates the barriers between development, testing, and operation teams. The enterprises can implement DevOps by taking advantage of a number of tools – TeamCity, Puppet and Chef. But they still find it challenging to create an environment where development and operation teams can work together to streamline the entire software development lifecycle.

On the whole, agile methodology and DevOps approach differ from each other in several aspects. But the two new age project management methodologies complement each other perfectly. Many enterprises unify agile and DevOps principles to accelerate software delivery and optimize user experience.

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