Difference between: Agile Vs. DevOps

The two buzz theories that many organizations are eager to employ, but often face some confusion or overlaps between the two are Agile and DevOps. Only one organization practice originated in software development processes, though both are being applied to organizational functions beyond software development services. These both are the two software development methodologies which have similar aims, getting the end product out as quickly & as efficiently as possible.

agile vs devops

Using these software methodologies in tandem is often the best approach to effect change within the team, department or whole organization. Therefore understanding both theories means being flexible to how they are constantly changing and releasing that there is not one answer to solve all businesses. Earlier software development came into existence, that there was no fixed and definite approach to do it in the proper manner. With the change in technology, the customer requirements have also altered and hence these two software services have been introduced.

What is Agile Methodology?

The agile methodology involves the continuous iteration of software development and testing in the SDLC process. This method mainly emphasis on iterative, incremental and evolutionary development. This process breaks the product into smaller pieces and then integrates them for the final testing process. Hence, this methodology can be implemented in many ways which also include scrum, kanban, XP, etc.

agile vs devops

In 2001, Manifesto for agile software development codified several of these theories and hence placed them all under the umbrella of agile software development. This word “agile” values to the following characteristics:

  • People: customers, teammates, and interaction between these people rather than tools and processes.
  • Immediacy: working software rather than comprehensive documentation.
  • Flexibility: Responding to even embracing change, rather than the following predetermined plans.

This methodology has encouraged developers to break down software development into small pieces which are called as user stories. It also highlights the value that agile places on the customers, that helps the developers by providing faster feedback loops and ensures product alignment with market requirements.

What does DevOps Means?

While agile Methodology was a response to waterfall methodologies, DevOps was not a response to agile. The two theories actually were not the same thing, until organizations started seeing the similarities and increased success and productivity while using them in tandem. This is the software development methodology which aims to bring software development teams and information technology operatives together and is a concept that fosters the culture of collaboration between these two teams which historically works in their own separate silos from initial design phase right through to product release.

From the last decade, organizations are usually adding approach to their software development process and the businesses have started spinning off specific DevOps team from existing IT teams. From here, the agile team relies only on test automation, automated build, and continuous delivery and continuous integration. DevOps team of the organizations uses tools such as configuration management, monitoring schemes, cloud computing etc.

agile vs devops

This theory was rooted to fill the communication gap between IT development teams along with their other departments of the organizations. This helps to communicate with IT Ops team to ensure the stability and security testing environment. Moreover, at the time of deployment, they have to coordinate with marketing and customer teams as well. There are some companies who thought that DevOps is an extension to agile methodology.

Contrasting Points of Agile Vs DevOps

While we are proponents of using agile and DevOps theories together, it is crucial to understand how they both differ from each other:

  • Speed

In case of speed, agile is all about rapid and frequent deployment, but this is rarely the goal or even part of it for DevOps.

  • Creating and deployment

To develop software is an increment to agile but for DevOps, it is concerned with the appropriate deployment of said software.For the record, DevOps can deploy the software which was developed in any number of approaches.

  • Specialization

Agile is an equal opportunity team, every member of the scrum can do every job within the team, that prevents slowdowns and bottlenecks. On the other hand, it assumes separate teams for development and operations and people stay within their teams, but they all communicate frequently.

  • Communication

Daily, informal meetings are the heart of agile approaches, so each of the team members can share the progress, daily goals and indicate helps when they require. These scrubs are not meant to go over documentation or milestone and metrics. DevOps meeting is not daily, but they need lots of documentation in order to communicate the software deployment to all relevant teams.

agile vs devops

  • Documentation

Agile teams do not mainly codify their meetings minutes or other communication. On the other hand, DevOps requires design documentation and specs in order to fully understand the software release.

  • Team size

To stay with a small team is the core of agile- the smaller the team, the lesser people on it, the faster they can move even if they are continuing to the larger efforts. While in the case of DevOps, they will have many teams that work together and each team can realistically practice different theories.

  • Scheduling

An agile team works in short, predetermined amount of time which is called as sprints. On the other hand, DevOps values maximum reliability so that they can focus on long term schedule which minimizes the business disruption.

  • Automation

This is the heart of DevOps as their overall goal is to minimize disruption and maximize efficiency, when deploying the software. However, agile does not need automation.

[Also Read: How to Simplify Software Development Complexity]


At last, we come to conclude that DevOps and agile are not similar but are two different software methodologies. These both can be applied and adopted by the development and deployment team members in an easy manner. These two methodologies have become an integral part of the business and the organizations are also using both of them as per their requirements.

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