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The Guide to Optimize Your Development Lifecycle by Combining Agile and DevOps

Oct 11, 2019

Discover how combining Agile framework and DevOps option can optimize your development lifecycle.

IT technologies have quickly taken leading positions in global industries and the demand for applications, web products and innovations continues to grow. Such rapid development prompted the creation of new methodologies that would allow producing reliable solutions quickly, but without loss of quality. Today, Agile and DevOps are among the most widely used technologies. Each of them has its undoubted advantages and useful options. However, if you combine both approaches, the result will be an ideal hybrid that increases the productivity and effectiveness of the team tenfold.

Comparing Methodologies: DevOps Vs Agile

Most development companies use Agile web development, dividing the entire project into short periods – scrums. This allows to constantly improve the product at the development stage and prepare the MVP more quickly. However, this approach does not always allow to include UX/UI design development and its integration in the life cycle.

Then what is DevOps offering to IT development as a methodology? DevOps also significantly reduces the time it takes to develop a new product, but it does due to the combination of various specialists in one team. In the Agile approach, each specialist makes his part of the product independently and separately from others. In DevOps, the whole team interacts with each other throughout the entire life cycle. The downside of this approach is the lack of continuous improvement throughout the project. The finished product is usually more complete and customer-oriented, but there may be a necessity for many improvements.

Agile project management with scrum allows engaging the customer in the process if the team is outsourced. It speeds up decision making, the process of troubleshooting and coordination does not take much time. Using special software automates some processes and allows the project manager to constantly monitor the stages of the project.

Experience proves that the key to software development optimization is in combining two methodologies. However, one cannot blindly glue two methodologies and hope for an ideal result. Mixing frameworks should occur gradually and taking into account the characteristics of the company or the future project.

Improving Agile Framework with DevOps Options

Despite the existence of several options for combining methodologies, it is recommended that agile software development to take as a basis. It will be obvious to take the best from both approaches, and in this case, it would be sprints in Agile and team joining in DevOps.

DevOps also seeks to automate the development processes as much as possible, for the sake of faster delivery and receiving feedback from consumers. Using DevOps tools in the Agile approach will help to achieve this goal. Sprints will help to make improvements, constantly improving its quality and enhancing the product.

Building a team that will work according to a mixed methodology can take time. The company needs to find the perfect balance within the team, determine the minimum and maximum number of involved specialists. An indisputable fact: a well-coordinated team is able to perform work as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Why it is so beneficial?

It will be true to say that in recent years, the approach to web application development has changed. Today, companies are more customer-oriented than five or seven years ago. The combination of the two methodologies allows to shift the vector of work on the project towards the consumer and his needs. At the same time, high quality and speed of preparation of MVP with fewer bugs and errors are maintained.

In the end, the company gets tangible benefits from such process optimization:

  • faster releases of MVP and products itself;
  • improved efficiency of the app;
  • better team collaboration;
  • improved team efficiency (each release becomes better);
  • fewer bugs and troubleshooting;
  • faster fixes (usually throughout the project);
  • higher customer and user satisfaction.

Adapting this approach increases the IT company’s chances of overtaking competitors. This allows to quickly implement the development plan and take a leading position in the market or the selected niche.

Defining the Development Lifecycle

It is recommended to begin the integration of DevOps in Agile with the definition of the software development lifecycle.

At the very beginning of each project, it is necessary to determine all its stages, including development, design, testing and release. Having determined the length of the project and its necessary phases, you can correctly distribute the time for each task. Moreover, this way you can minimize costs and reduce the time from developing a prototype to launching a finished application.

This stage is also necessary since not all software development lifecycle models include the same number of phases and stages, that is, you cannot use a ready-made template. For each project, the model is determined depending on the tasks and the level of their complexity.

The agile project management software will help to consolidate a certain life cycle and better control the process at all its stages. Besides, the distribution of tasks by sprints will increase efficiency and allow to notice the need for improvements at the early development stage.

Integrating UX/UI And QA Phase

Agile project management does not include UX/UI design development in the project life cycle, leaving it separate. Because of this, several problems can arise in the future. The design may not meet the expectations of the customer, or its implementation and adaptation may take too much time.

DevOps involves the parallel development of design in close collaboration of all team members. However, the question still remains on how to implement this in the usual framework.

The experience of using a hybrid methodology has shown that the implementation of UX/UI design development must be integrated from the earliest stages. So, a DevOps engineer will be able to focus on the consumer needs for the usability of the finished product, and the designer will better understand the development process. This will allow implementing the design in the finished product quickly and with minimal improvements.

Another phase that requires an implementation to improve the efficiency and quality of products is QA testing. It must be implemented at every stage of development. Obtaining feedback after each phase will improve the quality of the software and save time on troubleshooting after the development process.

Moreover, bugs identified during the development phase are easier and faster to fix than at the end of the project. Thus, by the end of the terms, the team releases a more stable and reliable product, which gives good users’ feedback.

The main goal of web development optimization is to increase the effectiveness of the team without losing the high quality of the finished product. The combination of two methodologies, Agile and DevOps, provides new opportunities for companies and their teams. No matter if it is a small mobile app development company or a large development company, this approach optimizes all processes and stages of development. However, it must be remembered that the implementation of DevOps in the Agile framework may require internal changes and transformation of the company.

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