How to Ensure Continuous Delivery with Agile and DevOps
June 24, 2021

Akshaya Choudhary
Cigniti Technologies

Organizations, these days, implement agile methodologies to enhance the speed of software delivery. Agile software development is much more than various practices like test-driven development, planning sessions, pair programming, stand-ups, and sprints. The term denotes a set of practices that include promoting sustainable development, maintaining a constant pace, gaining a competitive edge, attention to technical excellence, ensuring customer satisfaction, and more.

Now, with the progress in time, advancement in technology, increased competition in the market, and customer satisfaction becoming a priority, DevOps and Continuous Delivery (CD) have emerged to streamline the entire process of software development and delivery and maximize its efficacy. This blog explores the way to extend Agile with DevOps for continuous delivery.


How DevOps Amplifies Agility

Agile methodologies encouraged teamwork and smart results. By breaking down software development into smaller chunks, Agile practices effectively accelerated feedback loops and aligned product features with consumer demands.

With the software community increasingly embracing Agile methodologies, the idea of "scale" came to the forefront. It enabled the developers to produce highly functional software codes in shorter iterations. However, with the involvement of test and deployment, a fragmented process and functional silos were found to be inadequate to reach the objective of Agile efforts. Therefore, the goals of ensuring the quality of software applications and a faster time to market were yet to be satisfied.

Agile indeed facilitated a new approach aimed at automating and streamlining the software delivery lifecycle. Further, with the advent of Continuous Integration (CI), the practice of frequently checking the codes, testing each chunk, and integrating them into a shared trunk paved the way for smaller and faster releases of the subsequent versions.

All these highlighted the demand for a collaboration among the Development, QA, and Operations teams.

DevOps approach is proven for supporting and amplifying responsiveness, agility, and faster time to market throughout a software delivery lifecycle.

Jez Humble in his book, Continuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases through Build, Test, and Deployment Automation, points out that the concept of treating the entire software lifecycle as a single process is embraced by small startups and large enterprises alike.

DevOps continuous testing further underlines this notion as it involves testing the software at each stage of the development life cycle. Other than ensuring a faster development process, it also contributes to enhancing the quality of the outcome. While Agile practices address the requirements of developers, the focus on DevOps ensures continuous delivery and high Return on Investment (ROI).

Continuous Delivery: The Ultimate Aim

Industry experts consider DevOps and Continuous Delivery (CD) to be the extensions of Agile methodologies that offer a long-term value. Kurt Bittner remarks: "If Agile was the opening act, continuous delivery is the headliner."

CD transforms the way software is delivered. It leverages and extends the potential of Agile by combining DevOps and CI practices.

CD follows the methodologies in software development that improves the procedure of software delivery and ensures reliable software releases. Implementing automation across CI builds, testing, and deployment - CD spans across various dimensions of research and development. Thus, it enables the systematic, reliable, and faster release of quality software.

Martin Fowler, a renowned figure in the realm of software development, outlines the questions that a continuous delivery process should abide by:

■ Is the software deployable all through its lifecycle?

■ Can anyone get automated and faster feedback on the readiness of the application when someone makes a change?

■ Can the DevOps team keep the software deployable while introducing new features?

■ Is push-button deployment possible for any version of the software to any environment? 

Benefits of Extending Agile with DevOps for Continuous Delivery

■ Faster time to market

■ Enhanced productivity

■ Winning a competitive edge

■ Reliable release

■ Improved product quality

■ Customer satisfaction 

Way Forward

Agile methodologies and DevOps approaches ensure that end products stay competitive and provide an exceptional user experience.

Cigniti's DevOps Test Centre of Excellence (TCoE) capitalizes on DevOps continuous testing process to ensure a seamless and continuous delivery. It offers a suite of services including:

■ DevOps implementation for QA

■ DevOps practice readiness and maturity assessment

■ Automated test orchestration solutions

■ Tool feasibility and recommendations

Schedule a discussion with DevOps experts to know more.

Akshaya Choudhary is Content Marketer at Cigniti Technologies, an Independent Software Testing company
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