In an economy where immediacy is crucial for staying in the race, companies must adapt their organizational and business models. Some software publishers and IT service companies understand the importance of this trend and are beginning to implement Agile practices to meet their customers’ needs.
Agile practices significantly improve the development flow and increase client satisfaction, helping them rediscover the option of changing their minds. I intentionally used the term “rediscover” because clients have always had this option, but it was extremely cumbersome and expensive, often frustrating everyone.
However, if Agile practices are a way of boosting development productivity, a delivery system worthy of the Agile name must accompany them. What’s the point of increasing production time if we’re not able to keep the same pace during the product launch?
Here’s where Agility and DevOps practices should go hand in hand!
DevOps, a set of practices that aren’t always implemented
As baffling as it may seem, a company’s operations and development teams don’t always work closely together on IT projects. Of course, they talk to each other, but daily tasks soon seem to gain the upper hand and each team plans independently based on their own priorities. The result? Blocking points:
Tool version conflicts between the development and production environments
Unforeseen updates, which delay the project
The development team proceeds without considering evolutions predicted by the operations team, creating a less optimized architecture
The role of DevOps is to harmonize Agile practices on both the development and operations sides to enjoy their benefits throughout every project phase.
Processes are adapted to existing needs to industrialize the production launch. This two-way information flow (operations towards development and vice versa) enables us to raise the quality of IT projects and, in the end, drastically reduce costs.
Agility must involve all of a company’s services, not just the development teams. Otherwise, they risk encountering bottlenecks that translate into frustrated end clients. This is where DevOps practices are valuable.
Practices perfectly compatible with outsourcing
Outsourcing all or part of the production chain should, under no circumstances, be an impediment. Whether we’re talking about IT development or IT production outsourcing, companies should adopt procedures that allow teams to work in separate locations. Here’s where the choice of an experienced and knowledgeable provider is essential.
Experienced IT outsourcing companies such as Pentalog offer the necessary methods and tools to meet distance and time zone challenges (wiki, remote source servers, continuous integration, etc.). We facilitate these practices with infrastructure virtualization at both the operations and development levels. We also apply continuous integration and automate delivery practices to ensure industrialized versions and a high quality final product.
According to a study from CA Technologies, 90% of companies that implemented DevOps methods experienced significant growth, including an increase in the quality of the developed software – from 17 to 23%.
It is, therefore, possible for a company to use all their available assets to boost productivity, reduce the time-to-market and cost of their IT projects.
In Scrum organizations, developers are more or less forced to integrate, meaning, understand business needs. It is the Product Owner’s daily duty to make this link between users and the development team by regularly sharing their opinion on pending developments. This also implies an upgrade of the developer’s skills on functional aspects of the product in order to increase the team’s velocity.
In a DevOps-enabled context, the same developer is in charge of following up on his work from end to end, until it’s user-ready. There are many benefits to this process:
Better know-how of modern development practices (CI/CD, Containers, Serverless and more)
More homogeneous and robust technical solutions
Improved awareness of the business goals, as developers understand that their role continues even after the moment they have executed a GIT push. They’re more committed to the results of their work: its success, interactions, and performance in production. It comes down to optimizing Agile principles.
Beyond all of these positive aspects of Scrum, there is one question remaining: who monitors the whole organization? Some companies assign this role to the developer since they’re at the top of the pyramid and the single point of contact for all project stakeholders. We’re talking about a full-stack developer, particularly within start-ups, where a lack of resources automatically makes him the sole candidate for this position.
Learn more about Agile and DevOps: