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Is Continuous Delivery and DevOps Replacing Agile?

Is the Criticism of Agile Development by Dark Agile Manifesto Fact or Fiction?The question “Is continuous delivery replacing Agile?” is often discussed today. It is frankly an absurd question, with no evidence supporting that it is the case. More often than not the question is raised by Continuous Delivery vendor advocates (targeting developers without an integrated development environment – ALM Software). In actual effect, the reverse is true as clearly shown by Google Trends Data and by our own website analytics data, Agile is going from strength to strength and evolving.

As an ALM Software Developer, Intland Software has remained at the cutting edge of Software Development for over 20 years by constantly evolving our product to take into consideration the latest trends in Development by adding and enhancing features. Here at Intland Software we advocate the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) which as the name implies is for Scaling Agile for Enterprise use. SAFe supports both the concepts of both Continuous Delivery and DevOps while codeBeamer ALM provides the software features necessary to implement SAFe at Scale.

What is Continuous Delivery (CD)?

Continuous Delivery is a term used to describe a series of software engineering processes that through automation enable the deployment of code safely and rapidly into a production environment (or production like environment). Through automation, it is possible to increase the frequency of build, testing and ultimately the release of software, with the benefit of cutting costs and time.

Understandably, there is much confusion between Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment the acronym CD could be used for either. It is best to think of continuous deployment as the final step of continuous delivery or the next step after continuous delivery, why the difference? Continuous Deployment reduces the risk associated with development by enabling incremental updates within a production environment. In many circumstances, continuous deployment is not a valid option for businesses due to regulatory compliance issues but also and understandably, many businesses choose not to implement continuous deployment into highly effective reliable and secure production systems due to fears of introducing system failure and thereby cause disruption of manufacturing.

Here you might think that you were reading about DevOps and you would be right, since the same processes that are automated in Continuous Delivery are also automated in DevOps with the same end goal, but DevOps is a much bigger concept, including the cultural change necessary for Agile adoption.

If you have decided that CD is a step you must make, then a standalone Continous Delivery tool is not the answer, an integrated Agile ALM software is the essential step to take since in includes the features necessary for CD and with regards to our own codeBeamer ALM, DevOps also.

Is DevOps Agile?

Increasingly tool vendors attempt to deal with Continuous Delivery in isolation, separating it from the work cultural change necessary for DevOps and consequently the marketing efforts of Continuous Delivery vendors are increasingly focused on separating the concepts. Numerous blogs (typically Continuous Delivery Tool vendor advocates) have proclaimed Agile is Dead, or Agile is replaced, despite any evidence of such.

In response to these voices we say, Agile is doing just fine! At the heart of SAFe and DevOps, Scrum, Kanban and every home brewed Agile hybrid variation. Every business wants to be more Agile and alone a single Continuous Delivery tool is only part of the puzzle of how to achieve it, the cultural change and methodology supplied by DevOps and Agile is essential. Businesses are often optimizing the tools but not the people or the use of the tool within the business and therefore will not achieve a fraction of the benefits associated with either Agile or DevOps.

An integrated development platform and training is key to success.