Let’s face it: we’ve been talking about Agile development for two decades, and DevOps since 2009. Everyone wants to take these business approaches to software development and delivery, but confusion and disappointment is often the order of the day. This year, marked by reconstruction in a post-pandemic environment, accompanied by ever faster digital competition, guess who will be under enormous pressure to deliver software with small or small budgets? Yes, managers and IT professionals can expect a busy time.
surveyed industry leaders about the prospects for DevOps and Agile development, and they find that there are as many interpretations of these philosophies as there are companies that implement them. The challenge is to get everyone on the same page, perceive the urgency and the benefits for the business. In 2021, delivering smooth, well-targeted technology has never been more essential.
DevOps, a polysemous term
The term ‘DevOps’ means’ different things for different people, so different people do different things and call it DevOps,’ observes Kief Morris, lead cloud expert at ThoughtWorks. ‘The movement and the buzzword have been successful. people think about the need for collaboration between all those involved in creating and operating software. That’s why it has spread to things like DevSecOps – it’s not just about developers and developers. responsible for operations, but for everyone “.
The problem is that “people often focus on the superficial tools and forms rather than principles and results,” warns Kief Morris. “So you see DevOps teams running Jenkins servers and who may be writing Ansible, but you don’t always see developers involved in the operational aspects of the code they write, and you don’t often see everyone in different roles, including testing and governance, collaborating effectively to integrate the good things into the software “.
Bringing DevOps to the fore can be an organizational challenge. “One of the biggest challenges in DevOps is the lack of urgency,” says Aly Simkins, director of development operations at Catalytic. “DevOps is not a great job and we often think that if things work as they are, there is no need to prioritize. But the reality is DevOps should be iterative and agile ”. What is happening is that “legacy DevOps implementations are being overlooked instead of developing alongside the rest of the software development lifecycle process,” adds Aly Simkins. “Since there is no direct monetary value associated with an improved flow of DevOps, this is not an area that is considered in the first place when allocating engineering resources.”
Keeping the promises of agile development?
To advance DevOps, Aly Simkins advocates continuous improvement through these efforts “to build a solid foundation for your engineering team, which in turn will increase speed and efficiency.” Take the time to identify areas where an improved DevOps cycle would add value, and prioritizing work over the rest of your software development process is a big investment when it comes to growing your agile team ”.
How close are we to finally delivering on the promises of the Agile Manifesto, which advocates collaboration rather than closed technical processes? “I’m not sure the reasoning for the Agile Manifesto is still the industry standard,” says Kief Morris. “People know they need to change the way they think about technology, they talk about digital transformation, but I don’t know if they really see how the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto relate to it, how you can use them to make it happen. The Manifesto talks about things like valuing “people and interactions over processes and tools”, but that’s difficult. Processes and tools seem easier. There are many software and consulting companies that provide you with processes and tools that empower you to become Agile and DevOps and go digital. But it’s really about giving you the assurance that there is an easy way, a formula, that will make you as successful as the winning companies. ”
When it comes to agile initiatives themselves, companies need to look at value and results, “rather than measuring effort and task,” says Kief Morris. “We’ve seen the rise of ‘corporate agile’ executives who try to help you manage teams from the top down, building on everything to the right of the values of the Agile Manifesto. The Manifesto says that we value reacting to change rather than following a plan, but these frameworks give you a formula for managing plans that don’t really encourage you to react to change once you start.
Beyond the IT pole
Another challenge for the coming year continues to be extending agility well beyond the boundaries of the IT department. “Agile technology initiatives include business sectors, especially as process managers continue to become more and more involved in automation,” said Nicolas Chabanoles, Technical Director of Bonitasoft. “Digital process automation technologies must be used for close collaboration between organizations in order to have a positive impact on agile projects. For example, automation technologies should include broad options to enable visual programming for citizen developers to create user interfaces, define business rules and conditions, as well as coding capabilities for developers like SDKs, patterns, archetypes and extension points ”.
When it comes to technology that can help move these processes forward, Kief Morris advocates “new waves of technology approaches like container clusters, service mesh, data mesh, serverless, and so on. are facilitators. They group and organize tools and technologies in such a way that people can use them to achieve better flow. But they don’t magically give you that. What we’re starting to see with some things that have been around for a while, like the cloud, is that it’s too easy to make the same kind of mess, or new kinds of mess, with these technologies that people do. have done with traditional technologies and platforms. You need to combine agile and DevOps methods to encourage collaboration and focus on value and results with these technologies. Then you can really fly ”.