Agile vs. DevOps: The Similarities and Differences

Agile and DevOps are two of the most widely used software methodologies today, with countless arguments that debate their respective merits. Though the two methodologies seem to have a lot in common, there are also certain stark differences between them.

Read on to explore how the two popular methodologies have evolved and how they relate to one another in today’s context.


To understand how the methodologies of Agile and DevOps evolved, let us begin with the Waterfall approach. Around the 1950s, when the field of software development had begun to grow rapidly, the Waterfall approach emerged as the most efficient and facile method of building applications. This approach placed emphasis on the customer’s primary need and, therefore, delivered software that was better designed than others.

Eventually, developers realized that customer needs were changing from time to time and that it was not possible to develop a software molded to address a single need. In addition to this, there was a lack of team spirit at the developer’s end – work was done in silos and lacked effective communication. The Waterfall approach lasted until the 1990s when developers started experimenting with newer methodologies, giving birth to the Agile software development methodology.

Agile is a software development methodology that was designed in accordance with the theories of the Agile Manifesto, codified in 2001. The Agile software development methodology, commonly known as Agile, focuses on addressing the gaps between the development team and customer needs. It encouraged a collaborative environment by promoting the cross-functional working of the various divisions. The manifesto lays emphasis on the following:

  • A strong and comprehensive communication system between the people working in the team and the customers
  • A flexible work environment, where people adapt to immediate changes and acknowledge them
  • An iterative software development rather than a fixed methodology

Gradually, Agile paved way for the birth of DevOps. Unlike Agile, which was a replacement to the Waterfall approach, DevOps was more of an extension of the Agile methodology.

DevOps is a culture that promotes a holistic approach by building relations between software development and IT operations divisions in order to establish an environment that is transparent, rapid, responsible, and smart. The ultimate goal of DevOps is to integrate both teams together, fostering a better working relationship built on mutual understanding and trust.


Listed below are some of the similarities between Agile and DevOps:

  • Though Agile and DevOps might differ in their approach, they strive to achieve the same goal; increased productivity.
  • Both the methodologies extensively practice the lean philosophy, which aims to achieve customers’ needs with zero waste.
  • The emphasis on collaboration is a shared objective. Both of these encourage a collaborative workplace to be more efficient and productive.


Now that we have seen the similarities between the two, let us look at the differences between Agile and DevOps:

  • One of the major differences between Agile and DevOps is the speed at which they function. While Agile tends to be rapid in undertaking its operations, DevOps does not emphasize on speed.
  • Agile tends to work in small groups. It holds the belief that the smaller the team, the faster the execution. DevOps, on the other hand, focuses on the integrated functioning of groups and, therefore, often consists of larger groups.
  • In an Agile methodology, every individual becomes skilled in all kinds of work. As a result, the people working in a team can substitute each other at any time. This avoids hampering the process and contributes to speeding up the development process. Though DevOps emphasizes on collaboration, it still needs people of different functional specialities – development and operations – to work together for effective results.

These are some of the common similarities and differences between Agile and DevOps. Though there are a few similarities, the two terms cannot be used synonymously, for they are better known for their differences.

CloudNow adopts an Agile-DevOps approach to provide efficient and highly productive results. For software development services that deliver effective results, contact us today

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