DevOps Is the Key to Graduating from Waterfall to Agile | TechWell

DevOps Is the Key to Graduating from Waterfall to Agile

man working near waterfall

You’ve heard it over and over again: Each and every software team or organization is different. From the structure to the user base and all the way to the experience level of each team member, you can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to software development.

However, with today’s speed requirements and the ever-increasing quality standards engrained in the common application user, we’re now at the point where transitioning from the waterfall methodology to the agile methodology isn’t just beneficial—it’s an essential step toward staying afloat in one of the most competitive industries.

The key to making that transition successfully and reaping all the benefits of agile isn’t just “Hey, go flip that agile switch.” Mark Levy, the director of strategy at Micro Focus, sees DevOps as the essential element in graduating from waterfall to agile. And while the definition of DevOps is often fluid based on the needs of specific organizations, Levy focuses on its continuous improvement core.

“I think of DevOps as a state of collaboration between development, QA, and IT operations intended to produce better business outcomes,” Levy explained to StickyMinds. “DevOps is not ‘something you do’ but rather a state you continuously move towards by implementing a culture of continuous improvement and by doing many different things.”

One way you can continue to improve your processes on the way from waterfall to agile is by pinpointing areas of waste or excessive cost throughout the lifecycle, tightening these areas, and reducing the long lead times. DevOps allows you to take a holistic view of your business in order to discover and eliminate inefficiencies.

Even if agile is all about speed, and (in this case) DevOps is focused on tightening up your processes, you have to practice patience when changing around so many things at once. This is a culture change, and culture is often deeply engrained within your team.

“The transition will take time and happen incrementally. Are there things you can do today to accelerate the delivery of business value to your customers while you transition your development teams to agile software practices?” Levy continues. “This is where DevOps takes a broader view of the delivery process and there are things you can do to accelerate software delivery as your waterfall team transitions to agile.”

If you’re still stuck on waterfall, it’s time to use DevOps to become more agile. Just know how grand of an undertaking that can be, and continuously search for the inefficiencies that could be keeping you from a successful transition.

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