Agile vs DevOps: Understanding the Key Differences

Both are examples of software development methodologies that focus on higher levels of efficiency and faster time to market of the software product. Yes, we are talking about Agile and DevOps. Both of these methodologies are so widely used by development teams worldwide that they have become the buzzwords everyone has heard of and wants to learn more about.

Many people also tend to use these terms interchangeably, without realizing that the two terms are not synonymous. So, what are the differences between Agile and DevOps? Are they designed to complement one another or are they mutually exclusive? If you have always wondered, it is now the time to explore. So, let's get started.

Before we move ahead and try to figure out the differences between the two, let us first have a quick look at the definitions of the terms.

What is Agile?

Agile has, over the years, been responsible for breakthroughs in the way software development teams operate and their approach towards both, development as well as testing. Agile was conceptualized sometime in 2001, as a result of the Agile Manifesto, and the essence of Agile lies in its 4 core values and 12 principles. The prime focus of the Agile approach is on innovation and effective collaboration, along with continuous change to cater to the changing requirements of the end user.

What is DevOps?

DevOps, as the name indicates, is an amalgamation of 2 terms, namely Development & Operations.

So, the objective of the DevOps methodology is to bring the development team and the IT Operations team to come together and work in close collaboration, as these two teams have traditionally worked in separate silos. The collaboration between Development & Operations results in the highest quality of products and services, through continuous integration, continuous testing, continuous deployment and higher levels of transparency in the code repositories.

Agile vs DevOps: Comparing Agile and DevOps

Now, while Agile, in essence, is all about collaboration within the multiple teams working together in a project to bring about innovation in catering to the changing needs of the client, DevOps is all about bringing two teams (Development & Operations) to work more in coordination to facilitate delivery of high-quality products to the market in the shortest time. Interestingly enough, both Agile and DevOps has automation testing at their core, which can be implemented with a new age advanced test automation tool like QARA Enterprise.

One might wonder if Agile is better than DevOps or vice versa. The answer is that DevOps can be considered the successor to Agile. So, while Agile has several distinct advantages over the software development models that existed prior to it, DevOps does have an edge over Agile. However, it is important to note that DevOps is not the replacement of Agile, as it is more of an extension to the principles of Agile, which already focuses on collaboration, by also bringing in software deployment and operations teams to be a part of the software SDLC.

Factors that Differentiate Agile and DevOps

So, here's the difference between Agile and DevOps based on the following parameters.

a] The Objective

While Agile focuses on rapid development of high-quality software products, DevOps focuses on fast and reliable deployment in addition to rapid development

b] Teams Involved

Agile methodology is all about increased and more effective collaboration between development and testing teams. DevOps involves cross-functional team collaboration too, but includes the IT Operations and deployment teams too.

c] Processes and Practices Involved

While Agile involves processes such as Kanban, Scrum, etc., DevOps involves practices such as continuous testing (CT), Continuous Deployment (CD), Continuous Integration (CI), etc.

d] Significance on Documentation

Documentation is highly significant for Agile teams who rely more on meetings. However, DevOps teams focus more on detailed documentation in order to get a clear understanding of new software releases and their specifications.

e] Approach to Deployment

Agile methodology is all about working in small increments known as sprints, and the duration of a sprint can range from a few weeks to a month. DevOps teams deploy more frequent releases, often even multiple releases in a single day.

f] Skillset of the Team

Team members of an Agile team have similar skillsets. A DevOps team has team members with varied skill sets.

g] Source of Feedback

Agile teams focus on feedback from the client or end users. DevOps teams focus on feedback from the members of the team to facilitate faster delivery.

h] Application

Agile methodology is more universal in its application and can be successfully applied to any team in any department. DevOps is designed for the end-to-end product engineering process.

The Final Word

So, that was all about Agile vs DevOps. One can safely conclude that while there are differences between Agile and DevOps, both aim towards helping teams deliver the highest quality software products in the shortest time. It's important to note that Agile and DevOps are not mutually exclusive, as DevOps is just an extension of Agile, applying the principles of Agile even as it incorporates more teams into the process.

If you are looking to implement Agile and DevOps, we recommend that you get started with implementing test automation. Visit to get started, or drop an email to and our team will connect with you to understand the requirements of your QA team for automation.