During our live DevOps classes and preparation courses of DevOps certification programs, we have figured out that there is a single question that we never miss. So today, I decided to bring this short post together to answer this question. This question is: “What are differences between DevOps and Scrum?”. Also known as "DevOps vs Scrum Comparison".
Today I am going to cover top 6 of these differences. Here we go!
Difference-1: With DevOps, you deploy code in production at the end of each iteration (sprint), whereas with Scrum, your goal is to only prepare shippable code at the end of each iteration.
This is one of the major drawbacks of Scrum framework. One of the most important reasons (if not first) why Scrum fails in many organizations. Unless you deploy your code at the end of each iteration, what you normally do is to store your code in staging servers, or even worse let it sleep in your code version controlling (CVS) system, until a project director (who usefully has no clue about software engineering) decides when your code should go to production. I am aware of major banks and telecommunications companies who do production deployments in every 6th month in a year. This sounds like a joke, but it isn’t. And these big bangs cost for them at lot of top priority and top severity incidents in their production systems, reduction of employee morale and increase of employee resume updates. Here I am not even mentioning all finger-pointing and political fights between totally non-technical people who look for victims to justify their failures.
Difference-2: With DevOps, test automation and continuous software integration which are prerequisites of continuous software delivery are in the DNA of software development practices, whereas with Scrum, software delivery is an afterthought that must be planned and operated by people who are totally out of software development practices.
This is again one of the most critical weaknesses of Scrum framework. Scrum process itself brings very minimal to zero contribution about software delivery practices, whereas in DevOps a software delivery pipeline, test automation and production architecture that enable DevOps teams to do one-click production deployments are must haves. Scrum software delivery process has been around since 1986 and it has been first introduced by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka in Harvard Business Review with an article called “New Product Development Game”. More than 30 years after this initial launch of Scrum, there are now significant improvements how our teams should handle software delivery practices. Now we have DevOps to answer questions which had been unanswered by Scrum until now.
Difference-3: With DevOps, projects are oriented on products and services who create business value for organization, whereas Scrum does possess no maturity to contribute business results.
DevOps sees engineering teams as intelligent units who get the job done and who deliver working software products and services to serve clients and earn money for organizations. Unfortunately, Scrum doesn’t teach its members anything about business maturity. If you ever thought that all these “unquestionable” rituals (such as we are not allowed to do our daily stand-up meeting while we sit in a room) about Scrum seem nice, but these highly trained and highly paid engineers act as if there are in a kindergarten and Scrum master acts like a kindergarten teacher, this is because Scrum doesn’t teach engineers to become professionals. Now with DevOps everyone in an engineering organization regardless their effective level of experience and knowhow acts like a professional to create business value, so there are no more redundant and pointless discussions in ridiculous subjects such as whether you’re allowed to sit down in a daily stand-up meeting or not. With DevOps you use your brainstorming energy in order to identify and improve best possible software solutions to make your business earn more money!
Difference-4: With DevOps, all engineers in your team are concerned about quality of service (quality of software), excellence in operations, whereas with Scrum, software quality assurance and operations are job of somebody else.
In most Scrum teams software quality assurance is in the monopoly of external testers. Software deployment and operations are handled by system administrators. This disconnection of Scrum teams from quality of delivery and from real journey of software in production systems is again one of the most critical reasons, why many organizations which embraced Scrum struggle. In DevOps, quality assurance is a joint-responsibility of everyone in a software engineering organization. High talented full stack software engineers in DevOps keep their eyes on delivery, security, stability, performance, maintainability, operational and all other non-functions aspects of software starting from conception phase of their software until the end of software lifecycle. These DevOps teams which unify all required skill sets to develop, to ensure quality and to operate software are set up for success and build amazing business results for organizations.
Difference-5: DevOps contributes how you should architect your software to enable quality and continuous deliverability, whereas Scrum has no support to build your software with correct architecture.
Scrum gives neither support nor guidance to engineering teams to set the tone of a correct architectural direction and vision. Remember again! Scrum is more than 30 years old since it has been introduced by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka. With DevOps, products, services and micro-service APIs in your architecture must be loosely-coupled. Each DevOps team must be only responsible for one piece of a loosely-coupled architecture. Each DevOps team can independently design, develop and deploy their software. Early alert mechanism built in the deployment pipeline should automatically and rapidly inform DevOps teams about potential adverse effects any code check-in causes.
Difference-6: DevOps focuses on an end-to-end Software Engineering Organization to enable amazing business results, whereas Scrum is only concerned about software developers.
Focus of Scrum narrows down small development teams between 5 to 9 people. No it can’t be 10 would say the Scrum theory if you asked. Why? Unknown! Anyway, this narrow focus of Software engineering usually makes Scrum misfit in organizations because Scrum doesn’t answer any challenges about how a Scrum team should fit in professional organization to create value. DevOps’ suggestion is to build product and service oriented teams. Product and service oriented teams are independent, cross-functional, autonomous, self-sufficient and usually small teams which are able to cover all phases of software engineering life cycle of a given product and service (but not a temporary project) including architecting, designing, coding, testing, experimenting, deploying, operating and maintaining software. Yes. You read it right. Who else can operate and maintain software better than their own creators? The answer is of course: No one. Therefore, it is no surprise that the most successful DevOps teams at Amazon and Netflix do not abandon their products and services once they release them. They are also in charge of operating and maintaining their software in their own production systems.
After having read these differences, you must now have a clear idea why DevOps is becoming the next generation of agility!
In a few years DevOps will be fully accepted as the superset of Scrum because very large organizations such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Etsy, Netflix and many others have already adopted DevOps.
This means it will soon come to everywhere!
International DevOps Certification Academy™ provides you everything you need, so we make sure that you conveniently learn DevOps and pass your DevOps Certification Exam! For any questions, as per usual, myself and my team will be at your service!
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