LESSONS FROM APPLYING
DEVOPS PRINCIPLES TO OUR
AGILE APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT
By Paul Welty
We have learned a lot from DevOps, now firmly entrenched in the enterprise and in executives’
lexicon. An approach that breaks down traditional barriers between development and operations,
it emphasizes flow, feedback and continuous improvement. In fact, IT operations run the risk of
becoming a “critical bottleneck” if DevOps is not implemented, or if not implemented properly,
Gartner research director Jason Wong argues. By eliminating the handoff between developers and
operations, it facilitates rapid deployment of software.
What really makes it work is not just the elimination of handoffs, but the drive toward a single team.
When we think about it like this, there is an opportunity to take the concept further and apply these
ideas to how we conceive, design and launch applications.
Applying and extending DevOps principles to app strategy,
design and adoption will allow you to realize significant
• A single strategy, design, development and operations
adoption team focused on a central mission
• A structure that facilitates feedback to drive continuous
• A team that measures success by the app’s adoption.
After all, whether an app is deployable and sustainable
doesn’t matter at all if it doesn’t solve a user need and get
adopted. Apple is a good example of this principle in action.
Apple doesn’t “do” concept products; it only releases
things that are producible at mass scale. What this means
is that its teams are always thinking far down the product
line: “What can we put in the hands of 10 million people?”
It’s an approach that forces you to stay in touch with your
users and think in terms of the adoption of your work.
PUTTING DEVOPS INTO PRACTICE
Here’s how DevOps-ifying application
development played out on a recent
project for an online news hub:
• Ensured multiple sources of
data to provide KPIs
• Investigated anomalies
• Formed new hypotheses based
• Created/deployed content,
features and functionalities
regularly based on learnings
There are a few key steps we’ve taken and helped some of our clients take to add DevOps principles
to your entire application development process. In general, work backward up the value chain.