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Building bridges not walls – Scrum and DevOps better together

April 4, 2017



Did you know that DevOps, when it was introduced in 2009 was called “Agile Infrastructure”? For many this will not come as a surprise. DevOps after all is the breaking down of barriers between operations and development in pursuit of increased business agility. But, like with any good movement, focus has been narrow to allow for easy adoption.  This has often meant that people talking DevOps forget the key relationship with agile, the agile manifesto and the most popular agile framework Scrum. In fact, the agile manifesto, with its emphasis on people rather than tools feels like it is missing the importance of the work of DevOps engineers who are trying to automate the last mile of software delivery, or operations who spend the majority of their time managing applications and infrastructure.  

It is time to stop bickering about which is better DevOps or agile and instead focus on building bridges between Scrum teams, agile practices and the DevOps movement.

Today announced a partnership with the DevOps Institute. The DevOps Institute provides training and certification by working with the thought leaders in the DevOps community. I see this partnership as providing a foundation to building stronger working relationships between the Scrum and DevOps communities, sharing ideas, concepts and most importantly, bringing new thinking out to help deliver better working software.  Together, we will help focus on delivering more value to their customers by leveraging the practices and ideas of Scrum and DevOps rather than trying to make a choice between them.  Some practical things we will be working on together include:

  • Consistently describe the ideas of each body of knowledge through and DevOps Institute classes and certifications – Providing consistent words and concepts to help ensure that both groups can share a common dialogue.
  • Shared events that bring together the two audiences to create an environment that allows ideas to be exchanged and new ones to grow. It has always seemed odd that DevOps and Scrum/agile events are separate. It is crucial that the two groups work together and that we as one.
  • Invest in a growing body of thought leadership. Scrum has a very precise, documented body of knowledge with the Scrum Guide, but there is much ‘mystic’ in the DevOps and agile community about certain terms and ideas. DevOps Institute is already working with DevOps Express on building standard patterns and terminology. By working with the DevOps Institute, we can start bringing in the concepts of professional Scrum so that the entire software delivery team can work together as one.

The first DevOps and Scrum joint event is in Dallas April 24th to 26th. At this event, we will be running Scrum and DevOps workshops and classes on their own, and we will also be presenting a joint keynote and half day workshop on what an integrated Scrum and DevOps world looks like under the code name of ScrumOps. These materials are harvested from our joint communities and the work they are doing with organizations every day. Many of these practitioners already realize that Scrum and DevOps are better together.

When Ken Schwaber the co-creator of Scrum is asked about what Scrum will look like in the next 20 years of its life he often says “it will be the natural way that teams deliver products”. A simple statement, but the reality is that requires not only people to “get” Scrum, but also for Scrum Teams to be working in an environment that allows an empirical approach to flourish. An environment where the barriers between Development, Operations and the Business are removed. We need ScrumOps!


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