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Agile Ops

March 23, 2011

The perennial tension between the development team and operations may be getting closer to easing with the introduction by IBM of the concept of Agile Opps.  Similar to the concept of Devopps but more robust and planned out, this is an approach that seeks to promote a closer interaction between the two areas and hence a more streamlined process with less aggravation on both sides and less problems stemming from a “siloed” approach.

But let’s step back a minute and examine the problem.  From the operational side, the development team often seems to live in a world of their own, just occassionally tossing programs over the wall that the operations team has to set up and deploy  – often in heterogenous situations and often with difficulty.

The development team, on the other hand, received requirements for the software and often several change mandates from management, is responsible for architecting, coding, testing, and debugging the software, feels  pride in its creation and often has very little sympathy when operations “breaks” their baby.  In addition, the majority of developers today embrace Agile programming in which there is frequent interaction with stakeholders and many of them feel that should be sufficient to assure that the concerns of operations are adequately addressed.

What IBM is doing with Agile Opps is to pull together a set of best practices and possibly new tools from both their Rational and Tivoli teams, representing respectively their development tools group and their operations product teams.  The result sounds very promising as these two groups are now working much more closely and each brings its own particular point of view and insights.  Tivoli has recently benefited from an injection of talent transferred from Rational which will only deepen the synergy.  While Agile Opps is still a work in progress, it has an excellent start and great potential to create more harmony between the development and operations of their customers and so deliver a competitive advantage.

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