Continuous Integration in Agile

Continuous Integration in Agile Methodology

Over the years, continuous integration in agile has gained acceptance in the modern-day enterprise. It makes sense. Software development teams have adopted an iterative and incremental approach and ditched the traditional linear and less flexible waterfall approach. 

What Is Agile?

Agile is an iterative approach to software development and project management. It helps development teams deliver value to stakeholders faster and with fewer hitches. Agile hinges on delivering work in smaller, more manageable increments instead of betting on a big bang launch. It continuously evaluates plans, requirements, and results to enable teams to respond to change quickly. 

Why Is CI Important for Agile?

The premise of agile is that developers should deliver small incremental updates to a service or product. This only works if the organization has spent a lot of time developing and maintaining the CI/CD pipeline for its products and services. 

Added Value for your Company through CI

CI can benefit the entire organization. With CI, development teams are always in a perpetual state of releasing code. The tested and packaged code automatically eliminates the risk of the big-bang emotional cycle of manual deployments. There is no room for complacency when your teams are continuously improving.

  • Continuous Integration Enables Scaling

CI helps to enhance agile workflows. It makes it possible for development team members to own their code changes until release. 

CI also removes organizational dependencies between the development of new features and enables scaling. With CI in place, development teams can work on individual features to ensure their code will integrate seamlessly with the rest of the team’s code. 

  • Fault Isolation and Increased Test Reliability

The design of CI systems limits the scope of negative outcomes when an error occurs. Fault isolation reduces the potential for systemic damage and makes it easier for organizations to maintain their systems. CI, coupled with testing automation, helps organizations improve test reliability since it’s specific to the bite-sized changes introduced to the system

  • Faster Release Rate

With CI, organizations can detect failures much faster. As a result, organizations can react quickly to market changes, repair issues faster, and increase release rates. CI continuously deploys codes after thorough automated testing, keeping code in a perpetual release-ready state.

  • Improve the Feedback Loop

CI allows for faster decision-making by giving fast feedback about business decisions. Development teams get to test ideas, push changes faster, and measure them for success. Teams can deal with errors and bugs quickly.  CI is an excellent way for an organization to get continuous feedback from teams and customers. 

  • Improve Communication

CI improves accountability and overall communication between development teams. Communication is improved through the feedback loop by increasing transparency when problems arise. 

3D illustration of the five phases of ADDIE model over white background. 3D illustration to use as a guideline to build a training program

The Challenges of CI

CI does come with a few challenges that many enterprises fall victim to. However, enterprises can overcome them with the right guidance and leadership.

  • Adoption 

The primary challenge with CI has to do with adoption and initial installation. Organizations that don’t have CI in place need to ensure there is buy-in from the appropriate stakeholder. They also need to make sure they dedicate an appropriate amount of time to learning a new way to operate. 

  • Learning Curve

Continuous integration brings a host of supportive technologies that may have a learning curve for development teams. Teams that experience the greatest success with the tools engage professional services to ensure the transition is smooth. This can also minimize the learning time. 

  • Flawed Tests

Flawed tests can happen in CI setups. Problems associated with the software usually cause them. It happens when tests are outdated, poorly written, or unsuited for a particular app. Taking the wrong approach toward testing can lead to problems in production. Automated testing utilizing the right processes and guidelines will help you minimize this impact for your team.

Conclusion

Continuous integration in agile does not get rid of errors and bugs. Instead, it makes it much easier for development teams to find and fix them. With any change, adoption is key to success. That’s one of the many areas in which Gibson Group can assist you and your team. The team of experienced DevOps coaches at Gibson Group can help accelerate your teams delivery capability.