In 2017 — although I suppose I should say in 2018, as it’s almost the end of December — it is simply unacceptable for any IT organization to focus on an Agile-only or DevOps-only journey. They are two sides of the same coin, and one completes the other.

If your service provider tells you that DevOps alone or Agile alone is possible, change partner or ask them to come up with the business case that shows how that would pay off compared to the costs of the required transformation.

Don’t just take my word for it: Look at the data we collected in Forrester’s Q3 2017 Global Agile Software Application Development Online Survey of more than 230 respondents at companies doing some form of Agile.

Benefits Running Agile and DevOps
as one transformation
Running Agile transformation separate from DevOps
Greater frequency of delivery 83% 75%
Better business/IT alignment 74% 59%
Improved functional quality 72% 47%
Faster business value 69% 41%
Improved technical quality 64% 29%
Greater predictability of releases 55% 35%
Continuous delivery 47% 24%
Greater predictability of results aligned with requirements 47% 22%


We asked participants various questions on the benefits they had achieved with Agile; we also asked if their organization was embracing a DevOps journey separately, in sync with the Agile journey, or had one unified Agile and DevOps program. The outcome was enlightening and aligned with our interpretation of Agile and DevOps: The percentage of teams doing Agile + DevOps and claiming benefits from it was much higher than those doing only Agile. Here are the benefits achieved most:

In a nutshell, teams developing with Agile but without the proper Agile infrastructure and delivery automation or with a non-Agile “Ops” organization as a partner are less likely to gain real speed, release more frequently, or deliver business value faster. Having more of the Agile engineering approach that DevOps enables also improves technical quality; the fast feedback loop that DevOps enables creates greater business/IT alignment on what the business and users want, as well as improved functional quality.

We offer a more in-depth analysis of our data in this report, which Forrester clients can enjoy. I’m always happy to receive your feedback, so please send it to

Happy holidays!