Although Continuous Delivery is a way in which teams need to work, it is a culture and a mindset as well.
“Lots of people tend to focus too quickly on the technical aspects of CD, on how to get there, but don’t take time to fully grasp the significance of this profound revolution that both IT and businesses are going through,” said Labourey.
Always remember that the road to Continuous Delivery is bumpy. Organizations need to remain patient and open in order to reach their destination.
“This sounds trite, but is very important to keep in mind: You won’t get there overnight, and if you try to do it that way, you’ll fail,” said Wallgren.
Bringing agile to the next level
Agile has a lot of the same benefits as Continuous Delivery, but shouldn’t be confused with being a CD strategy, according to Labourey.
“This can indeed be confusing as the Continuous Delivery philosophy shares a lot of things with the agile methodology, and agile is very frequently used as the methodology of a Continuous Delivery strategy,” he said. “CD defines how a business is able to continuously deliver value, how a feedback loop is built to include the business. Agile defines how that value gets built. But ultimately you can be agile without doing CD, and vice versa, even though they are a great fit.”
In agile, the focus is on getting the teams to work better together in order to deliver software, and the focus in a Continuous Delivery strategy is on actually delivering the software, according to Tasktop’s West.
“The two are incredibly linked,” he said. He believed that though an organization doesn’t have to be agile in order to practice Continuous Delivery, he doesn’t know why it would want to.
“Can you do Continuous Delivery for a waterfall life cycle or a more traditional life cycle? Yeah, but why would you want to? There are no real benefits,” said West. “Of course you could employ some of the technology being used for Continuous Delivery in the life cycle, but your backside is still very large and your release cycle is annual. The benefit of employing the technology is simply reduced.”