Product quality, faster ROIs, or satisfied customers, you can pick whatever reason you like for embedding agile methodology in your business. What’s common among all of them is that business agility is undeniable. However, the agile manifesto was majorly developed as a set of practices that the developers could incorporate into their routine. To deem it as a silver bullet is neither fair nor wise. Especially, now that agility has become a standard norm of the market, companies need something more to gain an edge over their competitors. Their agility needs to encourage innovation and customization for customers. The productivity of each sprint needs to be more than expected. Can the Microservices Architecture (MSA) help in this regard? That is the question we’ll be discussing in this article.
Business Agility, A Quick Overview
The agile manifesto came into picture so that the software development lifecycle could become more adaptive to change. The earlier project management methodologies were too stiff for a deviation in requirements. Agile principles equipped businesses to not only accommodate changes but be nimble about them. The resulting agile companies are now able to offer flexibility while maintaining stability. In layman terms, agile methodology encourage a system where development and testing could be done in iterations so that the application is more flexible for any later requirement changes. Instead of delivering the whole product in the end, the teams can deliver workable increments of it at regular intervals and the customers can get more space to suggest any alterations which they couldn’t foresee initially. However, what companies fail to perceive is that they cannot use agility as a mere marketing gimmick. It is a discipline that needs to be understood and learnt over time. There are many companies that still have introduced scrums and sprints in their delivery teams but the project plan is still too micromanaged to be welcoming for any changes that the customer demands.
Microservices have a natural inclination towards flexibility and speed of development. Therefore, it can be seen as an ally for companies to realize the full potential of agility.
Flexibility, Scalability, Agility
Microservices Architecture or MSA was introduced so that the delivery teams could independently develop, test and deploy smaller modules of the application. Comparing this with the motivation behind agile methodology, one can find the two contrasting to each other.
What makes this architecture a more powerful enabler for agility is its ability to reduce the redundant effort. This saves the scrums with a lot of time that they can explore for more innovative customer-centric ideas. Let us have a look how MSA can substantially improve the productivity for agile companies:
- Automation Savvy: In order to ensure minimal redundancy, MSA allows the microservices to be reused in multiple applications. This means, the scrum teams can create automated templates that would pick suitable microservices on their own and develop the required functionality. Thus, the architecture goes very well with any automation the company wants to include in the SDLC and delivery pipelines. MSA ensures that even while working with distributed teams, such as currently, the sprints will not slow down or drastically modify.
- Adaptability to Changes: Neither the customer nor the company can know everything at the time of requirement gathering. Agility allows the customer to demand some business specific changes even late in the development. With MSA, it is easier for scrums to incorporate these changes and even come up with innovative customization ideas of their own. Hence, the each sprint can be more productive with the scrums having better context of client’s business
- Alignment to Business: As suggested earlier, minimal redundant effort allows scrums to come up with better functionality ideas for the customer. The current times are challenging for the market and therefore companies are seeing irregular shifts in demand for services. So, the scrums can work closely with the customer and launch pilots, gain feedback and integrate them with the original product. MSA can save time in repetitive development and make room for innovative and more productive one.
ConclusionThe benefits of Business Agility can only be fully enjoyed once the company is willingly accommodating change. Microservices architecture is meant for environments that see changes as an opportunity to improve. It realizes the potential of agile. Putting the two together, the companies can attain market stability much sooner than expected.