Seeking Advice Regarding Agile and DevOps / Operations Work

Agile is traditionally a Software Development methodology.  While there are many resources online on how to approach DevOps with an Agile perspective, most of them fail to address some issues we are having.

We use a weekly Sprint in JIRA Cloud (with the Grasshopper Plugin).  We maintain a swim lane that uses an Operations component and a corresponding JQL filter, and another swimlane for Sprint stories.  

Operations tasks are not pointed and don't affect the Sprint in that way.  We define an Operations task; vs. a story, as a task which must be done within 48 hours.

The problem is that we tend to create many Operations tasks after the Sprint has been started, and many are left in a non-done status (in-progress, under review, blocked, etc) at the end of the Sprint.  This makes Sprint planning more tedious because we expect those issues to automatically carry over to the next Sprint.

My question is whether it would be considered terrible practice to create a long-ending Sprint called Operations that has a end date in 1 or 3 or 6 months.  Then keep all Operations tasks there, and all stories in the Active Sprint.  

Has anyone experienced a similar problem? Found a better solution?

4 answers

1 accepted

1 vote
Accepted answer
First of all I think it is not possible to have two sprints active in one project at the same time. So your idea with the long lasting Operational sprint should not be possible.
We had the same issue.
Our definition of Operational is any task needed to be done on the productive system, let it be text changes in the CMS or operations/infrastructure tasks.
For this we have an issue type Operational which has its own workflow and its own Kanban board.
For all other things we have Story, Bug, etc. in a Sprint board which we estimate, plan and then commit to. In our planing we take a certain amount of time off the Sprint for Operational tasks.
This works really well and gives you a nice overview of what was done in the daily business/operational and what was planned and done in a Sprint with out causing weird setups within the Sprint.

Thanks Benjamin.  I still would like to know if it's possible to have the Kanban board and the Sprint board on one page?

Hi Sam

Kind of but not really. What I mean with this?

It will not be possible to have this on one board, as they have different URLs but you could combine them on a dashboard with the Agile Wallboard Gadget.

I hope this helps.


is there any relationship between the Stories and the ops tasks?

No relationship between stories and ops tasks.  Does that make a difference?

if there us no relationship that having a separate kanban board makes sense.

0 votes
John Paz Atlassian Team Mar 08, 2016

Sounds like you need a Kanban board and use a release cycle.

@John Paz why would a release cycle be good? Also wouldn't having two different types of boards be even more confusing?

Sam, you cannot have two sprints at the same  time on one board. If you want to create a long running sprints - this is very similar as a concept to Kanban process and you can have Kanban board.

I think this is the right way to go as John suggests.

OK, thanks Peter and John.  Will updated back here later today.

I'm on Sam's team. Kanban seems like a good idea, the only con is that then we have a sprint board (Projects) and a Kanban board (Ops). Not a bad mental separation, really, but just one more page to check daily.

well looks like the two groups operate differently. Are the members that work on the ops tasks and stories the same?

Currently the teams are the same (4 engineers) but as the team grows, we could split into two teams, or simply rotate ops duties.


Is there any way to show both boards on one screen.  As two swimlanes or something similar?

I agree with Benjamin. You should create a Sprint board for all the things you estimate, plan and commit to. And have a separate workflow and Kanban board for operational issues. Please find out more about DevOps here

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