Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment In A Nutshell

Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) introduces automation into the stages of app development to frequently deliver to customers. CI/CD introduces continuous automation and monitoring throughout the app lifecycle, from testing to delivery and then deployment.

Understanding Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment

As the notion of software development continues to expand, many adjacent facets of the software development process have become prime targets for code takeover. Examples of these targets include integration and deployment, which form the basis of CI/CD.

CI/CD introduces continuous automation and monitoring throughout the app lifecycle, from testing to delivery and then deployment. Automation during script execution reduces the likelihood of introducing errors and as a result, requires less human intervention.

Furthermore, code changes are continually built, tested, and deployed at every iteration to lessen the chances that code is based on bugs or previous failed versions.

The CI/CD pipeline

Collectively, these practices are referred to as a “CI/CD pipeline” and are supported by agile approaches such as DevOps or Site Reliability Engineering (SRE). This pipeline has several benefits for business, including:

  • The ability to reduce costs and complexities and divert resources to areas that will give the best return on investment. Ultimately, the CI/CD pipeline accurately balances project resources in the context of project constraints.
  • Improved reliability. CI/CD pipelines manage the complexity of software integration where the work of multiple developers must be combined. This is achieved using the Continuous Integration Certification Test. The test is comprised of three components: daily commits to the main branch, automated triggering of build and test, and repair from any failed build within ten minutes.
  • Making the team more attractive to developers. The chances of attracting skilled talent can be increased by implementing the CI/CD pipeline, which automatically allows teams to meet 25% of the items on the Joel Test. This gives the impression of a high-functioning, professional team.

The two components of the CI/CD approach

There are two core components to the CI/CD approach. Although closely related, each component should be incorporated by the business for maximum effect.

Here is a look at each:

  1. Continuous integration. Automation is an integral part of an effective development workflow and gives project teams the time to focus on what is important. Indeed, every task that can be automated should be automated. Testing is one such process. They should verify that the steps a customer will take through a system are working – irrespective of any changes made. This gives team members the confidence to experiment, incorporate new features, detect problems early, and deliver quickly.
  2. Continuous deployment. Essentially, continuous deployment is the release of every good build that passes automated tests into production. This requires an ability to get new features, configuration changes, and bug fixes into production. Importantly, it must be achieved safely, sustainably, and quickly by ensuring that code is always in a deployable state. This state must be maintained in the face of many developers making hundreds or even thousands of changes daily.

Differences between core component terms and phrasing

Many practitioners use continuous deployment interchangeably with another term: continuous delivery. 

However, there is a difference in meaning between each term. As we have discussed, continuous deployment concerns the automation of the release of a good build to the production environment. Some prefer to call this component “continuous release” for this reason.

Continuous delivery, on the other hand, seeks to ensure that every good build is potentially ready for production release. Ideally, this means that the build is subject to user acceptance tests.

Key takeaways

  • Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment introduces automation into the software development process to help businesses remain competitive.
  • Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment practices are collectively known as the CI/CD pipeline, which is supported by agile approaches such as DevOps.
  • Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment is based on the two core components of continuous integration and continuous deployment. Both work together to ensure that automation – which should be introduced wherever possible – is present in nearly every facet of the product lifecycle.

Related Agile Business Frameworks


AIOps is the application of artificial intelligence to IT operations. It has become particularly useful for modern IT management in hybridized, distributed, and dynamic environments. AIOps has become a key operational component of modern digital-based organizations, built around software and algorithms.

Agile Methodology

Agile started as a lightweight development method compared to heavyweight software development, which is the core paradigm of the previous decades of software development. By 2001 the Manifesto for Agile Software Development was born as a set of principles that defined the new paradigm for software development as a continuous iteration. This would also influence the way of doing business.

Agile Project Management

Agile project management (APM) is a strategy that breaks large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. In the APM methodology, each project is completed in small sections – often referred to as iterations. Each iteration is completed according to its project life cycle, beginning with the initial design and progressing to testing and then quality assurance.

Agile Modeling

Agile Modeling (AM) is a methodology for modeling and documenting software-based systems. Agile Modeling is critical to the rapid and continuous delivery of software. It is a collection of values, principles, and practices that guide effective, lightweight software modeling.

Agile Business Analysis

Agile Business Analysis (AgileBA) is certification in the form of guidance and training for business analysts seeking to work in agile environments. To support this shift, AgileBA also helps the business analyst relate Agile projects to a wider organizational mission or strategy. To ensure that analysts have the necessary skills and expertise, AgileBA certification was developed.

Business Model Innovation

Business model innovation is about increasing the success of an organization with existing products and technologies by crafting a compelling value proposition able to propel a new business model to scale up customers and create a lasting competitive advantage. And it all starts by mastering the key customers.

Continuous Innovation

That is a process that requires a continuous feedback loop to develop a valuable product and build a viable business model. Continuous innovation is a mindset where products and services are designed and delivered to tune them around the customers’ problem and not the technical solution of its founders.

Design Sprint

A design sprint is a proven five-day process where critical business questions are answered through speedy design and prototyping, focusing on the end-user. A design sprint starts with a weekly challenge that should finish with a prototype, test at the end, and therefore a lesson learned to be iterated.

Design Thinking

Tim Brown, Executive Chair of IDEO, defined design thinking as “a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.” Therefore, desirability, feasibility, and viability are balanced to solve critical problems.


DevOps refers to a series of practices performed to perform automated software development processes. It is a conjugation of the term “development” and “operations” to emphasize how functions integrate across IT teams. DevOps strategies promote seamless building, testing, and deployment of products. It aims to bridge a gap between development and operations teams to streamline the development altogether.

Dual Track Agile

Product discovery is a critical part of agile methodologies, as its aim is to ensure that products customers love are built. Product discovery involves learning through a raft of methods, including design thinking, lean start-up, and A/B testing to name a few. Dual Track Agile is an agile methodology containing two separate tracks: the “discovery” track and the “delivery” track.

Feature-Driven Development

Feature-Driven Development is a pragmatic software process that is client and architecture-centric. Feature-Driven Development (FDD) is an agile software development model that organizes workflow according to which features need to be developed next.

eXtreme Programming

eXtreme Programming was developed in the late 1990s by Ken Beck, Ron Jeffries, and Ward Cunningham. During this time, the trio was working on the Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation System (C3) to help manage the company payroll system. eXtreme Programming (XP) is a software development methodology. It is designed to improve software quality and the ability of software to adapt to changing customer needs.

Lean vs. Agile

The Agile methodology has been primarily thought of for software development (and other business disciplines have also adopted it). Lean thinking is a process improvement technique where teams prioritize the value streams to improve it continuously. Both methodologies look at the customer as the key driver to improvement and waste reduction. Both methodologies look at improvement as something continuous.

Lean Startup

A startup company is a high-tech business that tries to build a scalable business model in tech-driven industries. A startup company usually follows a lean methodology, where continuous innovation, driven by built-in viral loops is the rule. Thus, driving growth and building network effects as a consequence of this strategy.


Kanban is a lean manufacturing framework first developed by Toyota in the late 1940s. The Kanban framework is a means of visualizing work as it moves through identifying potential bottlenecks. It does that through a process called just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing to optimize engineering processes, speed up manufacturing products, and improve the go-to-market strategy.

Rapid Application Development

RAD was first introduced by author and consultant James Martin in 1991. Martin recognized and then took advantage of the endless malleability of software in designing development models. Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a methodology focusing on delivering rapidly through continuous feedback and frequent iterations.

Scaled Agile

Scaled Agile Lean Development (ScALeD) helps businesses discover a balanced approach to agile transition and scaling questions. The ScALed approach helps businesses successfully respond to change. Inspired by a combination of lean and agile values, ScALed is practitioner-based and can be completed through various agile frameworks and practices.

Spotify Model

The Spotify Model is an autonomous approach to scaling agile, focusing on culture communication, accountability, and quality. The Spotify model was first recognized in 2012 after Henrik Kniberg, and Anders Ivarsson released a white paper detailing how streaming company Spotify approached agility. Therefore, the Spotify model represents an evolution of agile.

Test-Driven Development

As the name suggests, TDD is a test-driven technique for delivering high-quality software rapidly and sustainably. It is an iterative approach based on the idea that a failing test should be written before any code for a feature or function is written. Test-Driven Development (TDD) is an approach to software development that relies on very short development cycles.


Timeboxing is a simple yet powerful time-management technique for improving productivity. Timeboxing describes the process of proactively scheduling a block of time to spend on a task in the future. It was first described by author James Martin in a book about agile software development.


Scrum is a methodology co-created by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland for effective team collaboration on complex products. Scrum was primarily thought for software development projects to deliver new software capability every 2-4 weeks. It is a sub-group of agile also used in project management to improve startups’ productivity.

Scrum Anti-Patterns

Scrum anti-patterns describe any attractive, easy-to-implement solution that ultimately makes a problem worse. Therefore, these are the practice not to follow to prevent issues from emerging. Some classic examples of scrum anti-patterns comprise absent product owners, pre-assigned tickets (making individuals work in isolation), and discounting retrospectives (where review meetings are not useful to really make improvements).

Scrum At Scale

Scrum at Scale (Scrum@Scale) is a framework that Scrum teams use to address complex problems and deliver high-value products. Scrum at Scale was created through a joint venture between the Scrum Alliance and Scrum Inc. The joint venture was overseen by Jeff Sutherland, a co-creator of Scrum and one of the principal authors of the Agile Manifesto.

Read Next: MVP, Lean Canvas, Scrum, Design Thinking, VTDF Framework.

Read More: Business Models

Read Next: Business AnalysisCompetitor Analysis, Continuous InnovationAgile MethodologyLean StartupBusiness Model

Read Next: Continuous Innovation, Agile Methodology, Lean Startup, Business Model Innovation.

Main Free Guides:

Scroll to Top