3 Strategies to Fail Fast, Fail Cheap & Get Agile

By Flux7 Labs
September 8, 2014

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said: “The only thing that is constant is change.” No truer words have ever been spoken, And, your business is no exception here.

New technologies are constantly replacing older ones. We are in the era of technology advancements. And, this defines the existence of businesses.

Your business is under constant pressure by the digital natives or Gen-Z. Business requirements are no longer predictable. Making your customer happy is not a cakewalk. On the other hand, your list of competitors outruns your list of customers.

According to the industry analyst firm Forrester Research:

Every industry is subject to disruption. Only a true agile business is equipped to respond.


Companies that existed a few years back have become dust because of their lack of business agility. While you may have the best team that’s booming with ideas, a misalignment with the actual trend or customer requirement is fatal to your business.

So, what’s this business agility that everyone keeps talking about? And, how can you make sure your business is capable of handling this fast-growing necessity?

Business agility as defined by Forrester is: The quality that allows an enterprise to embrace market and operational changes as a matter of routine.

In other words, the mantra to adhere to business agility is to follow a “fail fast, fail cheap” strategy.

Similar to any DevOps approach, business agility is a process or culture change. While there are a lot of technologies and tools to help optimize or improve business agility, they can’t be THE go-to solution. Tools and technologies only complement the strategies you put in place to adapt to changes.

There are several aspects to consider, such as:

  • Listen and be aware of market changes

  • Respond to real-world customer needs

  • Embrace changing trends

  • Initiate effective team collaboration

  • And, a lot more.

Here are three strategies that help you fail fast, fail cheap and get agile:

1. DevOps: Creating the needed rapport between your Devs and Ops teams.

2. Automation: Spinning up infrastructures with the single push of a button.

3. Containerization: For lightweight lovers, keeping it light, making it quick.

Strategy #1: DevOps for Increased Developer Workflow Productivity


It’s a given that we are living in the mobile age. Accordingly, every business sees the need for applications to survive in the market. This implies that the application development process plays a major role in any business. Therefore, there’s an apparent need for effective and productive Dev teams.

The concept of failing fast and cheap becomes meaningless if:

  • Your developer team has long feedback loops.

  • You fall prey to inconsistencies between your local Dev, QA and Prod environments.

  • Resource provisioning is a nightmare.

  • Your code pipeline management is ineffective.

DevOps is the solution to improving developer workflow productivity. But, how?

Removes Fear of Innovation: You no longer have to worry about the resources and time you must invest to experiment with a new idea. DevOps quickens the developer workflow productivity, while maintaining the needed correctness.

Getting the Right Team: Hiring is a critical process for your business … any business. Finding the right talent is most often a myth. But, on the other hand, a Devops approach simplifies the ramp up of new hires and improves the productivity of existing ones. This in turn also complements maintaining business continuity. A replacement employee or new hire is never a hindrance to your business agility.

Strategy #2: Automation Using the Cloud


The cloud has been getting hyped during the past few years. It’s definitely here to stay. The cloud serves as the door to exploring true automation.

As discussed in this post: Why Startups Are Choosing Amazon Web Services, the top reason why organizations choose to use the cloud is business agility. (src: Harvard Cloud Survey)

Here are some cloud benefits that help your firm run along, keeping pace with fast-growing changes:

Scale to Real-Time Customer Requirements: Gone are the days when you undergo a long planning process to set up new servers as the need arises because of your growing customer demands.

However, consider this scenario. You have heavy traffic during peak times of the day. Your servers are not in full use during the remaining hours. In such a scenario, your servers are running unnecessarily. They are adding to your bills.

Using the cloud removes this bottleneck. You can spin up instances during times of need. And, shut it down when not used, thereby creating scalable infrastructures. This can also be attributed to the cloud’s pay-per-use feature.

Prepares for Unpredictability: Setting up the right strategies can help save your day for unforeseen disasters. The cloud supports many features, including self-healing, error detection, health checks and disaster recovery.

Fail Cheap: The cloud cannot be beaten for its low prices. A cloud infrastructure is several times less expensive than any on-premise infrastructure. Hence, this quickly eases server replacement at lower costs.

For more information about why the cloud is a good move for business, read these recent posts:

Strategy #3: Containerization Using Docker


Containerization is the new virtualization. The added encryption and isolation gives technologies like Docker the upper hand over existing virtualization techniques.

Docker containers can surprise you with its rich features. Some of them include quick start (50ms) and stop times (5 – 10secs). Configuration management becomes more effective by providing consistent environments and eliminating overheads, even providing better support for multi-tenant applications.

To get a deeper knowledge base about Docker and its features and benefits, read more here:

Read how Pinshape used two of the strategies and achieved business agility.

Let us know what you think about using the cloud and how Docker containers can enrich your business. Drop us a comment or two or more below today!

And there’s even more information for delivering efficient developer workflow productivity. Click here now to explore our Assessment Packages, including ones for DevOps, the Cloud and Docker. We customize it just for you and your needs.

Get agile today!