Day: February 15, 2023

Navigating the Agile Release Train Operating Model 

Introduction Agile frequently starts with small teams that are committed to making unique contributions to the total.Long-lasting cross-functional teams that are committed to delivering value in a certain value stream or set of value streams become necessary eventually. Delivering value that scales at the corporate level requires the formation of Agile Release Trains (ARTs), teams made up of numerous Agile teams aligned to a common objective. The Scaled Agile Framework is used by the Agile Release Train, a super-group comprising many Agile teams. One must deploy the SAFe® framework in their organisation thoroughly if they want to take full advantage of the ART’s potential. Without SAFe, the agile trains cannot run. The Agile Release Train is one of the numerous terms and approaches to investigate inside the Agile world. You might be curious as to if the ART’s goal is to encourage teamwork and force participants to adhere to a shared release schedule. Or a strategy for bringing together various teams for a sprint schedule? Or a means of providing value while deciding which features would be used? Exists a primary job that must perform all the duties, similar to the RTE Agile? In this blog of Universal Agile, we’ll do our best to respond to all of these queries. Definition of Agile Release Train (ART) Let’s begin by defining the Agile Release Train. An Agile Release Train is a group of Agile teams that collaborates on a long-term plan designed to help agile teams self-organise, as well as plans that the teams commit to and work on together. All value streams are organised and carried out via the SAFe Agile Release Train. They collaborate with the client to produce solutions that are as valuable as possible. They cooperate to attain a single objective, making sure to do everything within the time frame allotted. They’ve got: An ART can have a total of 50–125 members who would collaborate on the same goals and initiatives. The PI and its relationship to the ART would now be the topic of discussion. PI is another term for “programme increments.” The PIs assist in developing the timebox. The cadence is used, and: The PI is responsible for delivering the work. Every train is assigned a unique mission that continuously defines, develops, and tests the capabilities. It is completed for every iteration, not just one. The engineer of the release train manages everything. Key ART Principles Now that we are aware of what the agile release train’s primary function is: They facilitate team alignment. Even after the product is delivered, they continue to assist in managing all risks. They offer synchronisation and cadence at the programme level. These factors, as well as the acceptance and approval of the norms and guidelines that are consistently followed throughout, serve as the foundation for all of the principles. All teams must now validate these common operating principles and adhere to the same set of instructions. These guidelines have been approved by the entire team and distributed to the agile train release. All of this is completed during the 2-day PI planning period. Investigate the ART Principles: 1. The timetable is set The ART keeps to a regular schedule and is prompt. A feature can be added to the following schedule if it doesn’t make the release schedule it is supposed to be in. 2. An incremental system change every two weeks Every two weeks, new system increments are delivered by all ARTs. The System Demo is used to evaluate these increments. 3. Applying synchronisation Teams on the Agile Release Train follow synchronised timetables that frequently have a same start and finish date and can span anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks. 4. The Train Travels at a Known Speed The amount of features that can be supplied in a single PI may thus be easily estimated, to put it simply. 5. Agile Groups Agile teams use a variety of built-in quality methods, including Kanban, Scrum, XP, and others, and are, in theory, in line with the Agile manifesto. 6. Committed Folks The passengers on the ART are committed to the train, regardless of their particular roles and tasks. 7. PI Planning in Person The Agile Release Train often holds monthly, in-person meetings as part of PI planning events. 8. Planning and innovation (I&P) IP iterations usually come after the conclusion of a programme increment in order to allow for an estimated guard band and to provide time for planning, innovation, and other activities. 9. Examine & Adjust (I&A) At the conclusion of a PI, an Inspect & Adapt event also happens along with IP iterations. Through problem-solving workshops, solutions are examined and assessed, and any modifications that are necessary are planned for. 10. Create on Demand, Release on Cadence With the application of this idea, a solution is released on time even though research and development may have erratic timelines. An Agile Release Train’s Structure (ART) A number of Agile teams work together as the Agile Release Train to complete a variety of activities, including designing, testing, and developing solutions as well as deploying, releasing, and operating them. Depending on their choices, these teams use a variety of Agile techniques. These include Extreme Programming (XP), Scrum, and Kanban, among others. Scrum Master and Product Owner are two distinct responsibilities that are part of every Agile team. Agile Release Trains are by nature cross-functional and structured around developmental value streams. The following SAFe® rules on team composition are put into effect to make sure that the flow of value is not impeded: Temporal and synchronic relations The servant leader is a release train engineer, in case you were wondering. The chief scrum master would be the servant-leader. They are not like the typical scrum masters, yet they have the upper hand. You are aware that while the release train engineer, or RTE, would manage all the teams, the scrum masters would direct and control one team at a time.  The release train engineer and the scrum masters would

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Two Techniques that you, as a Scrum Master, can use to get participants engaged in the first 5 minutes of any Scrum Event or meeting (Facilitation series 2 of 6)

Note: This is Part 2 in the series of blog posts where we will talk about different facilitation techniques. If you haven’t read Part 1, we encourage you to read it first here – What is the most common meeting format, and how you can use that to have effective meetings? Our intention behind writing this series is that once you learn and apply these facilitation techniques, you will witness true collaboration. “True collaboration” means conversations in your meetings lead to new ideas or decisions. In short, the series of blog posts will help you make your meetings more effective. A successful meeting can only happen with preparation. Many times Scrum Masters are under the impression that if they are timeboxing the meeting or event, then the meeting or event is bound to meet its objectives. Well, nothing can be farther from the truth. Well, nothing can be farther from the truth. You don’t win an Olympic medal by just showing up. It would help if you prepared for it and, most of the time, prepared for years. Thankfully you don’t have to spend years preparing for your next 30 mins meeting. Nevertheless, depending upon what you are trying to achieve, the stakeholders involved, frequency of the meeting, a Scrum Master has to spend some time preparing for the meeting. It’s Show Time So, as a Scrum Master, you have prepared for your meeting enough. You have taken care of the logistics as well as supplies. It is now time to start your meeting. The very first thing that you do is greet each person individually. If the event happens face to face, you shake each person’s hand. Greeting each person helps establish a connection with the participants and sends a message that you respect each member and value their expertise and wisdom. Greeting each person is another instance where you practice “Respect”, one of the Scrum values. Lights, Camera, Action! To start the meeting, you first ask the team if they are ready to start. This simple question does lot many things. Ice-breaker or Check-in The objective here is:- Let’s talk about two techniques you can use as Ice-breakers or for Check-in in your Scrum events or meetings. Technique 1. Agreements This technique sets a tone and expectations near the start of the meeting. This activity also allows you as a Facilitator to create the right atmosphere or culture for the meeting. This technique also helps in creating a shared responsibility. The output of this technique is that it helps the participants know the boundaries of the meeting and acceptable behaviours. Here are the steps you can follow to execute this technique and achieve an agreement. Some suggestions for the list of agreements Technique 2. Fast Pass Fast Pass is an incredible technique to use at the start of the meeting. The method provides people who arrive early with something to do. You can use this technique to connect participants personally or through content related to the meeting. Here are some suggested questions to connect participants at a personal level: Below are some suggested questions to connect participants through content related to the meeting: Conclusion As Aristotle said, “Well begun is half done.”. Focusing on starting your meeting using a good check-in or ice-breaker goes a long way in ensuring the success of the meeting. You must pay attention to the Starting phase of the meeting to impress people with how the meeting went or what you achieved out of the meeting. Try the above techniques and share with us your favourite check-in techniques. Also, please share your experience when you tried any of the above methods.

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