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Who is a Release Train Engineer (RTE)?

Updated: 2 days ago

Lean Agile Leadership


Before we answer this question, we need to understand what is an Agile Release Train (ART)? In SAFe ( a leading scaling agile framework ) an ART is a self-organizing team of an Agile Team, which is consists of 5-12 Agile Teams ( 50-150 people ) working on a common cadence of a Program Increment ( 4-6 Iterations) on same backlog to deliver a solution. RTE above all is the servant leader and a Coach for the ART. RTE is the driver of the train (Chief Scrum Master) who is accountable of delivering the integrated product by aggressively removing the impediments.

Release train Engineer (RTE) is responsible for coaching leaders, teams, and Scrum Master in Lean-Agile Practices and mindsets. RTE facilitates Key program-level events on the Agile Release Train (ART) and delivers value.


Mindset: The RTE Supports, Guides, and Mentors the agile Team to ensure they deliver continuous value. Provide support to the team to ensure that they have more of a growth mindset, rather than a fixed mindset.

Prepare: There’s a lot of time that goes into planning and coordinating the program events. A well-prepared PI event prevents it from being Chaotic.

Impediments: When a number of Agile teams are working together to build solutions, they will always be challenges. The role of the release train engineer is to help teams unblock any issues they are facing. RTE ensures that impediments are resolved in a timely manner and not affecting the overall delivery of the ART.

Communicator: RTE needs to be a good communicator with empathy. sensitive to how to deliver the message within the team and senior management.

Engineer: A great release train engineer will not just focus on the Safe ceremonies but also look at engineering practices such as Card reviews, Peer programming, automated testing, using practices such as Test Driven Development (TDD) and Behavior Driven Development (BDD).

RTE has to manage and execute various program events in different agile practices, For instance:

Six Program Events in SAFe

1. Program Increment (PI): A Time Box (8-12 weeks) event during which an ART release increment of Value using a working software. The duration of the PI inversely related to the volatility of an organization, the higher the volatility in a particular environment, the smaller the time box because you will need more touch point and need to be able to adjust more regularly and more rapidly. RTE’s facilities the PI Planning readiness by fostering a continuous exploration process that drives the synthesis of a vision, a Road-map, and Backlogs, and through Pre and Post PI Planning events.

2. Scrum of Scrums: the RTE facilities a weekly SOS, The SOS help coordinates the dependencies of the Agile Release Train and provides visibility with the progress and any impediments. The RTE and the SM

3. PO Sync: It is held for the Program Owners and Facilitated by the RTE. The purpose of this meeting is to ensure that the ART’s are on track to meet their PO objectives and also to access any Scope Adjustments.

4. System Demo: At the end of each PI, the ART will hold a system Demo to showcase the functionality which they have built in the current PI. This event is Part of Inspect and Adapt.

5. Prepare for PI Planning: This is a program event that is facilitated by the RTE. It is a continuous event to ensure that the backlog has been refined and the team understands the top 10 features before the Planing event takes place, this is so the teams have time to digest information and ask any question. The RTE will look at the logistics of how the PI events will be run.

6. Inspect and Adapt: Inspect and Adapt is done with the PI time-box expires to drive relentless improvement. The RTE will Facilitate the Inspect and Adapt event at the end of the PI, where the teams will hold a final system demo also known as a PI system Demo. There will also be a problem-solving section where the teams will identify what challenges they faced and any improvement they will make going into the next PI.

The release train engineer's role is to assist agile teams in their grasp of SAFe and lean-agile practices, as well as program execution and event facilitation.

How to Be a Certified SAFe Release train engineer?

You may enroll into a three day training to learn how to build a high-performing ART by becoming a servant leader and coach—when you become a Certified SAFe® 5 Release Train Engineer (RTE).

During this three-day course, gain an in-depth understanding of the role and responsibilities of a Release Train Engineer (RTE) in the SAFe enterprise. Through experiential learning, examine the RTE role in a Lean- Agile transformation. Learn how to facilitate ART processes and execution, coach leaders, teams, and Scrum Masters in new processes and mindsets. Explore how to prepare, plan, and execute a Program Increment (PI) planning event, the primary enabler of alignment throughout all levels of a SAFe organization

To know more you may contact us at OR contact Amogh Joshi on WhatsApp at +44 7448329201

About Advance Agility

We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor.

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