As those of you familiar with Scaling Software Agility, Agile Software Requirements or this blog know, the Agile Release Train is the mechanism I like to recommend whenever an enterprise needs to harness a significant number of agile teams (5-10-15) to a common mission. And in the larger enterprise, that’s pretty often. As I described in Chapter 15 of ASR, in more abstract terms, the ART is used to:
- Drive strategic alignment
- Institutionalize product development flow
The agile release train, is implied in the Big Picture:Scaled Agile Delivery Model, as seen below:
A number of large software enterprises are using this or a similar mechanism (an uber sprint?) to build larger scale, fully agile programs. In so doing, a number of new best-practices-at-real-agile-scale, are starting to emerge.
My colleague Jorgen Hesselberg, is organizing a small community of practice to explore both challenges and patterns of success. I know some of the likely participants, and I can assure you there will be some lively discussions about some of the largest agile enterprise initiatives. Topics for this COP are likely to include:
- organizing trains around value streams
- preapring for the release planning event
- running the event
- release planning at scale (50-100 largely co-located devs and testers) and super scale (100-200 distributed, mutli-site, concurrent planning)
- roles and responsibilities
- release train governance (keeping the train on the tracks, PMO involvement, etc)
- coordinating epics across multiple trains
If you’d like to participate, contact Jorgen at email@example.com.
If this comes together, I’ll certainly be blogging about the process and results of this strategically interesting, agile-at-scale COP as soon as they become available.