Agile Release Train Community of Practice

As those of you familiar with Scaling Software AgilityAgile 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:

  1. Drive strategic alignment
  2. 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)
  • metrics
  • coordinating epics across multiple trains

If you’d like to participate, contact Jorgen at jorgen.hesselberg@navteq.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.

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