Agile Release Train

An Agile Release Train (ART) is a key concept in the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and represents a long-lived team of agile teams that work together to deliver value in a coordinated and synchronized manner. It is a large, cross-functional group of Agile teams aligned to a common mission and a shared set of objectives, working collaboratively to deliver a continuous flow of value to customers and stakeholders.

Key aspects of an Agile Release Train include:

  1. Cadence and Synchronization: Agile Release Trains operate on a fixed, timeboxed schedule, known as a Program Increment (PI). All teams within the ART synchronize their activities and plan together during PI Planning, ensuring alignment and a clear focus on shared goals.
  2. Program Increment: A Program Increment typically lasts 8-12 weeks and represents the duration of the Agile Release Train’s planning and development cycle.
  3. Shared Vision and Objectives: All teams within the ART work towards a common mission and shared set of objectives, ensuring a unified direction and purpose.
  4. Continuous Delivery Pipeline: Agile Release Trains have a Continuous Delivery Pipeline that supports the continuous integration, testing, and deployment of solutions, enabling frequent and reliable releases.
  5. System Demos: At the end of each Program Increment, the Agile Release Train conducts a System Demo, showcasing the integrated features and capabilities developed by each team during the PI.
  6. Inspect and Adapt Workshops: After each Program Increment, ART members participate in Inspect and Adapt workshops to review and improve their processes and practices.
  7. Release Planning: Teams on the Agile Release Train engage in Release Planning during each PI, where they identify and prioritize features and coordinate their work for the upcoming increment.
  8. Release Train Engineer (RTE): The RTE serves as the servant leader and facilitator of the Agile Release Train, responsible for removing impediments, fostering collaboration, and ensuring smooth operation.

Agile Release Trains are used in SAFe to scale agile practices across large enterprises and enable the coordination and delivery of complex solutions. They provide a structured and efficient way for multiple teams to collaborate, align their work, and deliver value in a synchronized manner. By organizing teams around a shared vision and fixed timeboxes, Agile Release Trains help promote transparency, alignment, and continuous delivery of value at scale.

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