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What is Agile Release Train (ART)?

WHAT IS AGILE RELEASE TRAIN (ART)?

ART stands for Agile Release Train which is a feature of Scaled Agile. It is a cross-functional team working towards a pre-decided goal. The train consists many Agile teams working together. There is a product backlog, fixed schedule, roadmap, and vision defined by SAFe that has to be followed by the teams. It is a feature developed to encourage transparency and collaboration between different agile teams in order to work efficiently. This feature is very lengthy in nature and requires many additional processes and planning. So, it is not ideal for smaller teams or start-ups. Hope this answers your question What is Agile Release Train (ART)?


Principles of ART

The principles of ART are inspired from SAFe or it can be said that it works on the same practices and principles. Teams working under ART use best practices of Agile, Scrum and Kanban to manage the projects effectively. The core principles of ART are:

  • Fixed schedule for completion- The delivery of the work is scheduled at a fixed time which is usually 11-12 weeks.

  • System Increments- There is a two weeks cycle for delivering product which is called system increments.

  • Quantity of work delivered- Projects are very large so, the teams prioritize and break them into small projects to fit in a PI.

  • Cadence- There is a fixed schedule for development that provides continuous value to customers.

  • Planning Program Increment- This is an event where Agile teams strategize the objectives of the PI.

  • Innovation- An innovation and planning event is organized to conduct program increment planning, educate and do infrastructure work.

  • Inspection and Adaptation- To evaluate the progress of the backlog items there is an inspection and adaptation event at the end of every PI.


Roles involved in ART

An Agile Release Train consists of 5-12 Agile teams who are dedicated to work towards the same goal. The teams have many roles to work efficiently. The roles in the team include:

Functionality of ART

The main aim of ART is to deliver products to the customer. There are more responsibilities of an ART:

  • Connect with the customer

  • Plan the work

  • Deliver value

  • Get a feedback

  • Improvisation.

What is Agile Release Train (ART)?
Agile Release Train (ART) is a coordinated, cross-functional team of Agile teams that work together to deliver value in a structured manner, crucial in SAFe.

What is Agile Methodology?

Agile Methodology is a process that helps to manage projects and develop software by breaking it into small, simple phases. It is an iterative approach towards complex projects. A customer-focused, feedback based flexible process that helps the enterprises to work efficiently. There are many frameworks that use agile principles and practices to provide delivery solutions to organizations:

  • Scrum

  • SAFe

  • Kanban

  • Lean Software Development

  • Dynamic Systems Development Method

  • Extreme Programming

  • Large Scale Scrum

  • Feature Driven Development


What is SAFe?

Scaled Agile Framework is one of the most popular frameworks to implement business agility. It is a set of patterns, tools and practices that is used to scale agile at an enterprise level. It provides solution for the problems encountered while scaling agile beyond one team. It was developed by combining the concepts of Agile, Lean, and Systems Thinking. It is being developed continuously and the latest version SAFe 6 was launched in March 2023.


Features of SAFe

There are 10 essential elements of Scaled Agile Framework:

  • SAFe Lean-Agile Principles

  • Real Agile Teams and Trains

  • Cadence and Synchronization

  • Program Increment Planning

  • Customer Centricity, DevOps and Release on Demand

  • System Demo

  • Inspect & Adapt

  • IP Iteration

  • Architectural Runway

  • Lean-Agile Leadership.


Conclusion

Agile Release Train is one of the most important features of SAFe that promotes alignment and collaboration. A Release Train Engineer has the main responsibility for the success of an ART. There is a certification course to be trained for this designation SAFe Release Train Engineer. Acekube is the platform that can help you attain this certification and many more. They have a team of trained and experienced coaches who provide guidance.


FAQs


1. What’s new in SAFe 6?

Many minor changes have been made in SAFe 6.0 but the major updates mentioned by Scaled Agile Inc. are as follows:

  • Strengthening the foundation for Business Agility

  • Empowering teams and clarifying responsibilities

  • Accelerating value flow

  • Enhancing Business Agility with SAFe across the business

  • Building the future with AI, Big Data and cloud

  • Delivering better outcomes with measure and grow and OKRs.


2. What are the phases in Agile Methodologies?

There are six phases in Agile Methodologies:

  • Conception

  • Inception

  • Iteration

  • Release

  • Maintenance

  • Retirement.

3. What are the challenges while moving to Scaled Agile?

There are 4 big challenges while moving to Scaled Agile:

  • Identification of initial epics

  • Identification of value streams and trains

  • Execution of a release planning session

  • Ensuring the quality of code.