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Apr 13, 2023

Scrum Master and Release Train Engineer as Flow Optimizers.

Raul Barth (Agile Coach, Scrum Master and SAFe trainer) has written an article about the role of Scrum Master and Release Train Engineers in the new SAFe 6.0 framework.

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) 6.0 was released on March 15th, introducing several changes. Among these, the six most relevant themes include:

1. Strengthening the foundation for Business Agility

2. Empowering teams and clarifying roles and responsibilities

3. Accelerating Value Flow

4. Enhancing Business Agility with SAFe across the business

5. Building the future with AI, Big Data, and Cloud

6. Delivering better outcomes with Measure and Grow and OKRs.

Detailed information about each theme can be found on the Scaled Agile website, but this article will highlight the second theme, focusing on the roles of the Release Train Engineer and Scrum Master, and how they relate to flow: Just as we call Product Owners and Product Management “value maximizer”, Scrum Masters and RTEs are “flow optimizers”.

The Scrum Master role in SAFe has changed and is now broader in scope, becoming that of a team coach. This change makes sense, as they are expected to have a deep understanding of various methods, frameworks, and practices beyond just Scrum. These can include SAFe, Kanban, XP, built-in quality, flow, and much more. One of the critical challenges for this team coach is to promote transparency among team members, which is a core value in SAFe and a Scrum pillar. The team coach has several important responsibilities, such as:

  • Improving team and ART performance
  • Building high-performing teams
  • Improving flow
  • Facilitating PI planning
  • Supporting iteration execution

SAFe is already highly focused on flow, and it now becomes even more evident that the Scrum Master/Team Coach plays an important role in that. Establishing a team Kanban board, to help the team visualize, understand, and measure this flow of value is key. Creating this Kanban system is key for any team to foster continuous delivery. It is important for teams to visualize their work and how it flows – or not. The team coach can then focus on measuring and optimizing flow by establishing metrics, such as understanding it and improving performance.

Knowing flow metrics is essential to perform it:

  • Flow distribution (Proportion of work items by type in a system)
  • Flow velocity (Number of completed work items over a time period)
  • Flow time (Time elapsed from start to completion for a given work item)
  • Flow load (Number of work items currently in progress)
  • Flow efficiency (Ratio of the total time spent in value-added work activities divided by the total flow time)
  • Flow predictability (How consistently team is able to meet commitments)

The Release Train Engineer is a servant leader and ART coach who facilitates ART events and processes, and supports teams in delivering value. Therefore, RTE is also concerned with flow. Knowing the flow metrics, Kanban, WIP limits, and how to help the Agile Release Train to have a continuous flow of value and continue performing is part of the RTE responsibilities. Optimizing the flow by establishing pull systems, ART flow metrics, facilitating value stream mapping and reducing or eliminating cross-team dependencies should be points of attention for any Release Train Engineer.

Learn more about our RTE and Scrum Master courses!

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Jul 15

SAFe Release Train Engineer (RTE) - Classroom

€2,995
Start gegarandeerd! Klassikale training - dagelijks 08:30 - 17:30 CEST
SAFe
Dutch
Amsterdam
Start gegarandeerd! Klassikale training - dagelijks 08:30 - 17:30 CEST
€2,995
  • Amsterdam
  • Dutch
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Aug 26

SAFe Release Train Engineer (RTE) - Virtual

€2,695
Virtual training - each day 08:30 - 17:30 CEST
SAFe
English
Virtual Course EU
Virtual training - each day 08:30 - 17:30 CEST
€2,695
  • Virtual Course EU
  • English
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Sep 9

SAFe Release Train Engineer (RTE) - Virtual

€2,695
SAFe
French
Virtual Course FR
€2,695
  • Virtual Course FR
  • French
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Sep 11

SAFe Release Train Engineer (RTE) - Classroom

€2,995
Classroom training - each day from 08:30 - 17:30 CEST
SAFe
English
Amsterdam
Classroom training - each day from 08:30 - 17:30 CEST
€2,995
  • Amsterdam
  • English
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Sep 12

Professional Scrum Master II (PSM II) - Virtual

€1,595
Virtual training - each day 9:00 - 17:00 CEST
Scrum.org
English
Virtual Course EU
Virtual training - each day 9:00 - 17:00 CEST
€1,595
  • Virtual Course EU
  • English
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Sep 13

SAFe Release Train Engineer (RTE) - Virtual

€2,695
Remote Training - excl.18% GST - each day 9:00 -18:00 IST
SAFe
English
Virtual Course Asia
Remote Training - excl.18% GST - each day 9:00 -18:00 IST
€2,695
  • Virtual Course Asia
  • English
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Sep 16

SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) - Virtual

€1,495
Virtual Training - each day from 09:00 - 17:00 CEST
SAFe
English
Virtual Course EU
Virtual Training - each day from 09:00 - 17:00 CEST
€1,495
  • Virtual Course EU
  • English
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Sep 16

Professional Scrum Master (PSM) - Virtual

€1,495
Virtual Training - each day from 09:00 - 17:00 CEST
Scrum.org
English
Virtual Course EU
Virtual Training - each day from 09:00 - 17:00 CEST
€1,495
  • Virtual Course EU
  • English
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Oct 7

Professional Scrum Master (PSM) - Classroom

€1,695
Classroom training - each day from 09:00 - 17:00 CEST
Scrum.org
English
Amsterdam
Classroom training - each day from 09:00 - 17:00 CEST
€1,695
  • Amsterdam
  • English
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Oct 8

SAFe Release Train Engineer (RTE) - Classroom

€2,995
Classroom Training - each day 8:30-17:30 CEST
SAFe
English
Paris
Classroom Training - each day 8:30-17:30 CEST
€2,995
  • Paris
  • English
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Written by Raul Barth, SAFe SPCT Candidate