Release Train Engineer (RTE) – definition

release train engineer - rte
release train engineer - rte

The RTE (Release Train Engineer) in SAFe is a role more and more requested by companies; It is true that SAFe is spreading in more and more companies especially in the last two years. We will see what this key role of SAFe RTE is.

For those who don’t know SAFe, here is an article that briefly talks about it: The SAFe framework in agile


What is the RTE (Release Train Engineer)?

The RTE (Release Train Engineer) is a servant leader and coach for the Agile Release Train (Art). He is one of the 3 key roles in the governance of the SAFe program level.

Here are the 3 key roles of the program level in a few words:

  • RTE takes care of the methodological framework
  • Product Manager is responsible for the functional part
  • System Architect is responsible for architecture

SAFe governance level program - RTE
SAFe governance level program – RTE

Responsibilities of the RTE

The RTE (Release Train Engineer) will be responsible for:

  • facilitate the Agile Release Train (Art) (communication between the teams or the governance of the program)
  • manage and optimize flows within the Kanban Program and other information radiators
  • to help the team in delivering value.
  • to communicate with stakeholders
  • to climb the obstacles encountered and follow them
  • help with risk management
  • to bring the governance and teams to continuous improvement
  • to take care to communicate well on the dates of the iterations and the Program Increments
  • to facilitate the PI Planning and help in the preparation of the vision and the backlog of these thanks to the pre and post-PI Planning
  • assist in the synthesis of Objective PI teams and share them transparently through the PI Program Objectives
  • help track the progress of features and capabilities
  • facilitate Art Sync (Scrum Master and Product Owner synchronization meeting)
  • to assist in economic decision-making by facilitating the estimation of Features and Capabilities
  • to provide much-needed resources in the case of a bottleneck
  • to help align the vision
  • to encourage collaboration between the governance team and Scrum teams
  • to help the teams to go towards a good continuous integration and other devops practices
  • to help the teams to set up a real UX (user-experience) approach.
  • postpone progress on Lean Portfolio Management and other boards of cross-functional activities
  • to facilitate System Demo
  • to get the teams to create communities of practice

And also

Some RTE will also participate in the transformation of the company by coaching leaders, Scrum Master teams or teams themselves.

Indeed the role of RTE (Release Train Engineer) is complete and it is recommended to have this role in full-time; else all tasks will not be well done. This article has cited all the expectations provided by the official documentation of SAFe but you will understand, the RTE has a lot of things to facilitate and its role will not necessarily be limited to this list already very complete.

Want to take this type of role? Want to become RTE (Release Train Engineer)? Do not hesitate to train, the role of the RTE is really interesting.


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About Judicaël Paquet 368 Articles
Judicaël Paquet (agile coach and senior devops) My Engagements in France and Switzerland: - Crafting Agile Transformation Strategies - Tailored Agile Training Programs - Raising Awareness and Coaching for Managers - Assessing Agile Maturity and Situational Analysis - Agile Coaching for Teams, Organizations, Product Owners, Scrum Masters, and Agile Coaches Areas of Expertise: Scrum, Kanban, Management 3.0, Scalability, Lean Startup, Agile Methodology.

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