RTE Summit – 19th June 2017, an inspiring event where 40 Release Train Engineers (RTEs) from 4 countries and 13 organizations gathered in Amsterdam to share ideas and experiences.
The program started with a lunch, provided by the host of the event: Philips Lighting. Andres Jansen (BlinkLane) kicked off the event with explaining the ‘why’ behind organizing this event: it is extreme valuable and inspiring to bring people in this, often new, RTE-role together. To provide the opportunity to connect, to share knowledge and experiences and to empower RTEs once more in their so crucial role in the scaled agile organization. Paul Coelen (Philips Lighting) took over with a warm welcome and introduced us into the world of ‘Light Beyond Illumination’. After this, seven short presentations were given by RTEs from different organizations. All sharing their insights and the challenges they face on a day-today basis.
Throughout the presentations, many relevant topics were discussed. Tjeerd Zult and Peter Boon from Philips Lighting presented the quite successful SAFe journey at Lighting so far. They also addressed a few topics, such as ‘Facilitating remote Planning Events’ and ‘ART Performance Measurement’, input for more interactive discussions later in in the event. On two occasions Carl Starendal (Scaled Agile Inc.) joined us to talk about SAFe 4.5 and the introduction of the new RTE course. Sten Reijnen, RTE at Achmea, talked about the challenges that can arise when RTEs coach their teams in becoming high performing. He also introduced Achmea’s RTE community of practice (CoP), and invited the audience to share their experiences. Air France/KLM’s presentation was hosted by RTEs Louise Spaanderman, Yvonne Pomstra, Igor Patino and Ovidiu Lutea. They shared an inspiring movie of their Program Increment – Planning Event (PIPE) and explained the importance of this event for them: bringing people, cultures and ‘silos’ together. They also expressed the challenge to keep these events inspiring, especially after having organized quite a few. Aga Kwiecien, from Gladwell Academy, gave an introduction of the Gladwell approach to training. She conveyed the drivers behind the success of Gladwell and showed their view on agile training in the nearby future. Gladwell already anticipates to the changing needs in this respect, changing from ‘teaching best agile practices’ to ‘experiencing the transformation towards being agile’. The final slot was filled by Andres Jansen, who got the audience on their feet with a trust exercise. He explained the importance of trust, being a critical success factor, for agile organizations. And explaining how we all can support to improve the growth of calculative- and relational trust, leading to more speed and less cost.
“Based on the enthusiastic feedback of participants, and RTEs that could not make it to this first RTE Summit on short notice, we will definitely follow up with a RTE Summit 2.0 soon”
The Summit was formally closed with a walk-by session an hour, combined with drinks. All ideas picked up during the presentations could be further explored during this interactive session. Few RTEs worked-out some ideas on the spot, others discussed RTE-related topics in more depth and even planned cross organizational RTE meetings to follow up. After the Summit, many RTEs joined the dinner that was offered by VersionOne. This dinner proved to be a very valuable after-session. Changing seats after every course was one of the driver for that success.
General point of improvement, derived from the keep/avoid/try-board, was to create even more room for interaction and more in-depth discussions. Based on the enthusiastic feedback of participants, and RTEs that could not make it to this first RTE Summit on short notice, we will definitely follow up with aRTE Summit 2.0 soon. Enabling us to put those learnings into practice and to welcome even more RTEs from more companies to this event. For more updates and to keep on sharing experiences, please sign up for the LinkedIn group: Release Train Engineer – Europe.
To all participants, many thanks again for making this event a great success.
Anneleen Doornebal and Andres Jansen
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ANDRES JANSEN
Andres Jansen is certified SPC, PSM, PSPO and specializes in metrics and performance measurement. Recent years he focused on organizational transformation, making organizations controllable, more Agile and actionoriented.