Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Time to catch another train...

The time I spent leading the EDW team at Telstra has been the most incredible experience of my life. I have worked with some truly extraordinary people who made every day fun (even when it was very challenging!) I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I was given, as a business person, to lead and grow a struggling delivery team into a world class Agile Release Train.

As the General Manager responsible for the launch of the EDW Release Train, I was invited to speak at conferences across Australia and the United States. I got to share our story and inspire others to take the next step in their agile journey. During my travels I met so many of my agile heroes, I felt like I was leading a truly charmed existence. Finding agile and the agile community has changed the course of my career.

So after almost ten years at Telstra, over three years of agile and two years of SAFe, I said goodbye to my beloved EDW Release Train. On my last day my fabulous team blew me away with their heartfelt goodbye. It was Unity Day with a farewell to Em and +Wayne twist. Things started out in their usual way with “shout outs” and a ridiculous game called Torpedo, the point of which was to “have fun”.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Release Train Engineer - Batman or the Wonder Twins?

A couple of months back I wrote about launching my first Agile Release Train and some of our specific challenges with creating the right organisational structure. In particular I pointed out that : “For us the Release Train Engineer (RTE) role as articulated in SAFe has never really emerged. “ Instead, the responsibilities spelt out in the SAFe Big Picture as belonging to the RTE have in our case ended up being split across the leads of the three service teams - Pipeline Services, Development Services and Deployment Services.

Initially we had envisaged the Development Services Manager would be the RTE, however it quickly became apparent that it would take a superhuman effort for one individual to take on all the responsibilities of an RTE, especially when your Agile Release Train is swimming against the tide in an organisation that has yet to embrace Lean|Agile mindsets. Enter the role of the Pipeline Services lead, Megan Anderson and her team.  These superheros stand shoulder to shoulder defending the front line every day. The pressure from the broader organisation to compromise on our values is constant and unrelenting. But they stand firm and protect the development teams.