The ART of Avoiding a Train Wreck

Practical TIPS and TRICKS for Launching and Operating SAFe Agile Release Trains

Em Campbell-Pretty, Adrienne L. Wilson

Publisher: Amazon Fulfillment, 2019, 364 pages

ISBN: 978-1-094-75228-0

Keywords: DevOps, Product Management

Last modified: July 16, 2022, 10:44 p.m.

In The ART of Avoiding a Train Wreck, Em and Adrienne share their "trade secrets" for launching and operating powerful and effective Agile Release Trains. There's a lot at stake when launching an Agile Release Train. When taking on an Enterprise Lean-Agile Transformation you only get one shot at a first impression. Runaway trains are expensive. Money gets wasted, time gets lost and the reputational damage can take years to repair.

Going well beyond the standard SAFe® training, this book deep dives into the practical tips and tricks that only over 15 years of combined real world experience can teach. Peppered with innumerable war stories, this book provides plenty of entertainment (as well as education) in the form of personal anecdotes, cautionary tales and pro-tips for both the colocated Agile Release Train and its more complicated globally distributed cousins.

You will learn how to get a ticket on the SAFe® railway, load the cargo on your train, set the timetable, SAFely board and stay on the tracks. No matter your context, you are sure to find plenty of actionable ideas for launching and operating Agile Release Trains. Let's face it, any train can derail, so let The ART of Avoiding a Train Wreck be the coach in your pocket, warning you of the obstacles on the tracks ahead before you train wreck.

  • Introduction
  1. Ticket to Ride
    • Going All In
    • The Right ART for Right Now
    • Before You Buy Your Ticket
    • Chapter Summary
  2. Laying the Tracks
    • Preparing for Leading SAFe® Training
    • Designing the Agile Release Train
    • Principles for Designing the Agile Teams
    • Working with Vendors
    • Specialist Roles
    • What About Me?
    • Who's on First?
    • W.R.A.P.
    • Planning the ART Launch
    • Training the product Organisation
    • Chapter Summary
  3. Preparing the Cargo
    • Understanding the SAFe® Requirements Model
    • Identifying the Program Epics
    • Defining the Program Epics
    • Program Epic Prioritisation
    • ART Design Validation
    • Impact Mapping Epics Into Features
    • Defining Features
    • Completing the Lean Business Case for an Epic
    • Prioritisation Features
    • Allocating Feature to Teams
    • Case Study: But my "Epic" has a Fixed Scope Business Case!
    • Chapter Summmary
  4. Setting the Timetable for the Train
    • Program Increments
    • Sprints
    • ART Sync
    • System Demo
    • Load the Cargo on Cadence
    • Tribal Unity Events
    • Innovation and Planning (IP)
    • Chapter Summmary
  5. All Aboard!
    • Our Quick-Start Pattern
    • Logistics
    • Scrum Master Training
    • Team Day
    • Team Training
    • Program Increment (PI) Planning
    • What Happens After PI Planning?
    • Chapter Summary
  6. Staying on the Tracks
    • The Program Kanban
    • Sprinting
    • Operationalising the Chapters
    • Executing the Innovation and Planning (IP) Sprint
    • Adding Teams to the Trains
    • Speeding up the Trains with DevOps
    • Chapter Summary
  • SAFe Travels
  • Appendix
    • PI Planning Stationery
    • Checklist for Avoiding a Train Wreck