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    May 19, 2023

    SPC Journey: Episode 9 - I'm an SPC and an RTE

    Finding an awesome Release Train Engineer (RTE) can be as difficult as finding a mythical creature. This individual is, ideally, a world-class facilitator, trusted by both developers and senior leaders, a respecter of timeboxes, a life-long learner, a cat-herder, and eventually a coach, trainer, and mentor.  An understanding of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) is required to be effective in the role so many RTEs become SPCs

    Recorded live on May 25, 2023 watch this episode of the SPC Journey Series to learn from RTEs who are on different points in their own learning journey.  Our guests include SPCs Sally McDonald from Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, Matt Davis from Salesforce, and SPCT-Candidate Mike Robertson who will share stories of the 2+ years he served as the RTE for a US Department of Defense Train.

    Topics Covered: 
    • How the RTE role evolves over time
    • The relationship between the RTE and Business Owner
    • How the RTE leads by example
    • Growing the RTEs’ reach through partnerships with Scrum Masters / Team Coaches
    • What to do when you are the only one in the room who sees trouble coming
    • Tips for connecting with stakeholders and the business


    Question and Answer

    Question: Why we are always talking about LACE and not VMO?


    Phil: The LACE usually serves as the guiding coalition for changing to a new way of working while the VMO is normally focused on execution. I have found that there are typically more SPCs involved in the LACE than in the VMO or APMO (term used before SAFe 6.0).  When the focus is on executing the Enterprise and Portfolio’s strategy, the role of the VMO is discussed in much more detail.

    Question: For someone like me who just became a CSM this year, is there a roadmap available for me to follow on becoming an RTE and then SPC? I understand there are forks that could lead to other areas, which fine too – I’m flexible, but I would like to understand where I’m heading and make adjustments along the way. 


    Matt: I’m not aware of an existing career roadmap that links all of these things together. I also would say that this is not a linear path. I would recommend getting as much experience as possible in the engineering and product spaces and get your SPC along the way. It’s a choose your own adventure type of path! 

    Mike: While there are skill sets that overlap these certifications, like coaching and mentoring, they really are quite independent from each other.  Much depends on where your interests are.  If you prefer a team level focus, then Scrum Master might be a good choice.  If you prefer an ART level focus that touches on the wider org, then consider looking into the RTE role. Being a SPC is a good compliment to being an RTE, but I don’t see many folks being both Scrum Masters and a SPC.  Becoming an SPC will facilitate you growing as a change agent that may open doors for you to be an internal or external SAFe® consultant and trainer.

    Question: Is it necessary to be a SM before you become a RTE?


    Matt: The experience helps, but I certainly don’t believe it’s a requirement. 

    Mike: No, it is not necessary, but it may allow you to grow your skills in preparation for becoming a RTE.

    Question: Sometimes program managers and RTEs play the same duties depends on the organizational hierarchy


    Phil: I have seen this in the field; however, it is normally in the early days of a SAFe implementation as opposed to the “forever state.”  With that said, I am also someone who works diligently to get the organization to consider organizing around value virtually as opposed to via a hierarchy which opens the door to the RTE being a well-respected singular role. In a future episode, I plan interview one or two SPCs who also serve as Program or Project Managers within organizations that have limited their agility to a portion of the value stream.

    Question: You have talked about individual relationships; can you talk a little about the partnerships RTEs need to build vertically and horizontally?


    Mike: An RTE really only has the authority that they earn from their ART and larger organization.  Building relationships is critical to growing the trust that enables you to operate effectively as an RTE.  The most critical relationships really are with the Business Owners, Product Managers and Architect.  You will spend much of your day working closely with them to plan and execute your Planning Interval.  Relationships with the agile team are critical as well if you are going to work closely with them and build transparency.  This is required to facilitate the quick escalation of issues.  Finally, build relationships with stakeholders and executives beyond your ART.  Gaining alignment with those folks will pay dividends when you need to pull them in to help address impediments and dependencies, as well as support your delivery of value.

    About Michael Robertson:

    As Principal Consultant with Applied Frameworks, Michael is responsible for facilitating Lean-Agile transformations using the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe).  Michael has served as a coach and mentor in support of government and commercial organizations, with particular success facilitating productive, long-lived teams.Prior to joining Applied Frameworks, Michael was an Agile Coach, Release Train Engineer and mentor for a highly successful Lean-Agile transformation in a joint US Army and Air Force program.  To complement his Lean-Agile expertise, Michael has over 30 years of broad experience in software development and technical

    About Matthew Davis: 

    Matthew Davis has over 20 years of experience in agile organizations from startups through to Fortune 100 within the verticals of medical device manufacturing, military, and consumer software.  He excels at bringing a pragmatic voice to both tactical and strategic themes for the purpose of aligning cross functional teams of teams to aligned and clear outcomes.  He has experience as an engineer, an engineering executive, within product management, and most recently as an RTE.

    About Sally McDonald: 

    Sally McDonald is a leader in software development at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield with nearly a decade of experience in the healthcare industry. She obtained a bachelors degree in Biology from the University of Central Arkansas. She is serving as release train engineer for the initial agile release train at ABCBS. Sally aims to stream line processes and support development teams while acting as a change agent to scale agile practices across the Enterprise.

    About the SPC Journey series:

    The SPC Journey is a series of webinars and panel discussions, hosted by SAFe® Fellow Phil Gardiner,  designed to help SPC’s and those they support on their journey to learn, grow, and succeed in implementing SAFe.

    Episodes include:

    SPC Journey: I’m an SPC, Now What?!? with Harry Koehnerman, SAFe Fellow

    SPC Journey: From Theory to Practice with Travis Moorer, SPCT Candidate

    SPC Journey: I’m an SPC and a Coach with Rachele Maurer, SPC 

    SPC Journey: I’m an SPC and a Consultant with Michael Robertson, SPC and Charles Rapier

    SPC Journey: I’m an SPC and a Trainer  with Rebecca Davis, SAFe Fellow

    SPC Journey: I’m an SPC and I Lead a Transformation with Angela Smith, SPC @ Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield

    SPC Journey: I’m an SPC and I Head a LACE  with Alena Keck, Head of Lead Agile Center of Excellence at Vodafone 

    SPC Journey: I’m an SPC and We Build a Community with JC Titus, SPC and Takeisha Murphy, SPC from Ingenico North America


    * Created using ai. Please excuse grammar and spelling errors

    Phil Gardiner  00:00

    I think this is the ninth or 10th episode in the SPC journey series. And I’ve got a I’ve got a long list of ones coming up next. So, very excited, give people just a few minutes to to arrive or not quite a few, just a couple of minutes to arrive. Welcome, everybody, as you’re joining if you don’t want if you don’t mind throw into chat, which is enable this time throw into chat where you’re coming in from, you know, different parts of the world, different parts of the country, different parts of the countries. You know, I’m McKinney, Texas here. Oh, we got Norway. Excellent. Switzerland, Arkansas, Michigan, nice. Virginia. One thing I love about I love about the safe community is it’s global. You know, and and this time slot actually works really well because it’s the evening for many people over in Europe. I just got back from from Prague. It was pretty awesome. First time over there, and I really enjoyed it. See Toronto, Connecticut, Germany, Plano, Massachusetts, lots and lots of places here. So today’s episode is all about SPCs who have chosen to become RTE. I’ll tell you that. When I ever went, we’re not when I’m interviewing SPCs when we have headspace on our team to add somebody truly serving as an RTE longterm, is something that really adds to your your ability to coach and launch agile release trains, you know, as somebody who I’ve only experienced one month as an RTE myself, which I think is actually more than some SPCs. And the individuals on this call are at different points of their journey. And I’ll go ahead and just get started with some introductions. So this series is really about connecting you the audience with the awesome SPCs that are in a variety of roles around the around the globe. Once you become an SPC, there’s so many different ways you can take your career. You know, for me, I like to specialize in Lean portfolio management and the business side of things agile product management, mentoring SPCs other people, they have other passions, TDD and BDD and DevOps and, and governance and the technical side of things, leading teams, leading trains, leading solution trains. With me today, I’ve got I’ve got three people with me that I that I I’ve met on my journey. First one is Michael Robertson. He’s an SPCT candidate. He works here at Applied frameworks with me. I met Mike, when he was a brand new wet behind the ears RTE for a the first government agile release train that I had part of part of launching. And Mike was was an RTE there for several years. So he’s he’s probably the most experienced RTE on the call here. Then we’ve got Matt Davis, Matt Davis, has been an RTE for for several PIs. 456. And, you know, he’s also an SPC. I think he’s been an SPC longer than he’s been in Rte. And then we’ve got Sally McDonald. She’s newer on her journey. But she’s she’s making waves already. And you’re in your second PI now. So Sally, you want to introduce yourself a little bit more?

    Sally McDonald  03:42

    Yeah. Hey, I’m Sally McDonald. I, I work at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and I’m serving as a release train engineer for the first art at our enterprise. I’m also an SPC got that? The about six weeks ago, and I’m helping our organization scale SAFe across the enterprise. So happy to be here.

    Phil Gardiner  04:05

    We’re happy to have you, Matt. Sure.

    Matt Davis  04:08

    Matt Davis, Omega RTE for Salesforce in support reimagined, which is the customer support section of Salesforce. My background is mainly in engineering and engineering management. But I got my SPC a couple years ago, and one of the happened to the RTE space.

    Phil Gardiner  04:25

    And here I am. And then Mr. Robertson.

    Michael Robertson  04:30

    Hey folks, Michael Robertson. I am an SPCT candidate, just nealy started that journey. I’m also a principal consultant with applied frameworks and I work with a variety of engagements. RTE is my passion. Among other things. I got my as Phil mentioned, I cut my teeth in the government space on an art there was a lot of fun, very enlightening and very fulfilling. And I I guess that’s enough for me.

    Phil Gardiner  05:01

    Great. And today we’re in touch, we’re gonna have a series of conversations kind of about, you know the role of the RTE, how that evolves over time, we’ll talk about the relationship of the RTE and the business owners and stakeholders how the RTE leads by example, we’ll talk about ways to grow the RTS reach through partnerships with both stakeholders, Scrum Masters, and team coaches. We’ll talk about what do you do when you’re the only one in the room who sees trouble coming. And then finally, some tips and tricks from from each of the three of these awesome our teams we’ve got today. We also have time for questions. There is a q&a area. So if you have a question as we go, feel free to throw it into the q&a section. Please don’t use chat because I won’t see that. ramier Thank you very much for the congratulations. Yes, I’m a new safe fellow. It hasn’t quite sink in yet sunk in yet. But thank you for saying that. All right, so let’s just start off with with the role of the RTE. Right, when you know, I remember telling Mike, you’re gonna get bored. And he laughed in my face. He could not see he was as this was during this is the the end of his first PI is first ima and he just could not see could not see possibility of getting bored as an RTE. Mikey, tell me a little bit more about kind of how that role of RTE evolved over over the years you were serving, serving Joe in the in the Army and Air Force train.

    Michael Robertson  06:23

    So Phil, and I, Phil has been along with my journey since the very beginning with this, and we’ve had lots of discussions and the focus was really about empowering the team. So that we could, you know, make them better, help them be higher functioning teams. And also with the idea that you know, the the more dependent they were on me, the less effective they were going to be, it was more about empowering them. And that was my focus, training them helping them understand. And I guess I did a pretty good job, because eventually, there was a lot less requirement for me to get in and help them explain things to them, or help them uncover issues or deal with them, they became much more self sufficient. And that’s really over a little over two years. That’s kind of how my journey evolved. And, and the whole organization really became much more fluid. The flow was incredible, the communication was great, the alignment was awesome. And I felt proud about that. But it kind of, you know, it was time for me to move on to something else, because I had accomplished that. So

    Phil Gardiner  07:38

    Matt how much you met? Did you did you find how is your vault role evolved over time? If you’ve been there, you know, four or five PI’s you’ve, you’ve seen the train? I think you inherited the train right? There was already there, you’re replacing existing RTE, tell us a bit about your journey and how the role involved? Sure.

    Matt Davis  07:55

    So you know, just kind of coming in, you got to get the lay of the land. You’re finding out where the gaps are inside the train, who understands what, what are the best practices that are being followed, where we make improvements, those sorts of things. And then, as you do the first couple of PIs, you kind of get a handle on those items. And then you can move forward start to tweak instead of doing wholesale changes of various things. So I’d say that’s how it’s really changed for me is it’s gone from being a less of an instructor, and more of a coach and more of reinforcing good behaviors, rather than introducing them wholesale a new.

    Phil Gardiner  08:32

    Great point. How about you, Sally, where are you? Where are you on that on that journey.

    Sally McDonald  08:37

    So I’m still pretty early. We are about halfway through PI two. But I can still tell the difference from PI one to PI two, even though it’s really not that long. of amount of time that they have been practicing, say, we were just doing another value stream in our identification workshop just last week, and our CIO got up in front of everybody using our first ART, we call it the core ART, you know, he got up there. And he said the difference between PI one and pi two is night and day. You know, PI one everybody’s trying to figure out, you know, what are we doing was all these, you know, all the new terms, all the new language, especially with the business side and MPI to you know, people are much more familiar and have clear expectations of kind of how things are going to work. So, I’ve only been doing it a couple of weeks, couple months, but you can tell a huge difference just from 1pm to the next.

    Phil Gardiner  09:38

    You mentioned, you mentioned value stream identification workshops. So, you know, I just want to I want to touch on this briefly. How have you leveraged your SPC were you did you get to facilitate were you actually working and doing a facilitating a breakout during the value stream workshop? Or were you were you in a different role? Were you able to leverage your SPC and did that that that help

    Sally McDonald  10:00

    Yes. So you know, I mentioned that SAFe was pretty new to our organization, we had our first value stream and art identification workshop back in November of 2022. We have an individual at Blue Cross that is kind of leading the charge for us, Angie Smith. And she was our first SPC. And then we also have Applied Frameworks on helping us scale this, and then I became an SPC. So we actually had two value stream identification workshops last week, and Angie and I were both able to facilitate the breakout sessions as SPCs alongside of Applied Frameworks, so that’s awesome. Yeah. To be able to, you know, kind of learn from applied frameworks and, and help to apply that in our organization. So it was really nice.

    Phil Gardiner  10:46

    Next time, you can do it, do it on your own. So it’s awesome. How about you, Matt? How have you leveraged your SPC as an RTE?

    Matt Davis  10:54

    Well, I’dsay that just taking the course filled in so many gaps for me, I’d seen it done. I’ve worked with RTS throughout pretty, pretty much the entirety of my career. But until you actually sit down and take the course and go through the coursework, it really opened up a lot of doors for me, and really, a lot of labels came on during that course. And then the backup materials for it are essential. I’ve used them a million times over the past couple of years, saying, Well, what do you mean, when you say, you know, a value stream? Or what is exactly the role of the RTE, it’s really easy to answer those questions in a kind of a unified manner, by utilizing those backup sources and providing them then say, Look, this is kind of how everything’s supposed to work. Here’s the big picture. Here’s some backup slides that help explain this a little bit more. So it’s really nice to have those to be able to lean on and help others elevate their understanding as well.

    Phil Gardiner  11:49

    I’m gonna skip, thanks, man. I’m gonna skip you, Mike, because I know the you’re at SPC T candidate now. So you may have been in the RTE saddle for long. But I do want to pull this thread I remember, you know, one of the things that you heard Sally say, you know, at this value stream workshop, her CIO got up in front, right? That’s something that you don’t hear every day, right. And what I found in my journey is that if you take a kind of a whole solution perspective to SAFe, where you’re not just thinking it’s for business, or it’s for it, it’s kind of together in the enterprise. And part of that the RTE can enable, you know, Mike, you, you were, you were on a government program. And in the government. If any of you are out there in the US federal government, you may this may resonate with you, but the program manager, the person who works for that big defense contractor, they’re the only one that gets to talk to the business, the business leader on the government side, right? They, they’re very protective of who gets talked to the government person. And Mike really kind of hooked that up by building a relationship with the government executive, this this guy, Joe, he was a GS 15. Government executive. Mike, tell us a little bit about that relationship between the RTE and the business owner, and how that serves your art.

    Michael Robertson  13:08

    Well, for those of you who have been RTT, or have seen our RTE’s in action, the or an art and action, how closely the business is connected to your your ability to get things done and make prioritization decisions is critical. And so we quickly developed a relationship, Joe and I spent a lot of one on one time to get to know each other and build that trust. And it it, I explicitly said to him, Joe, I want to be very transparent with you, because I don’t want us to have these walls between us. I want to be able to talk to you and help you understand what’s going on so that we can leverage your help and stay in alignment. So it was something that the two of us really prioritized in the very beginning. And it paid off huge dividends like that. It shocked people how much the government was business owner was aligned and involved in the ART. But it was a fantastic example that that Phil took advantage of and we actually shared with many other government organizations. So if Joe was fantastic, and came to the table, and really all I had to do was ask and and it was interesting to see how much engagement we got out of him when we open the doors and welcomed him in. It was fantastic. It paid off huge dividends.

    Phil Gardiner  14:29

    Remember the transparency that was that was the thing is that people are afraid to you know, to flip over the rock of IT sometimes the business but what I’ve always found is when you do there’s a there’s a sigh of relief and your relationship gets stronger Matt or Sally Do you have anything you want to share regarding your business owners? Then we’ll take a question from the audience. Do you have your business owner engaged?

    Sally McDonald  14:53

    Yeah, I’m happy to share with our business owners so our first PI, we we We’re standing up, we identified one key business owner, and he was SVP of our internal operations area. And he jumped in, he has been awesome. You know, he attends PI planning both days the whole day, he is in the breakout rooms with the teams, helping them prioritize, understand maybe where they have blockers or impediments that he could help remove. So I mean, he really kind of set the bar high for us. But as we’ve grown, we’ve identified additional business owners that we needed to get plugged in, and some of them haven’t leaned in as well as as our initial one. So the way that I’m going to approach that is actually have a meeting scheduled next week with all of our business owners to set expectations and help them understand their role and what they can really provide to these teams and enter the organization because as, as long as they’re setting those priorities, and these teams come in, we’re gonna be able to accomplish what they want to. So that’s kind of how I’m gonna address some of the business owners that aren’t as engaged as, as others.

    Phil Gardiner  16:05

    Awesome, Matt, I see you’re shaking your head, you resonate with some of the stuff for you.

    Matt Davis  16:10

    I completely agree with Sally, I think the business owners are your first call as an RT. So it’s not the team’s it’s not, you know, your scrum master or anything like that. It’s definitely get in alignment with the business owners. What can I do for you? How do I get your requirements in order for us to make great software? I think that’s the number one partnership for an RTE, for sure.

    Phil Gardiner  16:29

    Awesome. We have a question from chat. Who did you invite on the value stream identification workshop? Sea level was their question mark. So tell me about how you’re, you know, when you when you looked at doing this new value stream workshop, because you had your first one, you launched your first art, now you’re scaling beyond that, that first agile release train into different value streams? How did you decide who to invite, and who from this whoo hoo from your senior exec team was invited.

    Sally McDonald  16:55

    Um, so we really engaged the leaders of kind of the development area that we’re looking to scale safe into, under trying to ask them questions that might kind of identify who their future business owners might be, who their stakeholders are, we did have our CIO there, you know, he’s really helping lead this charge to our organization. But we had several SVPs that also attended all the way to individual contributors on the future agile teams, mid level management. So we tried to have a wide range, a wide audience at the value stream and our identification workshops, then one of the SPCs, at our organization actually started off the meeting by telling them, you know, we’re leaving our titles at the door, and we’re all here to, to work together to try to identify, you know, what’s the value that we’re delivering? And what are these future arcs going to look like? So we had a wide range of

    Phil Gardiner  17:56

    players there. Yeah, and that makes such a huge difference in you know, the acceleration of your journey, when you have that, that support from your C suite, and not just support in the form of, you know, paying the bills for the certifications, but actual engagement when they’re there. And I love what you said there about, you know, you had people from from your CIO, down to independent contributors, you know, that that broad range of perspectives, and just as tip here from, I guess, from the new SAFe fellow on the block, is that when you do a value stream identification workshop, the more perspectives you get, the better picture you get of how value flows, and it’ll pay off in dividends as you go. Matt, I know that you’ve had, you know, the president of the president of sales forces success organization, at your PI planning events, doing, you know, kicking off and sharing their journey, you know, anything you would share regarding, you know, kind of the power of having those senior execs talking, and they’re with your teams. 

    Matt Davis  18:59

    Absolutely, I think the key is the when they come in, don’t try and treat them as special as everyone seems to think that they’re going to be it’s, you know, when they come they don’t want to they don’t want to attend as the president of such and such they want to attend as a participant. So you know, don’t My advice would be, don’t overly emphasize that the fact of what their title is, and just bring them in treat them like a team member, give them things to do. Treat them just like everybody else and watch them thrive with the teams that help guidance.

    Phil Gardiner  19:33

    Yeah. Mike, anything to close that one out with?

    Michael Robertson  19:37

    No, just the same, you know, creating an environment where everyone’s comfortable solving this problem like with, you know, group or collective ownership, everybody’s part owns this problem. How are we going to resolve it together as a team, that’s really something that we try to drive home to facilitate that communication amongst everybody.

    Phil Gardiner  19:57

    And that leadership that those bits as owners can provide those senior execs, it can really accelerate trust building on both sides of the fence. You know, Mike, I remember your business owner, Joe. It was a lot of there’s a lot of nervousness about people talking to him directly. And I remember he came in on the second day of PI planning, and actually started calling people out. And I remember he asked me, So Phil, do you mind if I say a few words? And I’m like, oh, yeah, sure, go ahead. You know, you’re the boss. And he proceeded to share some stuff, you want to tell a little bit about that, because that was a very fond memory for me and very powerful. When you talk about the, the, the business owner and the role they can have on really getting your art going.

    Michael Robertson  20:44

    Well, give you a little background first. So there, the the environment in a government program between contractors and government employees sometimes is contentious, right? And, and a little bit of friction there. And we had some of that. And we also had some friction amongst the contractors who were competing for the work, but were expected to work all together. So there was a lot of friction amongst the whole group. And what really set the tone was, as Phil mentioned, Joe came in the first day, and he said, I want us to be transparent, I want you folks to tell me what’s wrong, so that we can fix it. And that day later on that day, folks started to be transparent. And they brought up some very important items that needed to be addressed, but were hard to talk about. And the next day, he came with little croissants and kind of shared them with with people and and, and rewarded folks for being transparent. And the look on program managers faces and folks like that, it was like, total shock. Like we’re actually going to be able to function like this. And, and that, really, for the most part was Joe, laying down and leading by example, that this is how we’re gonna work going forward. So it was awesome. I still, I still get goosebumps thinking about it. 

    Phil Gardiner  22:11

    And it was it was in the government sector. It was just unprecedented. And this is back when the government was first cutting his teeth on agile, right on SAFe back in, you know, 2029 2018 2019 How about if you have any any thoughts? You know, as an RtE? Right, there’s there’s lots of responsibilities you have one of those is to exemplify lean, agile leadership. Can you have any insights on kind of how, as an RTE, lead by example,

    Sally McDonald  22:41

    I have some bill that I can share. You know, like you mentioned as an RTE, you’re leading by example. And one way that I found that I’m able to do that is in our, in any of our ART, event, you know, whether it’s the planning or a coach thing, or, or POS think the way that they may see me facilitate a meeting or address a problem or conflict, you know, that kind of helps them understand how they could do that at the team level. So, you know, I’ve tried to use any of my ART level events to demonstrate that lean, agile leadership to help them understand and bring that back to the team. Matt,

    Matt Davis  23:24

    you’re so I’d say, never undermine yourself. Tell me about that. So if you’re going to hold a people to an expectation, you have to live that expectation yourself. So that means don’t not doing things like shortcutting your own process. Because there’ll be a strong temptation at times for a business owner to come to you and say, Look, can you kind of sneak this in? Or can you do this, that or the other people like, oh, yeah, I’m the RTE, I can probably get this into a team. And you have to resist the temptation to be able to, you know, be that person who can kind of get that sense. I know that, you know, this needs to come through the process, we need to do prioritization, we need to figure out what goes in and what comes out. And we need to engage the team on how to do this. So I think that’s the main thing is living the example.

    Phil Gardiner  24:06

    And you’re right, that that’s tough. Right? The RTE  role is, is one that has a lot of exposure. Right? You’re, you’re you’re, you know, you’re talking to some senior leader sometimes, and, you know, I can’t speak for everybody I know, on my journey, there was a time when my title mattered more than anything, you know, and and who I got to speak to, wow, I’m talking to a senior exec right. And I think that you said something earlier, Matt, that’s very powerful, which is they’re just people treat them the same as everyone else. And you know, that that allows the relationship to not be weird. Mike, anything you’d add?

    Michael Robertson  24:42

    I’m just that sometimes, you know, the the RTE role, there’s a lot of responsibility, but not the authority that you would typically get with a role or a title that has people reporting directly to them. And so the only The real authority you get is what you earn from the team. You know, going along with what Sally and Matt, were saying about leading by example and exemplifying, right, if you walk the walk, you’ll get the respect. And it takes time to establish that. And you’ll find that sometimes you may be the only person standing up in the room to say, hey, wait a minute, I think we might be headed in the wrong direction. And that’s hard to do when you’re in front of 100 people who might be your peers, and some executives and business folks, so it takes a lot of courage to do that. But it’s important to kind of be that that last stand, you know, to raise to set that bar for, for the for the ART

    Phil Gardiner  25:46

    you know, it’s your set your set, you said something about, you know, that one person standing up, right. So, you know, I’ve seen our RTEs that I’ve met in my journey that the world’s on their shoulders, right? And, you know, it’s like, there’s like, how do I go to every I don’t I go to every team event, we have 15 teams on the ART, we have a really big ART we have, how do I go to all these events? My answer is, why would you write, but you have to kind of, you know, grow that reach? Anybody have any any insights as to how, how you’re able to stay in touch with everything happening on the ART, both from the team delivery perspective to the strategy and vision on the product side? How do you keep your hand on that pulse? What are some of the things you’ve done to kind of grow your reach? Anybody have any thoughts on that?

    Sally McDonald  26:36

    Yeah, I can go, Phil, I mean, I set up, I have a weekly one on one with our product manager. So I try to stay you know, in sync with her, I also set up just random one on ones with anybody on the ART, it could be a team coach could be a product owner, it could be a developer or an analyst. So just trying to stay engaged with them understand their perspective, how things are going for them and their team. And then you know, I do try to drop in to plantings and, you know, reviews throughout the PI, you know, trying to rotate to the different teams, but I think I can really stay engaged with them through those one on ones, even if it’s 15 minutes. And I do you know, two or three people a week, just that helps build the trust with them and help them know that, that I care and that I’m interested in, I want this to be successful for them. 

    Phil Gardiner  27:33

    that’s, that’s a great technique. And I can definitely see how that would build trust. And because there’s things people will tell you one on one that they won’t tell you in front of a group. So awesome, awesome technique and the other ones.

    Matt Davis  27:47

    I just add that, you know, use your Scrum Masters, definitely reach out to them, make sure you build strong relationships with them, because they’re the ones who are going to be with those teams on a day to day basis and know what’s going on. I again, I strongly emphasize building those partnerships with your your business. And then also use the meetings that you have scrum of scrums, ART sync. Those are extremely important meetings to make sure you’re getting the most out

    Phil Gardiner  28:09

    of them, you can have any tips you have on that note, Matt to get the most out of those.

    Matt Davis  28:15

    Having an agenda, people knowing what, what’s expected of them when they show up. And then making sure that you’re getting the right people in it. So it doesn’t really help you a whole lot in your exchange, if it’s just your your train that you need those business partners to come and give their perspective and say, What’s your perception of how things are going? Right. I mean, I can hear from my PMs all day, but what are your thoughts? What do you say? asking those questions?

    Phil Gardiner  28:41

    Mr. Robertson, anything you want to add? 

    Michael Robertson  28:46

    I think they stole all my good ideas. So mostly, I, you know, both Sally and Matt touched on the idea of building relationships, right? empowering those Scrum Masters, helping them understand their role and how important they are to, to the ART not just to the team. That’s key. And helping folks understand that you’re creating an environment where you really are encouraging transparency. So that escalation happens quickly. And not, you know, three days after Shut up. So there’s, there’s a lot of, of work that goes into setting that environment up. But when you do, then things start to really fire or well, so I guess that would be my thoughts on it. 

    Phil Gardiner  29:35

    by the way, you know, if you have questions, feel free to throw them into into the q&a. We’ve we’ve you know, this this session is really about you know, shining the light on on on on what it’s like to serve as an RTE, you know, with with that extra oomph that you’ve got from understanding the bigger picture of SAFe that comes from becoming an SPC. Let’s talk a little bit about that. About trouble, right? So while while we’ve talked about all the good scenarios here, right, there are there are challenges you encounter, maybe maybe each of you could share, you know, a challenge you’ve encountered on your journey when it comes to the role of the RTE and how you overcame it. Mike, you want to start?

    Michael Robertson  30:21

    Sure, I’ll get started. So there’s generally always someone or someone’s on the ART who are late adopters, to the framework to the transformation. And a lot of times they get a bad rap for presenting resistance or, or contrary thoughts or a lot of probing questions, I like to think of it as an opportunity to really gain their trust. And to help them understand that, you know, with a little more patience to help them understand why this is going to help them and be so effective. So that is huge. And the main thing is, again, give them some patience, and let them kind of work through at their own pace, because those folks tend to be your biggest advocates when you win them over, and you eventually will. And they tend to be the kind of people that will go to the mat for you, because you gave him that little extra room to be comfortable in that time and space. So that’s, I guess what I would contribute to that one. 

    Phil Gardiner  31:37

    Okay, let’s go with the other two of you. And then we’ll get to a couple of questions.

    Sally McDonald  31:43

    Okay. So one of the challenges that I faced as an RTE, as we kept having the same problem of reoccurring handoff that was delaying our ability to get our work done. And it was a group of folks that weren’t on the ART, and it kept causing trouble for us not meeting either iteration goals are big objectives. So the way we addressed that was meeting with the leadership of this team that’s not currently on the ART to figure out how we could engage them and plan alongside them to be able to meet these goals for the business. So even if they weren’t able to come onto the ART, how we can bring them into the planning or iteration planning is for the necessary teams to to keep us moving along and work flowing. So just trying to get that alignment with folks even outside of the ART to keep us moving.

    Phil Gardiner  32:42

    Awesome. And that’s what you might find. Sometimes they’re shared services, sometimes they’re part of the arts. Great example, Mr. Davis. Sure,

    Matt Davis  32:53

    at the same Mike kind of stole, what else can

    Phil Gardiner  32:57

    give us your give us your spin on it?

    Matt Davis  33:00

    But But yeah, it’s really about evangelizing amongst the group and showing them demonstrating that by following these processes by by having these principles, you are going to get what you want, right? At the end of the day, we are going to create great software, which is what you want, what I want, we’re going to get where we want to go. And he’s right, 100%, right, those people do typically end up being your best advocates. Most of the business kind of sometimes starts out that way. Because like, well, I’m getting what I want right now, just in a really unhealthy way. Right. So that’s the untying of the knots that you have to get in here and achieve. But But yeah, I mean, the, the central point of the matter is, we’re gonna get you what you want, we’re going to do it in a healthy manner. And we’re going to progress together as a team. And getting that buy in from the business, again, is something I harp on constantly, is key to the whole endeavor.

    Phil Gardiner  33:57

    Awesome. I’m gonna take a couple of questions from from the q&a here. First one, from Rami. As an RTE, if you see areas of improvement, you feel that the value stream mapping is not appropriate. You know, that’s something that you see happen. Sometimes you launch an art without organizing around value. How do you approach that? What would you do if Mike Mike, I have you been in a situation where you’ve been involved in an ART where, where they weren’t organized around value? How did you approach that topic?

    Michael Robertson  34:25

    Well, the easiest way is to let them approach it right? The kind of a retro Hey, what’s not working well for you guys right now. And they will uncover it for you. And to say, Well, if we organized around value, we may be able to, you know, help them understand what organizing around value actually is because they probably don’t know and how that can help their dependencies in their flow. And then it’s an easy sell because now they see, well, we’ve got to make a change here in order to be able to or stand high value flows? What’s our structure supposed to look like so that we can improve our, our flow and minimize our dependencies. So it’s, it’s one of those scenarios where I prefer to let them discover it for themselves, so that they can actually identify with it and own it. And then it’s their change, not as a consultant, me prescribing something for them. So

    Phil Gardiner  35:24

    yeah, I heard Sally talk about they felt it right. We you I know you’ve talked to me about I know you saw it first, right when the ART was formed. But it meant something different when they felt it they they saw Miss commitments do to it. Sally, Mike, Matt, anything to add to that?

    Sally McDonald  35:42

    That, you know, we kicked off our first ART pretty quickly. And we went through our first PI and we realized that there were some groups of folks that weren’t on the art that needed to be and the way we addressed that was bringing it to our LACE, our lean, agile Center of Excellence and just having a conversation around, does it make sense to bring these groups on? What does that mean for the ART, the size of the ART and just trying to have an open conversation around the benefits of bringing them on and the cons? So that’s how we’ve addressed it.

    Phil Gardiner  36:16

    Transparency, that’s one of your best friends, RTE? And I think, you know, Matt said it earlier, you want to you get that alignment, get that get that relationship with the business upfront. And you’ll experience safe much differently there. We’ve got one just a reminder, please, if you can put the questions into the q&a. I do have one in chat I saw here from Estrella. So as an SPC and RTE, how can we? How can we convince or get business or the team that plays the role of LACE to keep doing safe? Currently, my company is trying to implement their own flavor of Agile. And looking at other gardens, instead of looking at the root causes of why we’re not delivering, in certain time, what’s a good time to deliver. So, you know, I’ll tell you that you may read some stuff out there about about, you know, SAFe, not not not wonderful, Mike and I did a presentation a few years ago for a government conference where there was a guy in the government who said, avoid rigid and prescriptive frameworks, like SAFe. And I remember when I showed this memo to Mike’s customer, he literally laughed out loud, because his experience with SAFe was completely different. And so along those lines, I understand that the easiest, the easiest place to blame is on the framework, or the methodology, right. And I’ve got experience with Scrum at scale with Spotify ish, with homegrown stuff with SAFe with with Nexus and the stuff that makes it work is the same. The stuff that makes it not work is the same. And so you know, if you’re in a situation where your LACE has authority, it can be really tough. You know, I’ll tell you my own journey. I went to SAFe specifically, to circumvent the Agile COE at at&t, because they were they were the Agile police. And they heard the word agile, they would descend like locusts, and they had their clipboards, little flip boards, and they would, they would grade you on how good you are at at&t agile. And if you went outside their lines that were very prescriptive, they would shut you down. Now I was lucky enough to be part of a, of a greenfield new business inside the company, and we were able to circumvent them, and I use safe as a way to not do what the COE he was doing. Now, having said that, part of my own journey was mending fences with that LACE, because the reality is the company has trusted them with leading the transformation. And as agilus We all have different opinions, I was speaking to somebody yesterday at a at a at a gathering and you know, she’s frustrated with her corporate LACE, because she’s had experience that that, quite frankly may run circles around with it with with their what they’ve had experience with. And so whatever you can do to partner with those individuals, because what I found is that most people mean well, sometimes they just don’t have connections to the, to the same learnings that you have. And so find try it just try and find that common ground would be the best advice I could give you as far as you know, what do you do with with with a LACE there. And at the end of the day, SAFes really convenient because it’s got materials, it’s got a common lexicon, but people have had a bad experience with it sometimes. And you’ll try and dig into that dig into why they aren’t interested in the framework. And oftentimes, you’ll find that they had somebody that wasn’t quite ready to implement it. That wasn’t willing to say, hey, you know what, I don’t know what I’m doing. But I’m going to try anyway. And it didn’t turn out the way you thought. But at the same time, there’s individuals out there that you know, I remember seeing this website that was was bashing safe, and when I dug into who created this, it was a CST, well, you know, their their businesses is as SAFe gets a larger market share. You know, they’re they’re kind of they’re getting less. And so there’s there’s other motivations they’re trying to understand and empathize with them. Mike, Mike, Matt, Sally, anything to add to that one?

    Michael Robertson  40:19

    Just that, you know, where you start with the LACE often times really sets the tone? Are those folks really have a growth mindset? Have they spent the time getting some training to understand what this means? Are they people in the right position that, you know, they have the right personality for this, that can really set the tone afterwards, you know, once you’ve got the layout set up by it’s really about communication and helping them under, you know, keeping them plugged in on, on what’s working at at the ART level and what’s not. So I, you know, I sympathize with that problem, when that’s when you’re going to have to chip away at a little bit of at a time, but I would focus on helping them understand the mindset a little deeper and demonstrating to them what’s working what’s not at the ART level so that they can feel a little bit more connected.

    Phil Gardiner  41:14

    And ideally, your your LACE is looking to you as our RTEs and SPCs and change agents to understand what’s working well, because, you know, we can tell you what SAFe says, But what works in your enterprise as our RTEs and SPCs. You’re the ones seeing that. And, Matt, you came off mute any any add there?

    Matt Davis  41:34

    No, I just wanted to add to that, that it’s it’s so important to be outcome focused, right? So what I like to tell people is no one, we don’t make any money here by being the best agile company in the world, right? So no one cares that we have PI plannings, exactly at this time that we do our INA in exactly at this point. That doesn’t make us any money, it doesn’t produce outcomes for the company, right? It’s all about, you know, what value are we driving for the company from each one of these practices. And to me, the best indicator of a good leader is can you ask the question, Why? Why are we doing this? What value are we seeing from it? What outcomes are you looking for? And if they can answer those questions, and they’re good answers, then you know that you guys are kind of on the right track.

    Phil Gardiner  42:13

    Thank you, Matt. So anything to add on this? And I’ll move to the next question. No,

    Sally McDonald  42:20

    I think Matt and Mike pretty much covered it.

    Phil Gardiner  42:24

    I gotta say, I’m, this is my first time having three guests, and I’m really enjoying it. So thank you all. We have a question here. I see many as SPCs take the class past exam, but they never actually worked in the delivery network. I really feel the lack of connection which beyond theory, what are your experiences can an SPC do the job well, without having played the game? So I will tell you, if you go back and watch the second episode of this series, it was with a guy named Travis Moorer. And it’s somebody I mentored years ago, and he has this thing he says, some things are caught, some things are taught, or other way around, some things are taught them leader caught. And for him, as someone mentoring him, he had this confidence because he became an SPC. But then when he actually went to a PI planning event, it just blew his mind. I mean, it was it was a completely different paradigm shift. So the reality is that we all start our journeys where we start, right, my very first agile release train in in July of 2014. In San Francisco. I had never seen an agile, I never seen PI planning before. So you know, and I’m successful today, right? So there’s, there’s, you’re always learning. So for me, I would say that, as long as you understand where you’re at, you know, if you’re doing this on your own, because not everybody can can has the benefit of bringing in a consultant or a consulting team to help them get started that can definitely accelerate and, and head off some of the stuff but sometimes you can’t do that yet, do it on your own. My personal advice is find your community. You know, watching these webinars like this one and others that are out there looking at the media library on the Scaled Agile, safe studio, there’s places to learn from other individuals, those things can help. I’m someone who learns by stories. That’s why I like to give stories back. But, you know, it is absolutely true that there are situations out there where somebody got their certification last week, and next week, they’re trying to lead a transformation. Personally, I think the way to solve that is for customers to ask some harder questions. Hey, you know, you’re, you know, we want to hire you to help us with our transformation. Tell me about your experience. Don’t tell me about your certifications. I’ll pause there and then so I don’t soapbox too much. But Sally, Matt, Mike, any anything to add to that?

    Sally McDonald  44:42

    Mike, I mean, or bill I mean, I started as RTE before I got our became an SPC. So it’s very hard for me to imagine. You know, go into the class taking the test, becoming an SPC and not Having the experience for me it it made taking the test and go into the class all that much better because I had already kind of lived in SAFe before. So it’s very hard for me to imagine, you know, becoming an SPC with no experience and, and how I could on my own, kind of run with that. So, you know, I think Matt was SPC prior to maybe being RTE. So he might have a better answer to than me.

    Phil Gardiner  45:28

    thank Matt, you’re you’re on mute sir.

    Matt Davis  45:37

    I spent the first 10-15 years of my my career as an engineer in engineering management, and then I did Product Management for a few years as well. And I have to say that that experience is extremely beneficial. So that the team see me as a person who understands their perspective, product management, maybe that’s so much of science, but as much out there, but but it’s really helped me to put myself in their shoes to see where they’re coming from and what their needs or desires or wants are. So I wouldn’t say it’s required, I would say it’s very helpful.

    Michael Robertson  46:11

    It’s funny, because I, I’ve had this conversation about five times in the last two weeks for some reason. And I guess my comments would be, there is no, perfect RTE, there is no perfect SPC. We all bring a different skill set and experience to the table. And I’ve seen SPCs Sally’s aware of one that has no technical experience, but is extremely successful and implement implementing transformation in an organization. At the same time, just like Matt said, sometimes it makes it easier when you’re having conversations with teams to understand what their challenges are. That’s, you know, that helps me out a bit. But I think for me, the biggest things are mindset, like Are you are you? Do you really have a growth mindset? Are you really a lifetime learner? Are you really the kind of person who is a servant leader in your heart? That is a big requirement as an AR t, because a lot of times it’s team first, right? You’re not doing it for you, you’re not doing it for certain individuals, you’re doing it for the benefit of the art. And to me, if you’ve got those things in mind, and then I think you’re in a good place.

    Phil Gardiner  47:26

    And on that note, right? It’s it is that mindset, right? So, you know, there’s a difference between somebody who, like, I’ll tell you, when I interview somebody for a consulting role, I asked them, How many transformations have you led? Right? And if I hear 789, it’s a red flag for me. Because you know, right, you know, I think as Sally said, we’re helping Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, but it’s their transformation, not ours. Right. Angie Smith, and Sally and others at Arkansas are leading their own transformation. And so just understand that that part of the role of the SPC is joining someone on their journey. And you’ve got life experiences, right? Whether you’ve been a chief of staff, for a seat for a C suite officer, or you’ve you’ve been a product manager or technical person, right, those life experiences really help you as you go. I’m gonna go on to the next question here. Let’s see here. And yeah, by the way, I will share the webinar series link is a playlist on YouTube now. So I’ll, I’ll get that out in just a few minutes. So one of the most difficult things for Agile is to do is show the true value to their leadership of what they bring. It’s easy for a developer to show what value they represent. What’s your recommendation to have your value as an RTE, the organization recognized?

    Michael Robertson  48:40

    Oh, Matt, Matt already answered this one didn’t you Matt?

    Matt Davis  48:44

    The How to show your value and success?

    Michael Robertson  48:48

    Yeah, you’re an outcome focused?

    Matt Davis  48:51

    Yes, that’s that’s what it is. It’s so you know, obviously, correlation is not causation. You know, if you can start showing a trend of you know, we’re delivering more, we’re delivering more value, you know, not just points, but we’re actually delivering more business value to our customers, our QA backlog has decreased, you know, any number of things that you can show that will give you some some metrics that show the impact that you’re having, but you also have to remember the end of the day. It’s, it’s, it’s a shared impact, right? You’re saying things you’re helping coach, but they’re the ones actually doing it. And I think the best feedback for me is when I hear from, you know, my boss, or someone else that says, our engineers feel really protected, because our business managers are coming to me and saying, I’m getting what I want. I understand the process now. And those are the types of feedback to me that I’m like, that’s, that’s my value. There it is. Rather than the metrics, the metrics are good, but I really liked that feedback from the people inside the train.

    Phil Gardiner  49:48

    Is it I’ll throw a thought here. Explain the role of the RTE and why you need it can be tough and I you’ve actually kind of stumped me there because I don’t have a great getting answers to this, all I can tell you is that when you have a great RTE, you know it, and you appreciate it, it’s one of those things where it seems amorphous at first, but when that person goes on vacation, or takes a day off, the whole train feels it. And it’s, it’s, uh, you’ve given me a good good food for thought on how do you actually quantify the value of an ART? And I’ll, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll noodle on that one. You know, we do have another question here, in the context of an ART, can you please share some insight on measuring success and celebrating success? I know, we’ve talked a little bit about some of the metrics there. You know, I know Sally, you talked about flow. And I know that your company is looking at how do you measure flow? And Matt, you mentioned outcomes? What are some of those things when it comes to success? And how do you celebrate it.

    Sally McDonald  50:56

    So I think what comes to mind, for me is, is those metrics, and we usually review those kind of as an art and with our business owners in our inspect and adapt. So you know, proving that we are predictable, that we are delivering what we agreed upon. And what we talked about in PI planning, that’s a big metric for me, and for our art is making sure that we are predictable, and that we’re able to deliver what we committed to. But also, that we’re consistent, you know, Matt mentioned that that backlog is decreasing or getting worked out. You know, but really, we celebrate success, and that ima and then also the team level in every review and retrospective, just looking back at all the work, the hard work that we completed. But for I guess, for the RTE, my success is really the art success. So seeing them meet their goals and objectives means that I’m unhappy and that I feel successful. So it’s not really about my individual success. It’s more about the art.

    Phil Gardiner  52:03

    I’m gonna, I’m gonna pull that thread a little bit with with metrics real quick. We have a question here best measures that the business owners like? So, you know, what are those? What are those metrics that you that you find that the business owners really like to look at?

    Sally McDonald  52:23

    Go ahead, Matt.

    Matt Davis  52:26

    Short, sweet, it’s the one sir performance reviews are based off. So it’s, it’s did I increase CSAT by five points this quarter, right? Those are the ones that, you know, they go, they don’t care that you produce 1200 points at a quarter, they only care that the you produce the thing that got that raise my business metric, and to where I got a bonus this year. Right? That’s, that’s the thing that they want to see the

    Phil Gardiner  52:47

    outcomes they’re measured on. Right? And, and, and share those with, you share those with the art, right? I mean, you know, letting the art know, hey, here’s some of the KPIs or the the, you know, objectives and key results that were being measured out as an agile release, train. And oftentimes those the same ones you’ll see on the business side, Sally, Mike, anything to add?

    Sally McDonald  53:11

    I’d say, if your business owners are engaged and they’re prioritizing your work appropriately, then that should be reflected in your PI objectives. And when you see that percentage of high pi objectives being completed, then that’s what your business owners want to see. So as long as they’re engaged in and help them with that prioritization, and these teams are, you know, setting their pi objectives appropriately, then that that’s probably what the business owners want to see is electability.

    Michael Robertson  53:40

    Yeah. And just quickly to add on to that kind of extending what Matt was saying, talk to your business owner, find out from them. What matters to you? Like, what, what do you really see as the challenges and and what are those things? You know, and a lot of times I’ll like these one on one conversations for this, because they may not be quite as open in a in a bigger form. But what matters to you? How can we make those things better? And trying to understand how you could get some feedback on that and measure progress towards it would be would be golden. Got I

    Phil Gardiner  54:19

    only got a couple of minutes left. We got lots of questions. I’ll tell you this. If we don’t answer your question live,

    Sally McDonald  54:24

    I will.

    Phil Gardiner  54:26

    I will get that out there. And we’ll post it on the on the website with some answers. But really quickly, some of these questions are kind of this theme around kind of the RTE and in different roles. So one of them is RTE versus program manager. So if your art has a program manager, you know you still have that traditional PMO how do you align that role between RTE and program manager Have you had that where you’ve got a you know a program manager Sometimes organizations All, sadly my opinion sometimes a CTO will say, gosh, you know, we need to get a handle on delivery. So we’re going to put an organization in between the business and our delivery. And everything goes through them, because they’ll give us status. How does the RTE work with that? I see Matt laughing. I think that may have just happened to you over the last six months or a year? Absolutely. I think the question needs to be asked, What

    Matt Davis  55:26

    are you not getting? Right? What what, what was the impetus for you to put this organization here and staff and if you’re gonna spend a whole bunch of money, you’re gonna ramp a whole bunch of people up? What is it that you’re not getting that we could provide for you? That is that is causing this to happen? And getting the answer to that, I think it’s the most important thing, in terms of the difference between the program manager and the party, the party doesn’t have an agenda. Program Manager does, right? The the only agenda the RTE person has is to have a great bi planning, make sure it’s an achievable plan, make sure you know what the the outcomes are to facilitate the events. But you’re not going in saying we have to get feature a done by the end of this quarter and RPI. And a program manager is more along those lines, right? They have a vested interest, whereas you’re more agnostic as RTE.

    Phil Gardiner  56:14

    You may have to if you have them yet to form partnership with them. Um, what about when you’re filling this role of Rte? Have you considered teaching as well? So you’re an SPC and and RT, you teach classes? Have you taught classes?

    Sally McDonald  56:30

    I’m teaching my first class. I think it’s next week. In the next two weeks, I’ll be teaching my first class. So yes, I think, you know, as SPC and RTE I’m, I’m helping scale SAFe across the organization. And so I’m also helping to teach others.

    Phil Gardiner  56:47

    Yeah. And as an RTE, who teaches you’re going to learn something new in those classes. So are you teaching by yourself? You’re gonna pair up with somebody who’s taught before? What’s your

    Sally McDonald  56:56

    I’m pairing up with another SPC that has taught before? Oh, yeah. Awesome.

    Phil Gardiner  57:03

    All right, a couple other ones here. So in my company, we have a dedicated RT and a dedicated SPC. How do the SPC and RT work together day to day? You know, we have one RT, RT 100 plus people are SPC is also the Agile coach of our development department. That’s an interesting situation, when you’ve got you’ve got well on the SPC and the coach, and you’re just the RTE. Right. I don’t know if that’s what they’re trying to say. But I’ve seen that play out before. You know, I’ve heard Matt refer to himself as a coach. I’ve heard Mike, in past conversations referred himself as a coach, you know, at your company. Sadly, there’s not a you don’t have dedicated as PCs that that just are SPCs. Any thoughts on how you might work? If you had that situation where there’s somebody who, you know, my role is SPC, your role is our t? How do we work together? What are your thoughts on that?

    Matt Davis  58:04

    I can’t say I’ve seen that before, Phil. So in the place I’ve worked at SPC was not a job. It’s everyone. You know, everyone has a job. But then you are SPCs, incidentally, rather than that, so I don’t have a ton of insight on that. But I would say that, you know, once again, partnership is the best way to move forward there. It’s what are the things that are going to make you successful? What are you being judged on? How do we get together to make sure that we’re doing the things that are the best for the team? And how do you know are the expectations that have been set for us best align?

    Phil Gardiner  58:41

    So we’re at our time box, I, we’ve got five questions that are left in chat, I will take responsibility to work with our panel here to get you answers to those. I will tell you that we have an upcoming episode. I don’t have a date for it yet, but I’m an SPC and a project manager. And so I think some of the whole idea of program project management. I think that that might be an interesting episode, I’ve got two people in mind. One is a program manager, one’s a project manager that are also SPCs. And they had the program or project management’s their day job. So we’ll talk about that in the future. Just want to say thank you very much, everybody. Next time around. We’ve got a couple of guests in the June episode. I’m an SPC and a mentor with Dr. Steve maner. And Joe villone, Joe leads the safe experts program for Scaled Agile, and Dr. Steve Maynard is the methodologist and part of the framework team. After that we’ve got an SPC and a veteran, this idea of leveraging your experience serving our country to start a new career as as a change agent and SPC. So thank you much, everybody, and we’ll see you next time.

    Don’t Miss the next episode in the SPC Journey Series: I’m an SPC and an RTE | Recording 

    Phil Gardiner

    As leader of Applied Frameworks’ SAFe Practice, Phil is responsible for large-scale transformations and guiding change agents as they learn to apply the Scaled Agile Framework. Phil has served as a leader, coach, and consultant at some of the world’s largest companies as well as government organizations such as the US Department of Defense. Prior to becoming a consultant in 2015, Phil spent sixteen years at AT&T as a leader and internal change agent, working to bring products and services to market faster through the use of technology and Lean-Agile methodologies. Phil is a SAFe Fellow, and a Certified SAFe Program Consultant Trainer® (SPCT), one of less than 100 people who hold this certification globally. He is an active collaborator within the Scaled Agile Community and is cited as a subject matter expert in a variety of topics including Lean Portfolio Management and Agile Product Management. In addition to his SAFe expertise, Phil is an agile coach with experience in a variety of other Lean-Agile methodologies and approaches.