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Project Manager vs Release Train Engineer: Major Differences

17th May, 2024
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    Project Manager vs Release Train Engineer: Major Differences

    A Release Train Engineer or RTE is a term for someone who acts as a trainer and servant leader for the Agile Release Train or the ART, which can be termed as an insistent tactic helping teams to carry assessment to the customers, quicker than average, regarding software development and project management. In the approach of agile project management, the team functions on smaller but consumable augmentations. In other words, it’s self-organization that consigns, plans, and implements as a team. An ART is the central assessment deliverance raised in the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). To understand more about Scaled Agile Framework, it is necessary to study a SAFe release train engineer course so that Lean-Agile Knowledge and tools to implement and release can be done efficiently.

    A Release Train Engineer is responsible for smoothing the progress of ART procedure and implementation. The RTE plays a vital role in helping to manage the risk, ensures value deliverance, and makes an effort of incessant enhancement. The RTE is supposed to have a more sophisticated and comprehensive awareness of the contributions of Agile and SAFe to the success of the organization. Value-focused qualities and agile principles as described in SAFe are required to qualify as an enhanced RTE. 

    The project manager's position, on the other hand, is a more generic term and has evolved over time as more companies implement Lean-Agile theories and values. A project manager is also supposed to understand and collectively make his team productive and dynamic, which is mandatory for companies.

    Who is a Project Manager?

    A Project Manager is supposed to coordinate and plan with the team to implement decisions related to the projects while maintaining budgetary limits and timeframes. The role of a Project Manager is responsible for leading teams, meeting said targets, communicating with the stakeholders, and completing the project successfully to its completion. The project manager is accountable for the project's success or failure, whether it's executing a marketing strategy, designing a web network, or introducing a new product. In almost all major businesses, a project manager is a necessary designation to oversee the projects and completion of the projects.

    Who is a Release Train Engineer (RTE)?

    A release train engineer (RTE) is someone who promotes program-level protocols and implementation, accelerates ongoing growth, monitors risks, and resolves obstructions for a Scaled Agile Framework. An RTE also serves as a full-time chief scrum master (SAFe). An RTE also serves as a full-time chief scrum master (SAFe). SAFe stands for Scaling Agile and Lean Software Development. It is a combination of organizations and workflow principles designed while keeping the goal of scaling Lean and Agile software development processes in mind. A Release Train Engineer is a servant leader who works for a corporation and concentrates on assisting project teams and agile release trains (ARTs). It is necessary for a RTE to be familiar with Agile management, thus courses like Agile management certification courses not only help with getting a valid certification for the role of an RTE, but also familiarizing with the basic requirements needed to become a release train engineer in an organization.

    Release Train Engineers are vital to organizations as they coerce ART procedures while helping management teams with value deliverance. Also, they aid in the overall development while helping in managing the risk, monitoring hindrances, and communicating with the stakeholders.

    Difference between Project Manager and Release Train Engineer

    A Project Manager and Release Train Engineer are two related designations. A Project Manager concentrates on the implementation of projects while keeping timeframes, budgets, and frameworks in mind. A project manager is supposed to prepare for the project and organize it, supervise and monitor the projects while also communicating with the team and the associates.

    There are similarities as well as slight differences between a project manager and a release train engineer. They both tackle risk, problems, reliance, quality assurance, and managing timeframes. They also manage people, associates, teams, and cost or budgets. However, a release train engineer vs project manager is much more than these responsibilities.

    Let’s take this for an instance- A project manager is in charge of scheduling and handling possibility or alteration management. An RTE does not have these abilities. A release train engineer is in charge of program increment planning, program scrums, release train organization, assessment and revision needs, and program augmentation showcases; whereas project managers are not supposed to tackle these issues.

    The Project Manager is more determined on planning and coordinating operations and teams, whereas the Release Train Engineer is responsible for coaching, developing, and strengthening all employees, teams, and the workplace.

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    A Release Train Engineer is someone who owns the organizational skills to perform their roles, however, they still need to learn and adopt Lean-Agile Mindsets. They may need to transition from directing and managing activities to acting as a servant leader. Also, an RTE is the one who assists the implementation of the process. They help in slowing and managing risk while making sure the value, delivery, and enhancement of the organization are still intact. A few essential courses at KnowledgeHut’s SAFe release train engineer course help in achieving the desired role of a Release Train Engineer as it helps in configuring SAFe to the basic requirements of an organization while standardizing and documenting practices. A Project Manager is someone who oversees an entire project with the team while focusing on the budget, timeframe, and framework of the process.

    In short, the project manager is focused on preparation and organizing the teams and projects while the release train engineer is focused on mentoring, coaching, nourishing, and recuperating all workers, teams, and the workplace.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What are the roles and responsibilities of a Release Train Engineer?

    Some of the basic roles and responsibilities of RTE include easing the processes and occasions of the agile release train while helping the teams with value deliverance. They are supposed to communicate with the stakeholders and associates, supervise the risks, and enhance and increase the obstructions.

    2Is a project manager better than a release train engineer?

    The roles of Project Manager and Release Train Engineer are mostly similar to some extent, but they are different as well. While a project manager oversees the whole project and makes crucial budgetary decisions and communications with the stakeholders, the RTE is in charge of monitoring the risks, coaching and training the team, developing the work environment, and motivating the employees. A Project Manager is not good or better than a release train engineer as the former needs to be trained to be a Servant Leader, which an RTE already is. Thus, these two roles go along side by side to ensure profitable outcomes for an organization.

    3Can the Project Manager make a good RTE?

    A Project Manager’s role is a highly skilled role with vigorous training and experience. And now the field is welcoming various adaptations with the arrival of agile practices by several organizations. But if a project manager has to make a good RTE, he will have to go through another vigorous training as a release training engineer. A project manager might be a good release training engineer, but it all subjective as not every RTE could make a good Project Manager. These two are similar, yet very distinguished roles as they both require intense training and adaptation.

    4What are the roles and responsibilities of a Project Manager?

    The key roles and responsibilities of a Project manager are-

    • Action and reserve Planning
    • Organizing and encouraging a team 
    • Calculating time management 
    • Estimating and developing the budget 
    • Ensuring value and satisfaction of the customers 
    • Scrutinize and manage project jeopardy 
    • Supervise advancement 
    • Managing information and necessary credentials.

    Lindy Quick

    Blog Author

    Lindy Quick, SPCT, is a dynamic Transformation Architect and Senior Business Agility Consultant with a proven track record of success in driving agile transformations. With expertise in multiple agile frameworks, including SAFe, Scrum, and Kanban, Lindy has led impactful transformations across diverse industries such as manufacturing, defense, insurance/financial, and federal government. Lindy's exceptional communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills have earned her a reputation as a trusted advisor. Currently associated with KnowledgeHut and upGrad, Lindy fosters Lean-Agile principles and mindset through coaching, training, and successful execution of transformations. With a passion for effective value delivery, Lindy is a sought-after expert in the field.

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