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Tackle RTE Exhaustion

What you'll learn

  • Even with delegation, an RTE's workload can be overwhelming. Consider job sharing as a possible solution.
  • How Job Sharing can provide valuable backup and ensure a better work-life balance
  • Splitting responsibility means that you are not stretched too thin and can do a better job.

Welcome to the 4th video of the series “Tackle RTE Exhaustion: 6 real-life experiences with possible ways out”.  

In the last videos the takeaways where; scale together, delegate, delegate, delegate, and you're not alone in the company. In this video it’s all about “maybe you are not alone with your ART”? 

We have seen that the RTE job is a full-time job and more. This is for sure at the beginning of the ART journey. And it is not only stressful during PI Planning. It’s also stressful during the PI. 

You have to take care that after the PI Planning the PI itself is a success, so a lot of work to do with the ART and the teams on the current PI. Even if you have implemented all the take aways from the last videos. It’s a hard job. You have a long task list.  

And the next PI Planning is coming. When do you start the preparation for that? In the top 5 action items of a PI Planning retrospective you will mostly find the following point: “We should start the preparation of the next PI much earlier.” Deja vue?  

While running the current PI you’re preparing the next -- meaning you’re facilitating many events along the way over the ARTs Kanban. Together with the System Architect and the PMs. 

Sometimes it feels like you have no private life. You are the first in the office and the last in the evening. 

And vacations? After coming back you need extra long working days as the pile of work waiting for you is always huge. 

But who says you have to be alone?  

I can tell you. Job sharing is possible. An ART can have two part time RTEs! And that is the take away of this video. 

In the beginning of this video you have noticed that the RTE is working on two levels and in two time frames. You noticed that in the PI planning a deputy and a helping hand would be nice. Sounds like you can split the job, doesn’t it? 

Still puzzled? 

I can give you an example. Imagine two RTEs working part-time. They start the first PI together. One is in charge of the PI Planning the other has a supporting role. The supporting RTE feels the room better because he/she is not facilitating and can help if something is going off track. And if the RTE in charge is tired to do for instance the Risk ROAMing the backup RTE can jump in and moderate with fresh energy. 

After the PI planning the RTE who was in charge of the PI Planning is in charge of the current PI. The other RTE starts caring for the next PI; and so working closely with Scrum Masters, Team Coaches, Architects and Stakeholders like Business Owners. And with that being in charge of backlog preparation for the next PI Planning. 

The next PI Planning is organized by the RTE who prepared the ARTs Backlog. The other RTE is now the backup and the helping hand. And after the PI Planning they change their role. The RTE responsible for the PI planning cares for the PI while the other cares for preparation of the upcoming PI Planning. 

Cool Job sharing, isn’t it? 

And in case of illness or vacation you have a capable RTE available. 

No mountains of tasks waiting after the end of your vacation! 

Again the Take Away: An ART with 2 part-time RTEs is possible.  

So think about Job Sharing. 

I’m Niko Kaintantzis, SPCT and Systemic Coach with KEGON Switzerland. and I created this series to help you tackle the verry important topic: “RTE Exhaustion” and more important “ways out”.

About the course

The role of an RTE in managing matters related to the ART and SAFe Transformation is demanding, leaving them with little opportunity to take a break. Therefore, prioritizing their well-being is crucial to prevent overworking and potential burnout.




Beginner / Intermediate



Last Updated

April 3, 2023

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Ian J Franks

SAFe® 5 Program Consultant & RTE

Ian has a deep knowledge of Scrum, Kanban and Scaled Agile, and 30 years’ experience in international IT Transformation Programs. He is a successful PO, SM & RTE and as a Consultant/Trainer he coaches his clients develop a strong Agile Mindset that delivers real change and measurable improvements.


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