Agile Release Train
SAFe’s overview of the agile release train is worth reading. Release trains aren’t new, they been around for years in both agile and non-agile organisations. Release trains aid in a consistent push to production, and work around certain black-out dates when production can’t be touched e.g. Christmas, end of month etc. Sometimes certain train dates are also aligned to key business deliverables which although maybe anti-agile is some ways, are from a commercial perspective relevant.
One item that is often not well discussed around agile iterations is pre-iteration dependencies. Specifically these occur around interface boundaries, and the user interface (particularly if its complex). Complex interactions can clearly be broken into smaller stories, but sometimes there are dependencies and assets (business workflows etc) that maybe required in preparation prior to entering the development iteration.