The response to COVID-19 is forcing organizations using the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) to change rapidly. Normal in-person planning events are quickly migrating to fully virtual interactions for the foreseeable future. This shift presents unprecedented pressure to create and iterate on successful strategies. Companies that amplify the creativity and skills of their teams and leaders will survive and ultimately thrive. Practitioners who embrace the “show must go on” mentality are creating new rhythms and skills to enable teams to test, adapt and operationalize Remote SAFe.  

Moving forward with virtual planning events is vitally important because companies prepared for the steep recovery will be best positioned to lead markets long into the future. Delaying planning activities, such as PI Planning, will negatively impact the ability of businesses to recover and maintain their competitive positioning.

Companies must be realistic. Fully remote PI Planning is a paradigm different than in-person or partially distributed approaches.

  • Coordination within teams is disrupted, which means refinement and preparation takes longer and is arguably as important as the PI planning event itself.
  • Virtual tools and collaboration spaces add an additional level of complexity to logistics preparation. 
  • Spontaneous communication between teams and leaders during PI Planning is more difficult and, despite technology, relies more heavily on skilled Release Train Engineers (RTE), effective ScrumMasters and prepared Product Owners.

Solutions for Remote PI Planning

To overcome these challenges, there are four elements of focus when preparing for remote PI Planning:

  1. Thoughtful advanced scheduling and planning to ensure smooth collaboration
  2. An extended preparation and event timeline for fully remote team preparation
  3. Added logistics and coordination for effective remote facilitation
  4. Virtual collaboration tools to facilitate remote interaction

Upcoming Free Webinars on Remote PI Planning

Remote PI Planning Webinar

We have two upcoming webinars where our experts will share their experiences in executing smooth and effective PI Planning:

April 9, 2020 – Kim Poremski will discuss how preparation activities and timeline for Product Managers, Product Owners, and teams must evolve to best accommodate fully remote PI Planning.

April 14, 2020 – John Mulligan will review his experience facilitating fully remote PI Planning as an RTE and share insights that RTEs and Scrum Masters will need to consider in planning and executing their own PI Planning events. 

Learn More