PI planning

SAFe PI Planning and the PI time box

PI planning is a scaled version of Sprint planning. All the different teams and stakeholders come together to plan for the upcoming 8 – 12 weeks. Read below what Asian’s first SPCT Anand Murthy Raj has to say about this event. 



“I often get questions and concerns from the management on the concept of PI window and the PI planning event itself. Some comments I have heard are:


  1. Two day PI planning is not productive
  2. The concept of the whole PI and events within the PI is not required
  3. We can postpone the system demo and do it later in the PI (towards the IP Iteration)
  4. As long as we do team level retrospectives, we need not do the I&A event


I tried a numerous ways to help them understand the PI and the PI planning event, but could not convince them. Finally I used the Kotter’s change management principles and now they seem to be convinced.


1) Establish a sense of urgency
The business executive presenting the intent behind the PI planning is the act that will establish the sense of urgency. The business goals needs to established in a time box of PI window which will also establish the sense of urgency with respect to time.


2) Create a powerful guiding coalition
The RTE, PM, Business Owners, Sys Architect, teams and in short the whole ART is a powerful guiding coalition. The ART members have been removed from the silo politics and have a common objective to achieve.


3) Develop the vision and strategyPI plannin2
The PM will share the product vision and establish how to achieve the business objectives


4) Communicate the vision
The Business executive, RTE, PM, Sys architect and Business owners will all communicate the goal to the ART.


5) Empower employees for broad-based action
The teams are empowered to make decisions on what they can achieve how they design, Build and develop solutions. In the entire PI, the teams and PO will have content authority at the Team Backlog level, the PM has content authority at the Program level and teams are empowered to take Local decisions at the team level.


6) Generate short-term wins
Every team demo is a short win, every system demo is also a short term win.


7) Consolidate gains and produce more wins
Every system increment at the end of every PI and releasing on demand during the PI will consolidate gains, provide feedback and produce more wins.


8) Anchor new approaches in the culture
Teams reflect at the end of every iterations to make small improvements and reflect at the end of every PI to make a bigger improvement.


In short the whole PI is a change management model to deal with dynamic business needs. If you can accept Kotter’s Principles as a great Change management tool, then why not a SAFe PI planning?”

About the author – SAFe PI Planning and the PI time box

Anand Murthy Raj is associate partner at Gladwell Academy. He is the first certified SPCT (SAFe Program Consultant Trainer) in Asia and a leader with a vision to bring in great difference and excellence in the organization by multiplying business/value to achieve greater heights.

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