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We're Back in Europe and We Want You to Join Us!

"Apply cadence, synchronize with cross-domain planning." —SAFe Lean-Agile Principle #7 Are you ready to join us as we embark on an exciting journey in Europe? We have returned with renewed energy and a fresh perspective,...

We're Back in Europe

"Apply cadence, synchronize with cross-domain planning." —SAFe Lean-Agile Principle #7

Are you ready to join us as we embark on an exciting journey in Europe? We have returned with renewed energy and a fresh perspective, and we want you to be a part of it!

Pre- and Post-Program Increment (PI) Planning: A Key to Success

Pre- and post-PI planning events play a crucial role in preparing for and following up on Agile Release Train (ART) and Supplier planning within a Solution Train. These events bring together Agile Release Trains and Suppliers in large Development Value Streams to build a unified plan for the next PI. By aligning Solution development and providing direction and visibility, these events set the course for the trains in the Solution Train.

The benefits of pre- and post-PI planning are numerous. They promote open communication, synchronize ARTs with the Solution Train vision, identify dependencies, and foster cross-ART coordination. Additionally, they provide an opportunity for solution-level architecture and user experience guidance. By matching solution demand to ART capacities, these planning events ensure effective resource allocation and remove unnecessary work in process.

Pre- and Post-PI Planning Figure 1. Example Pre-PI Planning agenda

Inputs and Outputs: Setting the Stage for Success

To ensure the success of pre- and post-PI planning, certain inputs and outputs are essential. Inputs include the Solution Roadmap, vision, Solution Intent, and top Capabilities from the Solution Backlog. Attendees typically include Solution stakeholders, ART representatives, and other key stakeholders.

The outputs of these planning events are three primary artifacts. First, a set of specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound (SMART) PI objectives for the solution is developed. Second, a solution planning board is created to highlight capabilities, delivery dates, and milestones. Finally, a confidence vote is taken to commit to the solution PI objectives.

The Solution Demo: Gaining Context for Planning

Just as the System Demo is crucial for the ART, the solution demo plays a vital role in providing context for the Solution Train. It is a regular opportunity to evaluate the fully integrated solution and inform stakeholders about its progress, performance, and potential fitness for use. The insights from the demo become essential inputs for the pre- and post-PI planning events.

Get Ready for Pre- and Post-PI Planning

Preparing for pre- and post-PI planning requires coordination, communication, and content preparation. While the agendas and timelines may vary depending on the specific value streams, clear vision and involvement of the right stakeholders are crucial. The key activities include an executive briefing, solution vision briefings, and defining milestones.

Sample Solution Planning Board Figure 3. Example solution planning board

Set Planning Context in Pre-PI Planning

The pre-PI planning event sets the context for ARTs and suppliers to create their individual plans. The agenda typically includes PI summary reports to showcase previous accomplishments, business context and solution vision briefings, review of the solution backlog, and discussion of upcoming features.

Solution Stakeholders Participate in ART PI Planning

While the practical logistics may limit all solution stakeholders from participating in every ART PI planning session, it is crucial that key stakeholders are present. Solution Management, the Solution Train Engineer, and Solution Architect/Engineering play pivotal roles in these sessions. Suppliers and customers should also be represented to ensure successful ART PI planning.

Summarize Results in Post-PI Planning

The post-PI planning event synchronizes ARTs and creates the overall solution plan and roadmap. Participants review the complete solution-level plan, address risks, and vote on the confidence in meeting the solution's PI objectives. Adjustments to the plan may be necessary, and a retrospective of the planning sessions takes place to identify areas of improvement.

Create the Right Outcomes

A successful planning event delivers three primary outcomes. First, a set of SMART solution PI objectives is established, including uncommitted objectives for flexible capacity and scope management. Second, a solution planning board is created to highlight objectives, delivery dates, and milestones. Finally, a commitment is made based on the confidence vote for meeting the solution PI objectives.

Coordinating Solution Train and ART Planning Events

Coordinating all the necessary planning events for a Solution Train and its ARTs can be challenging. Careful sequencing of events ensures the presence of the right stakeholders at each planning session. Proper scheduling and logistics are key to the success of these planning activities.

Sample IP Calendar Figure 4. Example IP calendar for Solution Train and ARTs

Join us on this Exciting Journey!

We invite you to join us as we embark on this exciting journey in Europe. Together, we will leverage the power of pre- and post-PI planning events to align our Solution Train, synchronize ARTs, and create a roadmap for success. Let's build a unified plan and achieve our objectives. See you in Europe!

Last update: 10 February 2021