PI Planning

Establish effective communication flows during PI Planning sessions

Host successful PI Planning sessions as cadence-based events during which you’ll align everybody from the Agile Release Train (ART) with a shared mission.

What is PI Planning?

The Scaled Agile Framework defines Product Increment Planning as a periodic meeting of ART members where the product’s shared vision and mission are discussed and its next iteration is planned.

What is PI Planning?

PI Planning is generally a two-day workshop with a detailed structure of consecutive sessions. The inputs to PI Planning are the business context, roadmap, vision for the product or solution, and up to ten main features to be delivered in the next product increment.

During the meeting, members of each product team agree on their tasks, assess their capabilities, discuss dependencies, and decide what part of the work they will be able to finish in the time unit under discussion (generally 3-4 consecutive months).

The workshop’s outputs define the goals that ART members are committing to achieve, delivery schedule, dependencies between teams, and significant milestones.

Why Whiteboards should be your first choice when hosting a PI Planning session

Bring product and engineering teams together

Invite team members, project owners, and stakeholders to your remote PI Planning session. Use Whiteboards to visualize your work on sticky notes, power tables, or Kanban boards.

Clarify company and team goals

Ensure all teams are aligned with your vision. Put customers’ needs at the forefront and find out how to fill those needs. Do proper market research to see how to follow the trends and apply customer feedback.

Create a draft of the work

Start your work by bringing all components together in one place. Manage your documentation and allow your product and engineering team to review it easily. Add Jira cards to organize the work and spot dependencies between teams.

Popularize face-to-face communication

Promote direct conversations between stakeholders and team members with the help of audio and video calls. Talk about the overall goals, objectives, and mission with your partners to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Align everybody on business goals

Shared goals are a foundation of excellent team efforts, so set clear goals and ensure everyone on the product team will work towards them. Make your PI Planning board accessible to all team members at any given moment.

Boost productivity among team members

Foster cross-team collaboration and promote task alignment. Regularly groom the backlog and set clear deadlines. Communicate and sync via virtual boards to stay focused on your goals and improve productivity levels.

Useful features for your next PI
Planning event on Whiteboards

Guest access

Invite team members, project owners, and stakeholders to your board to cooperate together on a virtual PI Planning board.

Audio and video chat

Run video discussions with your guests to elaborate on essential matters in real time.

Jira integration

Use the deep Jira integration to import and export tasks in a much more pleasant, visual way.

Import and update zones

Bring your work items to a virtual whiteboard and update them with only a few clicks to keep your work always up to date.

Card table

Organize your tasks into columns or swimlanes to know what your team works on at a glance.

Guest access

Invite team members, project owners, and stakeholders to your board to cooperate together on a virtual PI Planning board.

Audio and video chat

Run video discussions with your guests to elaborate on essential matters in real time.

Jira integration

Use the deep Jira integration to import and export tasks in a much more pleasant, visual way.

Import and update zones

Bring your work items to a virtual whiteboard and update them with only a few clicks to keep your work always up to date.

Card table

Organize your tasks into columns or swimlanes to know what your team works on at a glance.

Best practices for a successful
PI Planning event

Prepare resources ahead of time

Make your resources easy to find, comment on, or refer to. Prepare a brief agenda of your PI Planning session, a bulleted list of all planned activities, and communication channels.

Allow time for discussions

Coordinate PI Planning events with product owners or scrum masters. Ensure the event’s flow is not distracted and everyone naturally follows the agenda. Give all teams great clarity and a sense of direction.

Resolve, own, accept and mitigate (ROAM) the risks

Use the ROAM method to look at the risks your team identifies. Review those risks and categorize them with release train engineers and scrum masters. Place them on sticky notes or track them on a Kanban board.

Use great tools for a successful PI Planning event

Ensure successful PI Planning events with a skilled product and engineering team, thorough preparation, and a seamless app. Use Whiteboards that can serve as a free-form collaboration tool when traveling is not an option.

What is the ultimate goal of the PI Planning event

PI Planning event goal

PI Planning is a crucial part of the Scaled Agile Framework, short SAFe, a framework designed to introduce Agile to large organizations with multiple teams. It helps Agile Release Train (ART) teams synchronize, cooperate, and align on their goals, workflows, or releases.

Without PI Planning, the communication between the teams is disrupted and, in many cases, non-existent. Such oversight might lead to unawareness among employees who don’t know what their colleagues from other departments are currently working on. The teams might work on different projects without realizing a dependency between their tasks that could hold up the launch of a new feature or require a significant rework of the already written code.

At this point, the PI Planning session aligns all teams strategically and enables cross-team collaboration to avoid potential problems. The routine of working in silos with little or no communication until an issue arises finally fades away, and team members can be in alignment with a shared vision for the company. PI Planning opens different doors for communication amongst various teams and imposes an agreement on the business’s direction. PI Planning also aims to create ART that aligns planning, risks, visions, and dependencies. This helps all individuals to focus on flexible development and the release of new features.

And while we’re on the topic of quick and flexible releases, PI Planning helps to plan and update product roadmaps smoothly while also keeping in mind that all goals and objectives should be SMART. Following the acronym, they should be very specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.

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