How can Shared Services team members––such as security, infrastructure, and end user training––effectively participate in Program Increment (PI) Planning? I’ve developed the following tips over the past 7 years of helping people adopt the The Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe). I usually share them online and with colorful handouts.
This is the final installment in a 3-Part Series on applying empiricism in the time of COVID-19 and using hypothesis-driven approaches to adapting to SAFe® and agile practices in the remote world.
For the conclusion of this series, I will apply lessons learned and use the proven After-Action Review method. Developed by the military and widely adopted by many industries, an After-Action Review is a structured review process for evaluating:
- What we intended to accomplish
- What happened
- Why it happened and what was learned
- How to improve moving forward
The following is a 3-part series on supporting Scaled Agile Release Trains and Agile Teams in the new 100% remote environment we live in.
In my first post, I outlined 4 Enablement Actions that prepared the organization I am supporting to be successful in a 100% remote set of ceremonies associated with the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe). I also outlined the decision-making background and provided some details around my Agile Release Train (ART) and my Release Train Engineer (RTE). In Part 2, I provide some additional preparation details, as well as what went well and where there were challenges. Before we begin, I want to remind everyone of our hypothesis:
By having fun and enabling critical tooling so that our teams can conduct themselves as if they were ‘in the room/face to face,’ we can achieve a successful outcome from our Inspect & Adapt ceremony and maintain the 2.5 day cadence. By embracing empiricism, we could run a series of small, fun experiments, reinforce core Agile and Lean Principles, and prepare our teams to excel!
COVID-19 has been an unwelcome catalyst into fully remote teams, but making optimal use of technology to keep in lockstep with business agility is a powerful illustration of the agile mindset. Recently, a large financial services client pivoted in one week to a fully virtual SAFe® PI-Planning event with great success. ICON Coach Gillian Evans acted as Solution Train Engineer, and so we asked her some questions about what to consider in a virtual PI Planning.
Your first Program Increment (PI) Planning event is on the calendar, and you feel ready to kick-off your first Agile Release Train. It’s time to align the teams on their work for the next three months. No pressure here—PI Planning is only the most pivotal, face-to-face event in the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe).
Do you find that your teams and Business Owners have a hard time digesting PI Objectives, what they are and their purpose in PI Planning? Their PI Objectives can end up sounding more like features (“Add the green widget feature to the purchase screen”), and sometimes they are ignored entirely.
OK, you’re an RTE or an SPC in the IP iteration at the end of your PI. You’re getting ready to run the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) Inspect and Adapt (I&A) Workshop, and it seems a bit daunting. It’s big. It’s a bit complicated. It’s got lots of people. Maybe you’re wondering if it’s even worth it. Trust me, it is. And I promise that an I&A is easier than it seems.