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Agile Program Management, Enterprise Agile Planning, Virtual Teams

Virtual PI Planning: Learnings and Best Practices from the Team [Videos]

Published By Leyna O’Quinn

In my last blog, Agile Transformation: Mid-Range Planning Videos, I shared videos from the team about Planview’s Agile transformation and PI planning journey. Like so many other businesses around the globe, we are adjusting to this new remote world.  As the business world continues to grapple with unprecedented change – it’s important to adapt to keep the business running to maintain growth. In that spirit, we shifted from in person, PI planning to virtual PI planning – completely remote with our three go-to-market teams (GTM), shared services teams, and executives. In fact, we felt this information was so relevant to today’s businesses that we conducted a short webcast titled, “We survived PI planning. So can you!” You can also read Emily Peterson’s guest post on Scaled Agile blog titled: How we executed a Successful virtual PI planning. It provides an excellent summary our experience.

This blog features a compilation of video snippets from panelist representing the different roles responsible for supporting pre, during, and post event.  And, if you’re looking for a tangible guide to virtual PI planning, make sure to read the newly published “Essential Checklist: How to do virtual PI planning”. It provides info on preparation, coordination, and the technology to get you there.

We hope you find this video compilation helpful as you navigate your virtual PI planning endeavor.

As a coach, how do you prepare for a virtual PI planning event?

Steve Wolfe, Agile Coach at Peak Agility discusses how he and the team prepared for virtual PI planning including technology, communication plan, agenda, and pre-recordings.

Video: As a coach, how do you prepare for a virtual PI planning event?

As a product owner, how do you get your team ready for virtual PI planning?

Brook Appelbaum shares her insights as to how she gets her team ready for virtual PI planning. She shares how steering plays in integral part in process as well as how the virtual Lean Portfolio Management meetings help all the GTM leaders understand the current state of the business so they can make better planning decisions.

Video: As a product owner, how do you get your team ready for virtual PI planning?

As a Scrum Master, how do you prep and contribute to virtual PI planning?

Leyna O’Quinn, certified Scrum Master and content strategist on the GTM team and explains how she prepared and contributed to virtual PI planning by encouraging teams to finish work, review Lean metrics to identify areas of improvement, and schedule important Agile ceremonies including the final retrospective and pre-planning brainstorming.

Video: As Scrum Master, how did you prep and contribute to virtual PI planning?

What is virtual PI Planning like for the EMEA team?

Verena Bergfors, Head of EMEA Marketing shares what virtual PI planning has been like for the EMEA team.

Video: What is virtual PI planning like for the EMEA team?

As a coach, what technology do you recommend for virtual PI planning?

Steve Wolfe, Agile coach shares how Planview AgilePlace is a best in class enterprise Kanban system and what he liked about it.

Video: As a coach, what technology do you recommend to support virtual PI planning?

What are some top learnings doing virtual PI planning?

Cameron van Orman, CMO shares some of the top learning doing virtual PI planning including preparation, clear objectives and roles, virtual collaboration, strong leadership presence and more.

Video: What are some of your top learnings doing virtual PI planning?

Top 5 Learnings and Best Practices

  1. Prepare thoroughly. Focus on vision, context, and programs during preparation to create the guardrails that help define plans but resist the urge to go too far into tasks and items before the event.
  2. Create a visual collaboration space. Technology is critical. Leverage digital Kanban like Planview AgilePlace to replace whiteboards and sticky notes and enhance collaboration.
  3. Utilize cross-team breakouts. Breakouts help to segment the work. People saw tactical benefits to greater empathy for their colleagues.
  4. Engage your executives. Executive leadership is critical and demonstrated commitment to the process and the people involved in PI Planning. Virtual PI planning allowed execs to be engaged but unobtrusive.
  5. Respect your team’s humanness. Think about the experience you want to create and be intentional. From the four-day structure to breaks to mitigating Zoom fatigue to greater inclusion of global teams.

As coach Steve mentioned in the video, we use Planview AgilePlace, an Enterprise Kanban solution for virtual PI planning. It not only provides the visibility needed to do virtual PI planning, but you can also eliminate those sticky notes and do everything digitally, in one place.

Agile transformation is challenging. We know. We live it every day and we can help. No matter where you are in the process, we have solutions to help your business along the way.  Download the eBook, “Essential Checklist: How to do virtual PI planning” to get started.

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Written by Leyna O’Quinn Sr. Content Strategist

Leyna O’Quinn is a Certified Scrum Master and Certified SAFe Agilist. She has been managing the Planview blog strategy for more than 7 years. She writes about portfolio and resource management, Lean and Agile delivery, project collaboration, innovation management, and enterprise architecture. She has more than 15 years of experience writing about technology, industry trends, and best practices. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Marketing.