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The PI Planning Roadmap: The SAFe PI Planning Process

Updated: Feb 29

The SAFe PI Planning Process from 5 weeks out up to the PI Planning boundary is outlined below.

PI Planning checklist to success
PI Planning roadmap to success

The SAFe PI Planning Process from 5 weeks out

5 Weeks to PI Planning

  • Lean Business cases & Epic Hypothesis communicated (new work) and evaluated (existing work)

  • Solution Management and Portfolio Management aligns on next priorities and socialize with Product Management (PM)

  • Solution Roadmaps are updated & socialized with PM

  • Continuous Exploration workshops conducted to build out features

  • WSJF updated by PM community (PM, Solution Management, Architects, PO’s, SMEs, Agile Team reps., RTEs etc.)

  • ART Vision & Roadmap updated

  • Socialization of Vision, Roadmaps and Features with the ARTs

  • Estimates updated as team refinements pan out

4 Weeks to PI Planning

  • Product Manager Align on the Vision

  • ART Roadmaps are updated based on Solution Roadmaps

  • Personas are associated with features

  • Top features are identified (or created) with Benefit Hypothesis and Acceptance Criteria

  • Features are sized with PMs, Architects, Team leads, SMEs etc. calculate and align on Capacity Allocation

  • Understand what features might slip into next PI

3 Weeks to PI Planning

  • Feature WSJF weighted and sequenced in Program backlog

  • Features are high level estimated

  • Architects update and socialize their Architectural Runway Roadmap

  • Product Mangers and Architects meet on Enabler Features and their WSJF

  • Re-sequence Backlog

  • Ideation / Inception Design Workshops to understand and decompose work to feed team backlogs

  • Feature Acceptance criteria is solid

2 Weeks to PI Planning

  • Features are understood and socialized with Agile Teams

  • Feature requester / Business Owner / PM describes why the feature is prioritized

  • Aligns teams on the benefit hypothesis and the acceptance criteria

  • Where incomplete, PM works with teams and stakeholders to augment them

  • Teams start slicing user stories from the features and populates the team backlogs

  • Teams refine the user stories and enabler stories with acceptance criteria and story points

  • Product Owner and team ensures they prioritize work across the spectrum of the capacity allocation model

1 Week to PI Planning

  • Teams have a good grasp on the user stories to be completed in next PI

  • Continuous refinement on the team backlog for next PI is in full motion

  • Discussions with other teams regarding user story clarity and dependencies (knowledge/skill/technical/build) takes place and is recorded in ADO to solidify the plan

  • User stories are estimated and meets the team’s definition of ready

  • Scrum Master and Team reviews the Team’s metrics and calculates the average velocity for the next iterations / PI

  • Capacity Allocation model is updated if required for upcoming PI

Week of PI Planning

  • Ensure current PI Objectives have their Actual Business Value set by Business Owners

  • Teams participate in Inspect and Adapt (I&A)

  • Scrum Master and Product Owner records the improvement items in the backlog for execution in upcoming PI (with size, acceptance criteria/ outcome on stories)

  • Improvement work earmarked for next PI is linked to Improvement feature on ART and Tagged “Continuous Improvement” item

  • Scrum Masters prepare metrics for current PI and publishes it on Dashboards

  • Scrum Master ensures next PI dashboards are ready for next PI

  • Scrum Master ensures team backlog and next iterations are ready in next PI (in ADO) and works with PO and team to evolve the plan

  • Definition of Done updated for next PI based on current PI learning

  • Closing current iteration, PI Objectives, Iteration Goals

  • Participate in PI Planning

After PI Planning

  • Capture all work in ADO with size of work

  • Link all work according to ADO standards

  • Ensure all PI Objectives have Business Value planned after discussing with Business Owners

  • Program Board updated with feature cards and dependencies

  • Ensure dependencies reflect in all affected teams

  • Risks are captured in ADO with all relevant fields updated (ROAM, Level, Owner (if known), etc.)

  • Agile teams perform their Iteration Planning and teams commit to their first iteration’s delivery

What's Next?

  • Join one of our SAFe courses to learn more about the PI Planning process.

  • Join our Newsletter by subscribing here.


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