During PI Planning Who Owns Feature Priorities?

GoRetro Team
May 28, 2023
Posted on
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PI Planning, a timeboxed Scrum event, plays a crucial role in Agile development by aligning teams and setting the direction for a Program Increment. One important aspect of PI Planning is determining feature priorities. In this blog post, we'll explore the ownership of feature priorities during PI Planning and the advantages of empowering the right individuals or teams to make these decisions. So, let's dive in!

What is PI Planning?

Program Increment Planning (PI) Planning is a collaborative and timeboxed event in Agile frameworks like Scrum. It brings together multiple Scrum teams to synchronize their efforts and plan the work for the upcoming Program Increment. PI Planning typically spans one to two days and involves cross-functional teams, including product owners, scrum masters, and development teams.

During PI Planning, teams work together to define the objectives and priorities for the Program Increment. It provides a platform for discussing dependencies, addressing risks, and ensuring alignment across teams, ultimately enabling efficient and effective delivery of valuable software.

What are Feature Priorities?

In the context of PI Planning, feature priorities refer to the order in which features or user stories will be developed and delivered during the Program Increment. These priorities help guide the teams' focus, ensuring that the most valuable and impactful features are given higher precedence.

Feature priorities are determined based on various factors, including customer needs, market demands, business goals, and technical dependencies. By establishing clear priorities, teams can optimize their efforts, minimize waste, and deliver value in a strategic manner.

During PI Planning Who Owns Feature Priorities?

During PI Planning, feature priorities are typically owned and influenced by different stakeholders, primarily the product owners and business representatives. The product owner, being responsible for maximizing the value of the product, plays a central role in setting feature priorities.

Product owners collaborate closely with stakeholders, including customers, business leaders, and the development teams, to understand requirements, market dynamics, and strategic objectives. Based on these inputs, product owners make informed decisions about the order in which features should be addressed and prioritize them accordingly.

While product owners have a significant role in owning feature priorities, it's important to note that PI Planning is a collaborative process. The decisions around feature priorities should involve input and consensus from various stakeholders, including business representatives, development teams, and subject matter experts.

What are the Advantages of Product Owners Owning Feature Priorities?

Having product owners take ownership of feature priorities during PI Planning brings several advantages:

Alignment with Business Goals: Product owners are responsible for understanding the overall business strategy and translating it into actionable priorities. By owning feature priorities, they ensure that the development efforts align with the strategic objectives of the organization. This alignment helps drive business value and improves the chances of meeting customer needs.

Customer Focus: Product owners are the voice of the customer within the Agile development process. By owning feature priorities, they prioritize features based on customer needs, market demands, and feedback. This customer-centric approach ensures that the most valuable features are delivered early, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and market competitiveness.

Effective Resource Utilization: Owning feature priorities allows product owners to optimize resource allocation and maximize the return on investment. By prioritizing high-value features, they ensure that development teams focus their efforts on delivering the most impactful functionality. This helps avoid unnecessary work on low-priority features and prevents resource wastage.

Adaptability and Flexibility: Product owners continuously evaluate feature priorities based on market dynamics, customer feedback, and changing business requirements. By closely monitoring the market and adjusting priorities as needed, they ensure that the development efforts remain adaptable and responsive to evolving needs. This adaptability helps organizations stay competitive and deliver value to their customers in a timely manner.


In conclusion, during PI Planning, feature priorities are owned primarily by product owners, with input and consensus from various stakeholders. Product owners play a critical role in aligning development efforts with business goals, focusing on customer needs, optimizing resource utilization, and maintaining adaptability in the ever-changing market landscape.

Remember, feature priorities are not set in stone but are subject to ongoing evaluation and adjustment. Embrace the collaborative nature of PI Planning and leverage the expertise of product owners and stakeholders to make informed decisions about feature priorities. With effective ownership and alignment, you can steer your development teams towards delivering impactful and customer-focused software solutions.

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