In the fast-paced world of software development, effective planning is crucial for success. Agile methodologies such as Scrum have revolutionized the way teams work together to deliver value. One important aspect of Agile is PI Planning (Program Increment Planning), which helps align teams and set priorities for the upcoming increment. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of cadence-based PI planning events and how they differ from regular PI planning sessions.
PI planning is a timeboxed Scrum event that occurs at the beginning of each Program Increment. It brings together cross-functional teams, stakeholders, and product owners to collaboratively plan the work for the upcoming iteration, typically spanning 8-12 weeks. During PI planning, teams align their objectives, identify dependencies, and establish a shared understanding of the goals and scope for the upcoming increment.
Cadence-based PI planning builds upon the foundation of regular PI planning events but adds an additional layer of structure and predictability. It involves conducting PI planning events at fixed intervals, creating a cadence or rhythm for the planning process. This regularity helps teams establish a reliable and repeatable planning routine, enhancing collaboration and coordination.
In cadence-based PI planning, the event occurs at fixed intervals, such as every 10 weeks or every quarter, depending on the organization's needs. This predictable schedule allows scrum teams to plan their work and dependencies more effectively, reducing last-minute surprises and ensuring a smoother flow of work. Teams can align their efforts with other organizational activities, such as budgeting cycles or marketing campaigns, to achieve better overall outcomes.
Team A holds a PI planning event every 12 weeks, allowing them to synchronize their efforts with other departments and stakeholders.
Team B conducts a PI planning event at the beginning of every Program Increment, focusing on prioritizing backlog items and refining their user stories.
Team C has an ad-hoc approach to PI planning, occasionally organizing sessions when they feel the need to align their work and goals.
In the above examples, Team A represents a cadence-based approach to PI planning, where the team follows a regular, fixed schedule for planning. Team A and B represent regular approaches to PI planning that don’t have a predictable cadence.
Effective PI planning is essential for Agile teams to deliver value consistently. While regular PI planning events provide a solid foundation for collaboration, cadence-based PI planning takes it a step further by establishing a predictable rhythm for planning sessions. This approach enables teams to synchronize their efforts, enhance coordination, and reduce uncertainties. By embracing cadence-based PI planning, organizations can achieve a smoother flow of work and maximize their chances of success in the fast-paced world of software development.