Measuring the Success of PI Planning: Metrics and Key Performance Indicators

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
May 16, 2023
Updated on
May 16, 2023
Table of Content

One of the critical elements to consider when implementing a successful Agile release train is measuring the success of PI Planning. Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential for measuring progress, monitoring performance, and ensuring that an organization is achieving its desired goals. 

By understanding how well PI Planning is being executed, organizations can make necessary adjustments and fine-tune their processes to ensure maximum efficiency. This article will discuss what metrics and KPIs should be considered in PI planning, and how they can be used to measure success.

What Is The Meaning of PI Planning?

PI Planning stands for Program Increment Planning. It’s a ~2 day event that takes place at the start of each PI. The purpose of PI planning is to align all members of the scrum team on the objectives and priorities for the upcoming PI. This includes breaking down large features into smaller user stories, estimating the effort required to complete each user story, and identifying any dependencies between user stories.

What Is the Ultimate Goal of the PI Planning Event?

The ultimate goal of the PI planning event is to ensure that all team members are aligned on the objectives and priorities for the upcoming PI. This includes ensuring that everyone understands what needs to be done, how long it will take, and who will be responsible for doing it. By achieving this alignment, the team can work together more efficiently and effectively, ultimately resulting in a higher-quality product that meets the needs of the customer.

Now that we've defined PI planning and its ultimate goal, let's take a look at the metrics and KPIs that can be used to measure its success.

Team Alignment

One of the key metrics for measuring the success of PI planning is team alignment. This can be measured by conducting a retrospective at the end of the PI and asking team members to rate their level of alignment on a scale of 1-10. Ideally, the rating should be close to 10, indicating that all team members were aligned on the objectives and priorities for the PI.


Velocity is another important metric for measuring the success of PI planning. Velocity measures the amount of work completed by the team during the PI. By comparing the actual velocity to the estimated velocity from PI planning, teams can determine if they were able to achieve their goals for the PI.

User Story Completion Rate

The user story completion rate measures the percentage of user stories that were completed during the PI. This can be a useful metric for identifying any bottlenecks or issues that need to be addressed in future PIs.

Customer Satisfaction

Ultimately, the success of PI planning should be measured by customer satisfaction. This can be measured through customer feedback, user testing, or other means. By ensuring that the product meets the needs of the customer, the team can be confident that they have achieved their ultimate goal. 

What Does Successful PI Planning Look Like?

Successful PI Planning is a result of taking the right approach, setting achievable goals, and working together as a team. It requires discipline, collaboration, and accountability to ensure that sprints can be completed within the timeframe with the help of Sprint planning event timebox set by the planners. 

When successful PI Planning takes place, teams have little unplanned tasks during the Sprint, are able to complete the Sprint in the same amount of time they thought it would take, and get along with each other. These three indicators are signs that your organization has developed an effective process for PI Planning.

How Do You Measure the Success of PI Planning?

The PI planning event can be measured against a host of metrics that will indicate whether it was a success or not. These include:

Unplanned Tasks

To measure the success of PI Planning, one must look at the metrics and key performance indicators. An important metric to consider is unplanned tasks. Unplanned tasks can occur when an organization fails to adequately plan for its projects. 

When this happens, there are often delays in project completion as new tasks must be addressed without preparation or thought. 

Additionally, unplanned tasks due to inadequate preparatory measures could lead to a decrease in the quality and satisfaction of the end product. 

To measure the success of PI Planning, it is essential that organizations accurately track unplanned tasks. This allows them to identify areas where their planning process could be improved and become more efficient. 

By tracking this metric, teams can also review their successes with regard to preparing before undertaking major projects, as well as identify any areas that need improvement in the future. 


If a development team has worked on a feature but not tested it thoroughly beforehand, they may encounter certain bugs that had not been accounted for during the initial planning process. This results in extra work needing to be done before the feature can be delivered and released to customers, leading to missed deadlines and delays in other initiatives. 

Amount of Bugs Produced

Measuring the success of PI Planning is essential to determining how successful any given project might be, and one of the key Agile metrics when evaluating the success of a PI Planning session is looking at the amount of bugs produced. 

This metric can provide vital insights into whether or not changes have been successful and if further improvements need to be made. 

The number and nature of bugs generated can also reveal important information about the product, such as areas that require further development and possible reworking of existing features. 


If a team has had an increase in bug reports following their PI Planning sessions then it could suggest that the changes made during planning weren’t as effective as initially thought. On the other hand, if there is a decrease in bug reports then this indicates that perhaps more efficient processes have been implemented which are helping to reduce errors within the system. 

Tech Debt

Measuring the success of PI Planning with Tech Debt can be an enlightening experience for teams. The metric is focused on understanding how much time is being spent dealing with technical debt rather than building new features or improving existing ones. 

Technical debt is any code that has been generated to get a feature out the door but will need refactoring or even rewriting in order to maintain the quality of code over time. If this process isn’t managed over time, it can lead to a “technical debt spiral” where more and more resources are required just to keep up with existing features instead of moving forward.

In order to measure tech debt during PI Planning, teams should track: 

  • How much time is spent on the development of new features versus reworking existing code
  • How often tech debt issues arise during sprints or planning sessions 
  • How many legacy stories are still taking up team resources 

By tracking this data over time, teams can gain insights into their development process and make meaningful changes that result in more efficient use of their time.

Quality of Work

When it comes to measuring the success of PI Planning, one of the most important metrics is the quality of work. Quality of work can be measured in many different ways, depending on what is being accomplished with the PI Plan. 

Similarly, teams responsible for designing processes and procedures might measure success by looking at key performance indicators such as lead time reduction or cost savings achieved through process improvements. In any case, the goal here is to track progress and compare results over time to see if the PI Plan is having a positive impact. 


If a team is working on creating a new product or service, they might measure success by how often their customers are returning and using the product or service. If a team is tasked with improving customer satisfaction ratings, they could measure success by tracking customer feedback over time. 

How Close Did the Team Get to Achieving the Sprint Goal?

Measuring the success of a PI Planning session is always a tricky proposition. The team may have had great conversations, and have come up with interesting solutions to problems, but how do you quantify this? You can start by looking at how close they came to achieving the Sprint Goal.

This metric can provide valuable insight into whether or not the team was able to effectively coordinate their tasks and work together towards a common goal. 

If the team overshot their goal, then this could be an indication that the plan worked well and everyone was on top of their game. On the other hand, if production lagged behind, then perhaps not enough effort was put into planning ahead or it might indicate a lack of coordination between team members. 

Looking at metrics such as how close did the team get to achieving their Sprint Goals is important in order to further refine future PI Planning sessions and make sure that everyone is contributing equally and working towards a common goal. 

If results indicate that production fell short, then it’s important for managers to sit down with each team member individually to discuss what went wrong and come up with solutions for the future.


If there’s an agreed-upon Sprint Goal for a given period, such as ‘Produce 100 units of Product X in four weeks,’ then it’s important to look at what actually happened during that time frame. Was production on track for the week? Did they hit 100 units at the end of four weeks? 


Measuring the success of PI Planning is an important step in realizing its value and ensuring that your organization continues to see progress over time. By tracking metrics, collecting data, and analyzing key performance indicators related to PI Planning, you can gain a better understanding of what’s working and what isn’t. 

With a deeper insight into the state of your organization, you can make better decisions and drive greater success. GoRetro is an all-in-one platform designed to help teams measure KPIs and track their progress from one PI to the next. 

With its intuitive interface, real-time insights, and powerful data visualization tools, GoRetro makes it easy for teams to view their progress and stay focused on the big picture. Start using GoRetro today and see how it can help you measure, analyze, and optimize your PI Planning for a successful future. 

About the author

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert

Highly experienced in leading multi-organizational teams, groups, in-shore as well as off-shore. The go-to person who is able to simplify the complex. An agile advocate, experienced in all common methodologies. Responsible for the entire software development lifecycle process from development, QA, DevOps, Automation to delivery including overall planning, direction, coordination, execution, implementation, control and completion. Drives execution, and communicates on status, risks, metrics, risk-mitigation and processes across R&D.

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