Can you Imagine? As you know, Working Remote is now the new norm. In this new world, how do we implement and facilitate a large planning session involving multiple organizational areas? This month, I had the privilege to help TracFone Wireless execute their first “1st, 100% Fully Remote Quarterly PI Planning Event”. As many of you know, the execution of an in person, 2-day Quarterly PI Planning event takes a lot of planning and coordination. It literally takes a village. Imagine executing this event Remotely?
I am in “AWE” of the “INDUSTRY GROUNDBREAKING” results of our Q3 Quarterly PI Planning event, which included:
· Business Executive Sponsors/Stakeholders
· IT Leaders
· 11 Agile Teams
· Over 10 Supporting Teams
· Over 200 participants
We brought together our first Sales & Marketing “Agile Release Train (Team of Agile Teams)” and combined the planning event with representation from the Customer Operations business and “Support Teams”. C-Level Executives from both areas presented their vision, goals & objectives. We focused on the alignment and synergy between both business areas, and how they come together to support the organizations strategic goals and objectives. This alignment had never been executed to this magnitude for these 2 business areas. “ONE TEAM! ONE DREAM!”
Q3 PI Planning Results Aligned
· Quarter Objectives and associated Business Value
· Identified and Mitigated Risks, Dependencies, Constraints across teams & business areas
· Resource Capacity discussions
· Aligned Technical Solutions
· Visible Release Schedules across all Agile Teams & Supporting Teams
A Focus on Culture Transformation
This was an “INDUSTRY GROUNDBREAKING” event! No other organization is doing what we are doing and doing it successfully. This remote event has taken the
Agile Transformation to the next level. The initial investment of Leadership in prioritizing the “AGILE MINDSET” and “AGILE CULTURE TRANSFORMATION” has allowed for what we now call a “CULTURE EVOLUTION”.
Agile Transformation Priorities Have included
· Agile Training for ALL
· Executive Leadership Coaching & Training
· Agile Transformation Road-map & Strategy for Agile Teams & Business Agility Teams
· Scaling Agile best practices (PI Planning, Scrum of Scrum/PO Syncs, etc..)
· Implementation of Agile PMO best practices
The above has led to the following proven Organizational Improvements
• increase workforce engagement
• NPS improvement
• improvement release quality
• increase in velocity
• decrease in cost per project
• Saving in Certification Training
A True Inspiration
The support of Leadership in the Agile Transformation has been the catalyst to the openness to change and the “Culture of Continuous Improvement Mindset”. That was truly evident in the “INSPIRING” feedback we have received in our 1st 100% Remote PI Planning event, from the participating C-Level Executives, Agile Teams, Supporting Teams and Participants. The comments received by all Participants included a sense of “AWE”, “PRIDE”, “TEAM WORK “, “ACCOMPLISHMENT”, “ALIGNMENT”, and “COLLABORATION”.
How did we execute the Remote Event?
No one thought that the execution of our “ 1st REMOTE PI PLANNING” event was going to be such a huge success. There were fear and trepidation by ALL during our planning sessions.
Recommended Remote Tools:
· Microsoft Teams (Meetings, Breakout Rooms)
· iObeya, Enterprise Visual Management Platform
We utilized the Microsoft Teams Channels for our Meeting Options and Sub-Channels for our Breakout Rooms for the various Team Breakouts. But what truly made the difference was the iObeya tool, Scaled Agile Framework, SAFe PI Planning board templates, which came with configurations for
· Program Release Schedule Boards
· Risk Assessment (ROAM) Boards
· Retrospective Boards
· Fist of 5 (Confidence Vote) Boards
· Agile Team Boards which included space to setup
(Q3 Sprints, Capacity Planning/Load, User Story Cards, User Story Points, Risks
Cards, PI Objectives Cards, Feature Cards, IP Sprint Setup, It even had the SAFe PI Planning color scheme
Biggest Lesson Learned
Day 2 Risk Assessment Workshop took longer than expected. But that is were we were able to solve capacity planning issues, mitigate risks and dependencies. Leaders were on call to come in and answer questions and help make decisions. Leaders also came in to help prioritize across multiple initiatives impacting multiple teams. Our goal was to not leave any stone un-turned.
Most importantly the ENERGY, EXCITEMENT, and FLUID COLLABORATION is what really made the difference. The PRIDE, ALIGNMENT and SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT, was seen in the results of the Day 2 Retrospective.
I am very proud and humbled as an Enterprise Agile Coach to have been given the opportunity to help plan and facilitate this “INDUSTRY GROUNDBREAKING” event for our client.
If you have any questions on how to best implement this in your organizations, feel free to reach out to Transformation Experts.