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Presenting PI Planning Draft and Final Plan Reviews Virtually

Draft and Final Plan Reviews are timeboxed sessions during the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) PI Planning event where teams have approximately 5 to 10 minutes to present their team preliminary (Day 1) and final (Day 2) plans, PI Objectives, and risks and impediments. For Agile Release Trains (ARTs) of 5 to 10 teams these review sessions can take anywhere from 25 to 100 minutes. When facilitating the Draft and Final Plan Reviews virtually keeping participants attention for this amount of time presents a big challenge. So team presentations in the review sessions need to be concise and efficient as not to take up valuable time.

The Atlassian Community article, Facilitating a PI Planning Team Breakout Virtually in Jira Align, provides an overview of how activities during the PI Planning Team Breakout can be facilitated virtually using Jira Align and Jira with remote team members. The Jira Align and Jira views detailed in the article can also be used to present the draft and final plans virtually in the review sessions. This article provides several tips that can help optimize team presentations in virtual Draft and Final Plan Reviews sessions while also using Jira Align and Jira.

TIP #1: Plan the Presentation Order In Advance

The Release Train Engineer (RTE) should plan the presentation order for the plan review sessions in advance of PI Planning. Posting the presentation order on Confluence or another collaboration space for all teams to see before PI Planning can help teams prepare their presentations ahead of time. On the day of PI Planning reviewing the presentation order with teams again can be a helpful reminder.

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 10.11.16 AM.png

TIP #2: Stick to the Script

Nothing can waste more time and lose people’s attention than teams not knowing what information and artifacts they need to present during the plan reviews sessions or talking about information that isn’t required or even relevant. One way to minimize this from happening is for RTEs to review the plan review agendas with the presenters on each team ahead of PI Planning. Also RTEs may provide guidance to presenters on the specific information to present and what not to present.

Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 9.43.53 PM.png

TIP #3: Open Jira Align and Jira Views on Multiple Tabs

In a virtual plan review session, valuable time can be lost if a presenter is clicking through Jira and Jira Align to load different pages on their screen when presenting the planned sprints, PI Objectives, risks, and Program Board. One way to avoid this is to have the team presenter open all of the necessary Jira Align (and Jira if used) views in multiple tabs on their web browser prior to presenting. This enables the presenter to easily switch between the views as they present without having to navigate through Jira Align or Jira.

Below are views to pre-load on multiple tabs on a web browser (Chrome or Firefox) following the SAFe Draft and Final Plan Review agendas.

To filter some of the Jira Align views by team, the presenter can select the team name in the Team configuration on the Configuration Bar.

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 1.35.13 PM.png

The presenter should open 5 tabs in a web browser that will be shared through the web conference.

Tab 1 - Jira Backlog, Jira Align Backlog Kanban - Sprint View, or Story Map

Jira Backlog

Jira Backlog.jpg

Jira Align Backlog Kanban - Sprint View

Backlog Kanban.jpg

Tab 2 - Objectives Grid

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 3.02.19 PM.png

Tab 3 - Risk Grid

Filtered by team (The Risk Grid is not filtered by the Team configuration. Check out the article Creating Team Risks in Jira Align on how to do this)

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 1.27.06 PM.png

Tab 4 - Program Board

Open the Program Board configured with View Type = Normal View to display card IDs and titles

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 1.41.04 PM.png

Tab 5 - Dependency Map – Wheel View

An easy way to view dependencies between teams. The Epic and Capability toggles need to be turned off. Click on the team on the wheel to view the dependencies on the right.

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 11.03.47 AM.png

TIP #4: Keep to a Strict Timebox

The RTE needs to enforce a strict timebox for each team presentation in the plan review sessions. One way an RTE can looking into doing is by possibly reducing timebox for each team presentation as there may be some time savings by doing it virtually (i.e. no movement of people or artifacts).

TIP #5: Capture Planning Issues

During the Draft Plan Review on Day 1, teams raise planning issues in their presentations related to scope, dependencies, people and resource constraints. These issues are reviewed in the Management Review and Problem Solving session at the end of Day 1. In a virtual Draft Plan Review, the RTE can capture planning issues through Action Items Report or Program Room in Jira Align during the team presentations. 

Screen Shot 2020-03-20 at 9.44.22 AM.png


Presenting team plans in virtual Draft and Final Plan Reviews are new experiences for most teams and has a different set of challenges. Jira Align provides views that teams can use to facilitate their presentations of the draft and final plans. This along with some of the tips in this article can assist with making a valuable and engaging virtual experience.

1 comment

Thanks for sharing @Sam Tsubota . The need for timeboxing is important normally for PI Planning but as people switch to virtual even more important. 


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