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Setting the Context for Virtual PI Planning

Setting the business context, product/solution vision, architecture vision and development practices of the PI (Program Increment) Planning from SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) event are a key component of kicking off a successful PI Planning event. The challenge of a virtual and all remote PI Planning event varies and one possible area that we can make an impact on our teams time is to shorten the first key elements of the PI Planning Agenda.

Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 9.21.18 PM.png

The Business Context addresses the WHY of what we are asking our teams to deliver. The Product/Solution Vision provides a roadmap and direction of where we are headed with our WHY. The Architecture Vision and Development Practices sets the how we plan to get to the WHY from a technical perspective.


One idea that has worked well at many companies, is to have the executive business, product and architecture briefings recorded ahead of time for folks to watch prior to our PI event. Post the video to Confluence and offer the opportunity for the executive team to answer questions that may have come up with the videos. Here at Atlassian, we use Confluence as a collaboration tool all the way up to our executive leadership who provide and comment on company wide posts.

Pro-Tip: The Scrum Master and Product Owners can schedule time with their teams to watch the videos and answer any questions they may be able to or capture the ones that need to be addressed.

During the day of the PI Planning event, have the executive team answer any last minute questions that may be critical to address as this shortens the

Pro-Tip: Remind the executives to thank the teams for their flexibility and commitment to the virtual PI Planning event.

Be creative in your recorded briefings! Enlist the help of others in your organization to create fun, precise and informative videos.


In Jira Align, there are many reports and pages that can be saved off as a PDF, JPEG, PNG or SVG file that can be added to the Executive Briefings Confluence Page for external stakeholders and Jira team members that may not have access to all of the critical information in Jira Align. This way teams have access to the information as we work on PI preparation in our IP Sprint.

As part of the Product Vision, the Jira Align Roadmap is a great tool to show what we’ve accomplished in the last PI, what we are planning for in the current PI and what the are thinking about in the next PI. One of the Jira Aligns Product Managers wrote a great article about Roadmaps and more here: Jira Align for Product Managers.


Roadmaps Screenshot.png


This is also a great reminder that the WHY Button exists on our Feature and Epic artifacts. Product Owners and Managers can show the WHY Button during backlog refinement prior to the PI Planning event as well.


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Pro-Tip: Product Managers and Product Owners should review all of their Feature’s Why? in Jira Align to ensure that they have mapped critical information to work we are asking the teams to work on.

Atlassian also recently announced the ability to set the WHY Button in Jira as well, so the developers always have a view from Jira as to the value we are delivering defined in Jira Align.


There are a lot of details from Jira Align that you can share with everyone in the organization to set the context and the value of your PI event. To reduce the stress of the day, apply some of these ideas to reduce the overall time commitment and provide critical information to or virtual/remote PI planning event.

What has your organization done to help with virtual/remote PI planning?



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