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Keeping The PI Planning Momentum

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In his book, “Confessions of a Public Speaker,” Scott Berkun tells us that when speaking, once the lights go out, you have everyone’s attention. Then you need to fight to avoid attrition. In a similar fashion, at the end of the SAFe PI Planning event you have the entire organization’s attention (read more about it in a small post I published some time ago called “PI Planning Magic!“), and as time passes you start losing it. The question is how do you keep this attention and energy, climaxed at the final confidence vote where everyone raises their hands to indicate their belief in the plan, throughout the Program Increment (PI). It should be worthwhile to invest energy in this endeavor. The physical outputs of the PI Planning event are the teams’ planning boards, the program board, and the risks. During the PI Planning, we invest time and energy in building these. In some aspects, these are objects of beauty… My suggestion is to take these and hang them in the organization’s corridors, near the place where the teams work. During the PI we can mark which items were done, and which were moved, deleted, or changed. We could also use different colors for new items added. The first benefit of the above is that walking through the corridor anyone can easily see how are we fairing with the PI. The second benefit is that we are constantly being reminded where we started, which is important. At the end of the PI we can celebrate by hanging the completed plans (probably revised) on the wall of fame of completed PIs (reminds me of my old school where there was a wall full of graduation photos). That’s one suggestion. I would be happy to hear of other suggestions for keeping the PI momentum throughout the PI.
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