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How to use Klaxoon to prepare and facilitate a PI Planning event

By Berthilde, May 14, 2020
When people talk about agile methods, they often mention the Scrum Method, but have you heard of SAFe® (Scaled Agile Framework)? SAFe® is a set of practices aiming to help multi-site, multi-team companies improve the coordination of agile teams, harmonize practices, and scale up.

PI Planning is the key SAFe® event: it is the starting point for an 8- to 12-week program for successful project management. Organized over one or more days, PI Planning brings together everyone working on a project (up to 200 people!) for various clearly defined meetings and workshops, in order to achieve the following objectives:

  • To align a large number of people on the project’s vision and objectives
  • To identify dependencies between different projects and teams
  • To get different teams to collaborate and make decisions together
  • To create synergies and break down silos
  • To optimize planning and identify risks

In order to prepare and facilitate this key event remotely, many teams around the world use Klaxoon, and Brainstorm in particular.

Using a Brainstorm during remote PI Planning.

How to organize an effective remote PI Planning event with Klaxoon

Frédéric Delon, Industrial Automation Project Manager at Schneider Electric, organizes PI Planning events every three months with 90 people from France, India, and the USA. PI Planning enables teams made up of scrum masters, managers, developers, product owners, and engineers, to synchronize all the functions that will be developed over the next three months.

On recommandations of Patrick Pouchot, agile coach at CapGemini, Frédéric decided to use Klaxoon to transform his PI Planning, previously organised in a face-to-face meeting, into a 100% remote event.

He prepares his Klaxoon Brainstorm in advance before opening it up to the 90 participants when the ceremony begins. Over the next two days, the teams work remotely on the business context, product vision, team breakouts, program risks, and confidence votes in the Brainstorm.

PI Planning Brainstorm created by Schneider Electric teams

Enabling 120 participants in five different countries to collaborate using Brainstorm

Marie-Christine Vuong, Project Manager and Innovation Consultant at Sopra Steria, uses Klaxoon to conduct distributed PI Planning events. The PI Planning working groups, which are usually physically located in one place, are represented visually directly on the Brainstorm. All the participants can access these areas from their own device (computer, tablet, smartphone, etc.).

PI Planning Brainstorm created by Marie-Christine Vuong’s team at Sopra Steria.

As a result, only two days of preparation were needed to bring together seven distributed teams in five countries, with 120 participants logged on to the Brainstorm at the same time for a full day.

PI@Home went very well!
Remote PI Planning exceeded our expectations.
Another advantage of a Klaxoon meeting is the possibility of moving from one space to another without disturbing the participants.

Before, during, and after: how to use Klaxoon during every phase of PI Planning

Keli Dias is an agile coach at NAVBLUE, a subsidiary of Airbus. She manages and oversees training for 11 different distributed teams; a total of 100 people working in France, India, Canada, or simply working remotely full time.

PI Planning Brainstorm created by Keli Dias’s team at NavBlue, a subsidiary of Airbus.
It’s possible to organize a PI Planning event with 100 people from India, Toulouse, and even Canada, all connected to the Brainstorm! Team Breakout, Risks, Planning… I did everything with Klaxoon.
Keli Dias, agile coach

In order to work with these distributed teams, Keli Dias opened a Klaxoon Network, a private workspace where she puts Templates; Brainstorm models that she has created herself to use as a base and adapt them as and when needed.

I use Klaxoon remotely and for in-person meetings, for open days, for business presentations, for training on agility and problem-solving, and for lean management training for aerospace production and data teams…
Keli Dias, agile coach

Prior to the PI Planning events she organizes, Keli invites the Scrum Masters to join the Network and help prepare the ceremony. Keli launches the PI Planning Template that she has created in advance and shares the access code so that everyone can change the backgrounds, position the different zones, complete the tasks to be carried out during the session, assign colors based on the nature of the ideas suggested by participants, etc.

The interface is very user-friendly: after five minutes with the Scrum Masters they had worked out how to do it – they are already making their own templates!
Keli Dias, agile coach

Keli shares the code for the finalized Brainstorm with all the participants during PI Planning. It is a fluid, simple ceremony, with a 100% participation rate.

I wanted to think outside the box and use an interactive tool. The Klaxoon platform is user-friendly and very easy to use. I like the design, which is anything but dull thanks to its visual diversity: text, drawings, images, colors, etc.
Keli Dias, agile coach

SAFe® PI Planning Template to organize your program efficiently

Presentations, team planning meetings, sharing information, risk evaluation, confidence votes, etc. Inspired by the best use cases from a community of users that organize PI Planning, Klaxoon has created a dedicated Template, specially designed for this key SAFe® ceremony. This turnkey Brainstorm model can be easily adapted to teams’ different needs in advance of PI Planning. Then, with the click of a mouse, the facilitator shares the code with all the participants, who log on very quickly. The whole team is connected to the same Brainstorm, even remotely: the ceremony can begin.

This Template features a reminder of the PI Planning agenda, enabling participants to easily organize the times of the various meetings generally organized over the two days of the PI Planning event.

Just below, a first zone called “Context & Vision” appears to prepare and structure the first three parts of the PI Planning event, aiming to align all participants on the project’s vision and objectives: business context, product vision, architecture vision, and planning context. Every part of the event has its own space in the Template: this means the facilitators can insert their presentation slides in advance and an area is reserved for dialogue. Following every presentation, the participants can ask questions by posting an idea in the corresponding area. It is easy for the facilitator to immediately answer orally, or post an idea in the answer section later on.

There is a second, important section of the Brainstorm, called “Team breakout“, where we find sections devoted to each team: they can write what Sprints are planned and the objectives and risks they have identified, as well as adding photos, messages from other teams, etc.

The third main section is PI Planning, where the different teams’ sprints appear, and dependencies are created with connectors to optimize scheduling and take risk into account as well as the different teams’ capabilities.

And finally, the facilitator can put issues to a vote directly in the Brainstorm, so that everyone can evaluate their confidence in the group’s ability to realize the PI Planning objectives.

Many other tools and tips, such as the retrospective, column view, categorization, dimensions, and visual instructions, can be found in the PI Planning Template.

Berthilde
By Berthilde, Communication Officer
Passionate about culture, Berthilde brings to light the inspiring uses of the Klaxoon community.