Case study

How to organize effective PI Planning and training in hybrid mode


Shared by 
Sylvie Barbère
Renault Digital, Release Train Engineer

Sylvie Barbère is a Release Train Engineer and agile trainer at Renault Digital. She supports Renault Group teams in adopting an agile organization and implements these practices in France and abroad. Here is how Sylvie and Renault Digital's Agile Center of Excellence use Klaxoon for efficient PI Planning with several hundred participants distributed over multiple sites, as well as to structure their remote training courses: facilitation, agile practices,...

The challenge: engaging remote teams in PI Planning and training

Sylvie coordinates 11 Renault Group teams in SAFe trains, i.e. a total of 130 people delivering in digital marketing. 

In their SAFe agility framework, a PI (Planning Increment) designates a three-month period during which teams work together to develop integrated functionalities that bring value to the customer. These teams are grouped in a train, which is organized in such a way as to ensure collaboration and synchronization between them. This promotes efficient alignment and regular delivery, simplifies large-scale project management, and enables teams to receive more frequent feedback on their work.

To get the PI off to a good start, Sylvie sets up PI Planning, an essential step that enables all the teams involved to plan their objectives, the functionalities to be deployed, and identify dependencies. In Sylvie's case, this 2-day PI Planning brings together over 150 participants (internal and external) based in France, but also in India, Morocco, and Romania.

Therefore, how can you effectively align these distributed teams, and keep everyone interacting and engaged despite the distance? This is the issue that Sylvie, and more generally the Agile Center of Excellence, had to deal with, both in the context of large-scale PI Plannings and in the training courses they offer remotely.

Formerly adept at paper charts and physical post-its, Sylvie and her fellows chose the Klaxoon platform to digitize their agile materials. Here is how it has enabled them to train and support more than 3,000 people in 2 years and a half, and boost their efficiency both on-site and remotely thanks to new collaboration channels.

The solution: an all-in-one platform that maximizes efficiency and engagement from anywhere

PI Planning: up to 200 simultaneous multi-site participants

Sylvie and the Agile Center of Excellence now organize PI Planning on Klaxoon Boards. These are online collaborative whiteboards that reproduce the experience of sharing and centralizing ideas on physical boards. They even take it a step further, with visual and interactive features and an integrated videoconferencing tool, to meet the needs of a hybrid context.

To save preparation time from one PI Planning to the next, Sylvie creates Board templates that she simply duplicates and adapts to the content of the upcoming session. Depending on needs, she starts with a blank board or picks one of the ready-to-use agile templates available in Klaxoon's template library: PI Planning, Retrospective, etc. 

To share their templates, the members of the Agile Center of Excellence also have a dedicated private space on Klaxoon in the form of a Network.

On the day of the PI Planning, in addition to the on-site and remote internal participants, several key players from outside the Renault Group can also join the PI Planning Board for information and participation. In all, between 150 and 200 people from 11 teams participate simultaneously in each session.

A person working remotely on a computer displaying a PI Planning Board. | Klaxoon
The PI Planning Board is visually structured to prioritize the steps and ideas shared.

On this Board, participants will find all the information they need to run the PIP event (roles, links to discussion channels, etc.), as well as a workspace dedicated to each train and the teams that make it up. The aim of these 2 days is to gradually converge all the teams towards a single plan while taking into account the ideas and feedback they share, to commit them for the next 3 months.

To simplify navigation from one team to another in such a large workspace, Sylvie has created zones on her PI Planning Board. In this way, she visually defines the important areas of the whiteboard and enables participants to access them with a single click.

When we display the zones, people can reach their workspace more easily.
A person working remotely on a computer displaying a Retrospective Board divided into several zones, visible on the right. | Klaxoon
On the right side of the Board’s work area, the zones are displayed as clickable thumbnails to facilitate navigation (this example does not show a Board shared by Sylvie).

To take the implementation of agile events a step further, Klaxoon also includes advanced integration with Jira, enabling real-time updating of Jira tickets associated with ideas in a Klaxoon Board, in either of these environments. Sylvie uses it for smaller events.

Sylvie Barbère : "I recommend Klaxoon for its ease of use, which makes it possible to visually clarify a schedule, highlight dependencies very easily, and identify and track risks." | Klaxoon

Training: combining interactive tools and ease of use

In addition to their agile events, Sylvie and her colleagues organize remote agile training and facilitation courses, to help Renault teams lead meetings or workshops from anywhere. Here again, the all-in-one Klaxoon platform gives them access to complementary tools to maximize everyone's engagement and unleash the potential of the collective.

As early as the icebreaker stage, in agile training, Sylvie sets up mechanisms so that participants can quickly ramp up their use of Klaxoon. After just a few minutes, they have mastered the main features of Board, and can, for example, use the Drawing tool to carry out a Birdie Birdie workshop (which used to take place face-to-face with Lego® before).

A person working on a computer displaying a Birdie Birdie workshop on Board. | Klaxoon
A Birdie Birdie workshop aims to get participants to represent a prehistoric bird within several constraints.

During their training sessions, Sylvie and her colleagues use the Session tool, which enables several activities to be presented to participants in a sequenced, interactive way:

  • Boards ;
  • Memos to share content that combines PDF files and interactive questions;
  • Quizzes and Surveys to effectively assess participants' learning;
  • Missions and Adventures to be carried out asynchronously, outside training sessions.

According to Sylvie, combining several Klaxoon activities in this way enables information to be transmitted smoothly, while keeping the audience involved at every stage. What's more, learners only need a few minutes to get to grips with the platform and familiarize themselves with its key features.

This ease of use means learners can quickly get to grips with how to use Klaxoon. It's smart and ergonomic.

The result: 3,000 people trained and reduced organizational costs with Klaxoon

Thanks to the Klaxoon platform, Sylvie and the Agile Center of Excellence now run their PI Planning sessions in hybrid mode with the same efficiency and level of team engagement as if they were face-to-face. This enables them to considerably reduce the logistical costs associated with travel from abroad, accommodation, room hire, etc.

What's more, Klaxoon tools remain in use even during face-to-face agile events. With the platform, participants can keep track of their exchanges and information, which they can access at any time.

Moreover, Klaxoon has enabled Renault Digital's Agile Center of Excellence to train a total of 3,000 people over almost 3 years. Not only were the teams able to continue their active training thanks to the platform at the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, but they also retained these practices afterward, to simplify and energize multi-site interactions, particularly with international clients.

The ease of use of the all-in-one collaborative platform has played a decisive role in its adoption by teams at Renault Group. Sylvie adds that now, whenever there's collective intelligence work to be fostered, teams spontaneously turn to Klaxoon because it's an easy-to-use solution for gathering ideas.

Klaxoon has helped us maintain our business at a good level of efficiency, both in terms of agile team dynamics and training.

To deepen their use of Klaxoon, Sylvie and her team plan to implement integration with Jira more thoroughly in the future, as well as continue to develop their use of templates in their training courses and beyond.

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Birdie-Birdie |Klaxoon

Birdie Birdie : A collaborative game to learn about the Agile Scrum method


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