We’ve all been there: it’s the night before your PI Planning session and you’re lying on your bed wide awake. All you can think of is “What will happen if we lose too much time during Team Breakout because of the distributed setup? Will everything else go well?” As these questions swirl around in your head, all you have to rely on is hope.
The piplanning app supports you in these times and helps you relax and focus on the most important parts of your role as an RTE. One of these is "Preparation". Good PI Planning preparation is half of the PI Planning.
As a Release Train Engineer it is important that you know what's going on in your PI Planning. Shane Harrison recommends RTEs do something he calls a “Gallery Walk”, where an RTE walks around the room to get an overview of what is going on in the planning. In a distributed setting, this is not possible — that is, unless you’ve got the piplanning app. In that case, simply jump through the different Team Boards and observe the planning progress. This also allows you to identify potential challenges which can be addressed later.
You may want to have stakeholders participate in your PI Planning. In a distributed settings with physical boards it's almost impossible that they can follow the planning progress. But don't worry. With the piplanning app you can invite them and give them read only rights so they watch the planning progress but they can't change anything on the boards by accident. This user is called the "Observer User" and he doesn't affect your license count.