This episode is about why we chose PI planning as the primary topic for this whole series: why it's so important for you, why it's so important to us.
(musical intro) Welcome to the PI Planning Cooking Show, with Shane Harrison.
As you're probably aware, you're at the PI Planning Cooking Show. And we're doing a series on all different topics relating to PI planning, getting ready for it, and execution.
So let's go back to my first question: why did we choose this topic? For me, personally, I have to go back to my first sort of experience of Agile. In 1995, I was lucky to have some developers in a team I was working on and we were in a classical burning platform situation. They came back from OOPSLA. We were sitting in a room, there's about 30 of us thinking, what are we going to do? How do we solve this problem? How do we fix this situation (which was pretty much a disaster)?
Their suggestion? Let's try this Agile Scrum thing that had been presented at the conference they had just been to. And I thought, well, can't get worse! It was a burning platform after all. And as we started to use that model, what I found is that one of the big benefits was the rhythm, the cadence, the predictability that we had. So we started with three-week sprints, we started with three-month releases, and that was all working really well. We managed to turn the platform around, turn around the relationship with the customer, to the point that, actually, the customer was going out and telling other future potential customers how good we were.
So this model made a huge difference. And I was in a similar situation in 2011, when I was looking at how we scale Agile in the organization that I was in. Scrum was working really well, Kanban was working really well. We had some pockets of Lean software engineering, some of you will know about. Our challenge was, how do we scale this to the program level? Again, we had teams working well, but what we didn't have was programs working well.
So I went into training with Dean, in Zurich, and there were two things that really appealed to me. The first thing was, this was a methodology-agnostic framework. That means we could escape the wars of, my method is better than your method. It means that, as an organization, we could take the elements from the methods that we liked, or rather worked, not just liked, and apply them where and when we needed them.
The other thing that really appealed to me is the fact that it also relied — or leveraged, it’s probably better — on the cadence model, because I knew a cadence-based model. And when we're talking about SAFe, we're talking about, let's say, 8 or 10 or 12-week cycles. That cadence model allows us to build a lot of predictability into the system, building that predictability into the system creating flow, and of course, creating flow produces results. So that's why I started to use SAFe.
And what is the pace of SAFe that creates that cadence, that rhythm, that predictability, that delivery, that value? The thing that is the metronome for that, for that cadence is PI planning, and that's why we chose to do PI planning first, because that is the center of the metronome. Click, click, every 6 weeks, every 8, every 12 hours doing a nice, predictable cadence. Again, that's why we chose that topic.
(outro) That’s the PI Planning Cooking Show, with Shane Harrison.
This series is dedicated to all the RTEs in the world who want to be Michelin star chefs when it comes to PI Plannings. Shane Harrison provides us the best recipes which help you prepare for PI Planning and execute it.
Intermediate / Advanced
CEO & Founder PEDCO AG, Chief Methodologist Applied SAFe
Creator of the product Applied SAFe. Started to program for money at the age of 14. Ex-professional sportsman with a passion for software and a knack in engineering. 30+ years working experience with 50+ publications. SAFe SPC since 2011, Agile (XP) since 1999. Happy father and married to a wonderful woman.
Head of Product, SPC5
Silvio is a certified SAFe® Program Consultant and as Head of Product at Rentouch responsible for the innovation of piplanning.io.
Business and Agile Leadership Coach
Shane is a business focused change agent, specialising in enterprise level digital Lean/Agile transformations. More than 17 years consulting experience across a variety of industries from pharma to banking Shane is a specialist when it comes to context and culture-specific transformations.
Ian J Franks
SAFe® 5 Program Consultant & RTE
Ian has a deep knowledge of Scrum, Kanban and Scaled Agile, and 30 years’ experience in international IT Transformation Programs. He is a successful PO, SM & RTE and as a Consultant/Trainer he coaches his clients develop a strong Agile Mindset that delivers real change and measurable improvements.