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Remote PI Planning in the Shoes of...

What you'll learn

·  Start on time with tool evaluation

·  Timeboxing is your best friend

·  Features and enablers must be ready

·  Check to what extent the team is confident to plan the features

·  Provide enough structure on breakout session

·  Make a working agreement transparent

In the last lesson, I talked about preparation. As Release Train Engineer you're in a key position. If the remote PI Planning was successful, you've done a great job! In many cases, it's an RTE contacting us at Rentouch, looking for real-time synchronized boards to facilitate remote PI Plannings. Whatever tool you're evaluating, make sure you start early enough. Sometimes we get contacted 1 week in advance of the actual PI Planning event. Believe me, that's not enough time for evaluating a tool, running through the complete setup and walking through key scenarios in a dry run as well as defining clear working agreements. Tooling must be a key theme on your preparation roadmap.

Starting the PI Planning with the Business Context, Product Vision and your Planning Context presentation is challenging. Don't use a whole morning for those presentations. Teams will be bored and tired even before the planning starts. Time boxing is your best friend. Each presentation should be done in less than 30 minutes. Planning Context in less than 15. Most important, Features and Enablers on Program Level must be ready. Make sure Product Management / System Architects and POs spent a reasonable amount of time to socialize Features and Enablers with the teams. Teams need to understand the Features that you asking them to plan upfront. They have to be confident to take them into planning... they need to believe it, not you, not me, not the Product Managers.

For breakout sessions, provide just enough structure. As much as needed and as less as possible. Define the sticky types, colors and workflows for each key use-case teams will go through during the planning. That includes:

  • Breaking down Features into Stories
  • Solving Dependencies
  • Managing Risks
  • etc.

Working agreements help to trigger necessary conversations. Similar to what you might do on physical boards, for example using stickers as trigger points. Let me give you a few examples:

  • A red exclamation mark on the Program Board means, the Team has an Impediment on that Feature
  • A green checkmark on a Dependency shows, that the teams agreed on a common plan to solve the dependency
  • A blue question mark triggers the Product Management as the team does have questions

Make working agreements transparent to everyone and remind them during your Planning Context presentation.

Scrum of Scrum meetings might not work the same way as in co-located plannings. Doing gallery walks is a great approach to monitor progress based on your checklist. See where teams raised impediments, risks and open questions and setup needed conversations on the fly. Highlight topics which you want to cover in the problem-solving session or bring decision-makers into the discussion right away. Sync together with Scrum Masters and Product Owners in the middle of each breakout session.

And finally, keep an eye on overloaded iterations. Making them transparent helps you and Product Management to support the teams at the right time.

About the course

We will take a look at all the well-known roles - RTE, Scrum Master, Team Member, Product Management, System Architect, Product Owner and Business Owner - in PI Planning and see how they can best prepare to make remote PI Planning successful.




Intermediate / Advanced



Last Updated


Meet your Expert

Peter Pedross

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.

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Silvio Wandfluh

Head of Product, SPC5

Silvio is a certified SAFe® Program Consultant and as Head of Product at Rentouch responsible for the innovation of

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Shane Harrison

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.

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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.


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