On the Coronavirus and Travel Restrictions: Strategies for PI Planning with Distributed Teams and Individuals

Hi Folks,

As we are all aware, the recent outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting many people around the world. In order to contain the spread of the virus, many governments and some enterprises have started putting policies in place to restrict travel in order to limit exposure. These restrictions can be challenging for Agile teams and ARTs who, as stated in the Agile principles, greatly value face-to-face communication. In SAFe we embrace and extend this with PI Planning—a (mostly) face-to-face event for everyone on the ART. An important discussion is how can we maintain the benefits of this event when not all members can be present in person.

As we reflected on this newest challenge, we are reminded that almost all the Agile teams and ARTs that we have coached or been part of, are distributed to some degree. Either an entire team working from a different location, or at least a few individuals. And they certainly haven’t always been able to plan together in person. Indeed, the framework team itself works across five different locations.

Based on these experiences, strategies for working with distributed teams have emerged. As one example, the teams at Travelport recently shared their success story of how they coordinated PI Planning across three different time zones, and the benefits that this event provided them.

In addition to the existing toolkits available to SPCs, we will be integrating more of these learnings into SAFe and other supporting materials over the next few weeks. A great starting point is the new advanced topic article Distributed PI Planning with SAFe which brings together guidance from our customers, partners, and the SPCT community.

Additionally, we have published a coronavirus response page which includes information on the options available for delivering remote training whilst travel restrictions are in place. Please check back as we continue to keep that page updated.

Stay SAFe!
—Dean

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