A portable Program Increment (PI) planning wall

Program Increment Planning is a powerful piece of the SAFE framework that provides a structured way of managing cross team work in time blocks larger than a development sprint.  It provides Program level view into something that is otherwise a set of independent of team streams.

My current team meets for 1-1/2 days on a quarterly basis to align the next quarter's deliverables.  We bring in our 5 development teams, the product owners, the business line product owners and our cross functional support teams, DBA, CM, OPS, etc.  This meeting gives a one wall view of our coordinated deliverables and exposes our cross team dependencies and their timeframes. Our PI planning wall is normally 8 feet tall and probably 8 feet wide.  We have struggled with how to maintain the wall after the PI planning so that we can track how well the plan reflected the actual work we do/did. 

I recently visited with AmTote International. Their Agile Program Director gave us a quick walkthrough of their awesome semi-portable Program Increment planning wall.  Their stand-alone program wall lets AmTote their initial plan against the actual work done in the increment.

Their team created a program wall that stands on its own so that it can sit pretty much anywhere without tying up the conference room.You can see a picture of this wall at the right.  Notice all the strings representing cross team dependencies.  I really like the way they document dependencies with shared infrastructure teams.

The AmTote wall is made of two 4'x8'x2" insulating panels that are covered in paper.  The panels are stiff enough to be self supporting.  They have some type of tape hinge in the middle that lets them fold the panel while moving the board.


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