Net Objectives has been doing two day planning events since SAFe was first introduced. We not only use it when our clients are doing SAFe but also when a client wants to go to a flow model and uses the planning event to make all work in process visible as a first major step. We also help clients do planning events when they are not doing SAFe but like to do planning events.
Before looking at what is needed to do an effective planning event, let’s be clear about the purpose of a planning event.
Regardless of the approach you are taking, planning events should include the following:
A challenge with SAFe is that planning events are not guided by MBIs. There is more focus on when features are to be completed than on the possibility for the customer to realize value. It also results features with bigger scope than is needed; too often, considerations about the “minimum scope required” only surface when it looks like we may not complete the work in time. By creating visibility of the MBIs and when they can be released, everyone can work together on getting value to customers or the business and not merely building functionality.
Using MBIs sets the stage for your planning events regardless of the approach you are using.