Skip to main content

How do can teams collaborate without PI planning? (Non-PI Planning Team of Teams Collaboration)

Last post 02:21 pm August 22, 2023 by Dixie Bamford
9 replies
03:14 pm August 18, 2023

In our org, we have 5 agile teams who work on separate initiatives/goals with no dependencies on each other. However, all 5 teams need to be aware of and have an understanding of what the other teams are working on. PI Planning is done quarterly for each team separately and teams are run on different sprint schedules. 

How can these teams efficiently share what they are working on quarterly? Has anyone done this? 

Please help! Thoughts and ideas welcome!! 

03:51 pm August 18, 2023

I don't understand the environment in which you are working.

You are using the term "PI Planning", which is a SAFe term. However, PI Planning is something that exists at the Essential level of SAFe and aligned with an Agile Release Train of multiple teams working on a single product. Since the teams have separate goals, no dependencies at all, and have independent Sprint schedules, it's not clear if they are actually working on a single product and therefore have or need concepts like an ART, Program Increments, or PI Planning.

From this description, it sounds like the organization is trying to force otherwise independent teams into a consistent framework that might not be beneficial for maximizing the outcomes and value realized by each team.

On top of that, being able to create a plan quarterly may not be achievable. Depending on the amount of uncertainty and ambiguity, attempting to plan out so far into the future could be futile.

04:01 pm August 18, 2023

How can these teams efficiently share what they are working on quarterly?

I'd suggest they can't. It's a very inefficient way of establishing and maintaining empirical process control. That's why at least one fully integrated and Done Increment must be produced every Sprint. Appropriate representatives from each team will meet to resolve integration dependencies and to refine the Product Backlog on an ongoing basis.

05:14 pm August 18, 2023

How can these teams efficiently share what they are working on quarterly? Has anyone done this? 

Some ideas:

- Product Owners could create Product Roadmaps and share them with those on the other teams who need to know.

- Sharing a Product Goal with the other teams may help. In addition to this, having a transparent Product Backlog may be helpful.

- Invite those who need additional information to the other teams' Sprint Reviews.

05:40 pm August 19, 2023

If the teams need to be aware of another team's work, then they are not independent. It feels like something's missing in your question. Can you provide a little more background information?

Simple awareness can be achieved by visiting each other's sprint review. Or having a quarterly town hall. And, of course, everyone can look into each other's backlog and just talk to each other.

If learning from each other is the goal, then something like a guild or community of practice can be established. Or an overall retrospective.

12:42 pm August 21, 2023

All, thanks for the incredible feedback! We don't have a "Team of teams" Safe PI planning. We only individual planning sessions per scrum group and find this works well for us. 

@chris - By having a transparent backlog - do you mean the roadmap? We all have roadmaps so this would work, maybe I could create a confluence page to post them. Thanks so much!!

@oliver - a little background, they are cancer research and development teams so they need to be aware of what each other is working on for innovation purposes. However, we manage their work using standard scrum/agile methods. We have so many quarterly meetings and scrum ceremonies, I hate to add another just for sharing purposes so was looking for other options. Thank you for your feedback! 

03:34 pm August 21, 2023

all 5 teams need to be aware of and have an understanding of what the other teams are working on.

There is an Event for that! Sprint Review.

If each team is leveraging Scrum, they should each be conducting a Sprint Review. What a great opportunity for teams to understand what each has done, is working on, and is working towards. Rather than wait of a whole quarter to pass, teams can remain in the loop and even provide feedback each Sprint. If the entire team cannot attend, a representative from each team could.


03:40 pm August 21, 2023

Thanks Ryan! I love the idea of a representative. 

05:43 pm August 21, 2023

@Dixie - Regarding your question on transparency, my idea was to provide a shared understanding of the Product Backlog. That could be accomplished with a Product Roadmap, Story Map, Product Wall, or other means. Having a Product Goal for your Product Backlog could also help.

All the best

02:21 pm August 22, 2023

Thanks Chris!!

By posting on our forums you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.

Please note that the first and last name from your member profile will be displayed next to any topic or comment you post on the forums. For privacy concerns, we cannot allow you to post email addresses. All user-submitted content on our Forums may be subject to deletion if it is found to be in violation of our Terms of Use. does not endorse user-submitted content or the content of links to any third-party websites.

Terms of Use may, at its discretion, remove any post that it deems unsuitable for these forums. Unsuitable post content includes, but is not limited to, Professional-level assessment questions and answers, profanity, insults, racism or sexually explicit content. Using our forum as a platform for the marketing and solicitation of products or services is also prohibited. Forum members who post content deemed unsuitable by may have their access revoked at any time, without warning. may, but is not obliged to, monitor submissions.