Friday, March 20, 2020

How I Run SAFe Inspect & Adapt Virtually? #covid-19

First quarter of the year is almost finish, it's really fast and we're already in the last iteration of our Program Increment (PI). The last iteration in PI is innovation & planning iteration where we will have inspect & adapt workshop to close the current PI, PI planning to plan for next quarter, and conduct some training.

When we start new PI on January, I've scheduled and sent calendar invite to everyone in the program with all meeting cadences from January to March, so everyone will have the visibility on all program ceremonies. In my initial plan, I scheduled inspect & adapt workshop on Tuesday 17th March, and PI planning on 18th and 19th March. Many people in the program from different countries have accepted the invite and agree to come to Kuala Lumpur. I've booked one big meeting room in our office, and prepare for everything. Everything is ready, until there's covid-19 outbreak that causing travel ban and restrict people to travel from/to Malaysia. To make it even worst, government announce Movement Restriction Order (MCO) on Monday 16th March to limit people movement and everyone must work from home starting on 18th March.

I'm so glad that the week before they announce it, I've prepared plan B by enabling virtual meeting. Here's what I did:
  • Microsoft Teams meeting
As a good practice, I always set-up meeting as Teams meeting, just in case if there's attendance that suddenly can't attend physically. I also have conference audio account to enable people dial-in from phone with conference ID, and there's video recording feature that will be useful for people that can't attend the session.
  • Setup virtual boards using Mural
I create one retrospective board in Azure DevOps (ADO) and two Mural boards: PI Objective board to show all current 20.Q1 PI objectives, and fish-bone diagrams for Root Cause Analysis (RCA).

Here's the summary:
  • The agenda:

  • System demo:
Even though the movement restriction order is only be started on 18th March, but many team members already start to initiate working from home. So most of them were joining from Teams call. Meanwhile I still utilize the booked meeting room with small numbers of people in the room. 

There's 6 teams present their team demo and I timebox it with each 15 mins. The presenter share their screen, and I project the shared screen while activating the video recording feature.

  • Quantitative measurement:
I extract current 20.Q1 PI Objectives and put it in Mural grouped by team name. Then each product owners present their latest update status (Not Started, Partially Completed, Completed), then product managers provide the Actual Value (AV) on each objective.

  • Retrospective and problem solving:
We start by capture feedback about "What went well"  and "What we can do better" based on what happened in current PI. I love using the retrospective board in ADO because it has lot of good features: it's embedded as feature in our ADO project so everyone has access on it, all feedback can be grouped together, everyone can vote the feedback, and based on most voted feedback we can create action items as work-items to be tracked there.

From the Top 3 most voted feedback, we take the problem statement to 3 fish-bone diagrams in Mural and everyone start to perform root cause analysis. Mural is really great collaboration tools, it's smooth and has good stability when there's lot of people are updating the board.

After everyone put their sticky notes on each problem, then we agree with action items for improvement and assign the ownership for next PI.

Overall, I love this fully digital and virtual meeting. I don't need to prepare manual logistics (e.g. white boards, sticky notes, paper tag, or other stationery).

Next, I will share about my experience on facilitating 2 days full virtual PI Planning with more than 50 peoples in 9 different time-zones.

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