SAFe Program Template
Track delivery dates and understand dependencies and milestones of a project.
About the SAFe Program Board Template
Even if you’re not participating in a formal PI session, a program board can be a great way to establish communication across teams and stakeholders, align development objectives with business goals, clarify dependencies, and foster cross-functional collaboration. The board provides much-needed structure to planning sessions, yet is adaptable enough to accommodate brainstorming and alignment meetings.
Keep reading to learn more about the SAFe program board.
What is a SAFe program board
Since its inception, many organizations have used the Agile model to streamline internal processes, maintain alignment, and ship delightful products. Even companies that don’t rigorously adhere to all Agile standards have adopted the model’s tools and methods. Program Increment (PI) Planning is one of the most popular.
PI planning is integral to the SAFe Agile model. It is part of the Innovation and Planning Iteration of the SAFe process. In a PI planning session, teams take one or two days to present the business context and vision. They then conduct breakout sessions to understand how their work directly contributes to the organization’s success. All teams come away with Iteration plans and future objectives.
The SAFe program board is an integral component of PI planning. In fact, it’s the key deliverable that should come out of a PI session. The program board highlights delivery dates, dependencies among teams, milestones, and timelines.
When to use a SAFe program board
Many organizations use the SAFe program board when getting their teams together for a PI session, to present the business context or vision. In this context, the SAFe board allows you to stay on track throughout your discussion, map deliverables, and ensure that your objectives align with company goals.
However, you don’t have to conduct a formal PI session to make use of the SAFe program board. You can easily incorporate the board into monthly or quarterly planning sessions, use it for all-hands meetings, help align new teammates, or resolve miscommunication during complex projects.
Crucially, the SAFe program board can be used either in person or remotely. Even if you can’t fly the whole team into town for a planning session, video conferencing while using the program board allows everyone to collaborate on the company vision and team objectives. By using the board to conduct remote sessions, you can ensure that the entire team contributes in the planning session and can easily double-check all timelines, deliverables, and milestones.
Create your own SAFe program board
Making your own SAFe program boards is easy. Miro’s whiteboard tool is the perfect canvas to create and share them. Get started by selecting the SAFe Program Board Template, then take the following steps to make one of your own.
Label the board. Before you start planning, customize the board’s slots with the names of your teams, the teammates involved in this session, and the iteration.
Add milestones, timelines, and releases. Next, fill in the parts of the board that are designed to track key deadlines, and progress toward your goals.
Add Features and Enablers. The slot for Features and Enablers is on the left side of the board. Features are anything you’re planning to ship during this production cycle. Enablers support the processes and activities needed to complete business tasks. Make sure you add in any dependencies, as well.
Use the board to sync with your team. Even when you’ve finished building the board, you can continue to use it to align with your team as you work on your projects. If you need, you can iterate on the board itself, moving around Features, Enablers, timelines, and milestones as necessary.
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