Role of a Scrum Master & Product Owner in Program Increment (PI) Planning Meeting

June 8, 2022
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  • SAFe
  • SAFe Scrum Master
  • Scrum
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The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) helps achieve business agility by bringing alignment in strategy and execution. The Agile Release Train (ART) serves as a hub for all people and groups working toward one objective. Multiple agile teams working in an Agile Release Train (ART) gather for PI planning once in PI.

Multiple teams in the same Agile Release Train (ART) gather periodically year-round for PI Planning meetings to align with a shared vision, discuss features, prepare the PI Plan, and discover cross-team interdependence. Scrum Master and Product Owners play a critical role in PI planning to empower Agile teams in doing their PI Planning.

Scrum Master’s Responsibilities in PI Planning Meeting

Scrum Masters are critical to the PI planning meeting’s success. They are the facilitators and coaches for their Scrum Team throughout the event.

They make it easier to prepare for PI Planning. During Team Breakout sessions, they assist the team in estimating their capacity for Iterations, finalizing Team PI Objectives, and managing the timeframe, dependencies, and ambiguities.

Scrum Master in Program Increment (PI) Planning

  • They ensure that the team has enough knowledge to plan the entire following PI. If not, they must obtain answers to all outstanding questions to plan properly.
  • They review individual leave plans and tell the team about the available capacity in all sprints so that the team can pick up the load appropriately and identify any risks.
  • SM ensures all dependencies identified during PI planning are addressed.
  • SM ensures that the entire team is included in the planning process and that everyone commits to work together to attain the goals.
  • SM ensures that all risks have been addressed. Risk should be Resolved, Owned, Accepted or Mitigated (ROAMed).
  • SM ensures the right amount of due diligence is done to achieve the objectives of Team Breakout sessions.
  • SM ensures that the team is planning to ensure Build In Quality by planning good quality development.
  • SM Works with other team’s Scrum Masters to ensure that other teams’ approach to development is well communicated to the team.
  • SM ensures that the team’s plan and approach are transparent to other teams and stakeholders.
  • SM ensures that User Stories are sized and estimated well to bring predictability in estimation and planning for PI.
  • SM ensures that Team and PO understand how to develop Committed PI Objectives and Uncommitted PI Objectives.
  • SM also works closely with Release Train Engineer (RTE) to support integrating plans at the Agile Release Train (ART) level.
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