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Power of PI Objectives

Editor’s note: Original blog published on: Jul 24, 2018

SAFe explains the purpose and process of capturing PI Objectives in the post linked through the big picture - PI Objectives and the Guidance - The role of PI Objectives.

Extending the concept further, this blog talks about the power of PI Objectives. It attempts to clarify the concept of PI Objectives so that teams use it with the complete knowledge of its power.

If you are not aware of the purpose of PI Objectives, I recommend you go back to the two articles mentioned above and refresh the concept before reading further.

What should the Business Owner worry about? “Are my features getting completed on time? How close am I in meeting the release objectives?”

While both of these concerns may sound similar, they are not because developed features which have a lower priority will not get you as close to meeting a business objective as high-priority features.

PI Objectives, with their ranked business values, help keep track of both of these questions.

PI Objectives serve another purpose. While assigning business values, the business owner again thinks and reflects on the importance of the objective. In case several objectives for a team (or a program increment) are given lower values (say a 1, 2, or 3), it is a symptom of a weak backlog prioritization process, or a need to re-evaluate the associated features, epic or product for further RoI on additional features. This can be helpful to ensure effective utilization of resources.

One of the purposes of PI Objectives is to avoid the negative consequences of breaking down the requirements into features and user stories and making teams forget the “big picture.” PI Objectives ensure that the team’s small steps towards progress point in the right direction.

They also help the team and Business owners come closer and speak a common language.

Very few organizations harness the power of PI Objectives. Several teams don’t understand how to write them or end up copying the features as objectives.

With this post, I hope I have been able to convince you how powerful PI Objectives are and how monitoring the completion of PI Objectives should be the ONLY metrics that are of importance to the Business Owner.


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