COVID-19 is Redefining Face-to-Face Communication: Updated Framework Guidance

SAFe Updates

Hi Folks,

Collaboration is at the heart of Agile, and we’ve all experienced the benefits of face-to-face conversation as the best means of conveying information. In SAFe we take this to the next level with PI Planning, a face-to-face event for all members of the ART to align to a shared mission and vision.

In recent months, however, COVID-19 has forced many organizations to change the ways they work, and this has impacted how Agile teams and ARTs collaborate. These challenging times have fostered new patterns of work as well as techniques and guidance for successfully facilitating remote team and ART events. All these approaches have one thing in common: they maintain face-to-face communication through the use of technology.

In short, face-to-face communication no longer requires everyone to be in the same room. Many teams and ARTs had reached this conclusion some time ago, while for others COVID-19 forced this realization upon them. Of course, there are still many benefits associated with colocation. I’m sure we’ve all experienced the challenges that technology can bring and the additional overheads it adds. But in response to the current situation, and as organizations become more global, we need to be able to accommodate more distributed ways of working.

We’ve updated several framework articles to provide guidance and recommendations to support this new way of working:

PI Planning: Many organizations, including our own, have run successful remote PI Planning events. The PI Planning article has always discussed remote planning, but we’ve updated it to recognize that this is now a fairly common approach. Our advanced topic article, Distributed PI Planning with SAFe, provides further guidance on this specific scenario.

Organizational Agility: A key aspect of Organizational Agility is creating the right environment for productive Agile teams. This article, written before COVID-19, included guidance on creating the right physical spaces. This has been updated to include remote working considerations.

Agile Teams: We’ve made minor updates to the Agile team article and also included links to further guidance in our advanced topic article, Working Successfully in Agile with Remote Team Members.

As we have all have seen first-hand, things can change very quickly. We at Scaled Agile are committed to keeping the framework relevant and up-to-date with information to help you succeed on your SAFe journey. I’d like to thank the entire SAFe community for sharing your experiences during these times, which have helped to inform these changes.

Stay SAFe,
— Andy

Author Info

Andrew Sales

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