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Program Increment sets a specific time period and objectives for the agile teams that are part of an Agile Release Train. In the Program Increment are multiple agile teams that are part of an Agile Release Train. SAFe uses “Cadence” and “Synchronization” to assist in combining the work of multiple teams into one. These increments support teams to create a measurable unit of time and value that allows the enterprise to work on a set target. It provides a structure which connects teams and management with the long-term vision.
“A plan is not putting you in a box and forcing you to stay there. A plan is a guide to keep you on course, efficient, and safe.”-- Amber Hurdle
These increments are like sprints but at a higher level. In a Program Increment(PI) planning session, management and teams sit together to set a common goal and define their dependencies among each other. After setting the PI objectives, each agile team works on their own set target and manage their work in independent Sprints.
Cadence and Synchronization
Cadence sets a routine for the workers to work on. It encourages thorough planning and the effective use of resources which in turn helps in lowering costs of events such as planning, integration, demonstrations, and retrospectives.
Synchronization, on the other hand, ensures that the development teams and the businesses are on the same page to achieve their goal and also involving the customer in the development process.
Just as iteration is to an agile team, a Program Increment (PI) is to an Agile Release Train. The program increment follows the plan-do-check-adjust method.
- PI Planning is a fundamental activity which sets the tone for what has to be achieved
- The “do” represents executing the objectives set in the Program Increment
- Displaying the System Demo is part of “check”
- Lastly, “adjust” is inspecting and adapting which happens to be the final step
Program increment lasts for 8-12 weeks. But its duration can be adjusted according to the requirements of the project. The benefit of Program Increment is that it limits the WIP (Work in Process) to keep the teams more focused resulting in a higher quality of work. The teams become more responsive and adaptable to change and there is an emphasis on a team being cross-functional to get tasks done efficiently. Continuous integration and validation from customers allows them to actively participate in the process of development and giving them the freedom to give feedback.
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Kendis offers an all-inclusive solution to planning, tracking and managing your Program Increment and dependencies between distributed teams. It works on top of JIRA and other agile tools, your teams can keep on working with their existing JIRA boards and program level and above is planned and managed at Kendis.
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