Today was the end of the second Release Train Planning event to mark the start of the next 3 months worth of development within the Business. This time we had two hundred and seventy people on the go, so seventy up on last time. still the biggest in the UK from all we are told.
This time round it was a bit slicker in the execution, with some truly excellent contributions at the start to give some context and to re-cap on the success and challenges of the last 3 months plus a bit of humour and a surprise or two along the way to keep spirits up.
I was again facilitating for the two days, this time working with one of the teams on a Supply Chain initiative. The afternoon of Day 1 saw us reviewing a draft story set with our new product owner which sadly descended into a debate as to whether the story set was actually viable at all. In the spirit of agile, we broke off and put the developers back into the "heartbeat" processes of the Safe ART and then four of us spent two hours with a whiteboard doing some rough and ready business analysis to get to the bottom of the actual requirement.
Day 2 had the four of us meeting up at 7.30am to write up a new set of stories from the work the afternoon before, and then we were able to re-engage the development team properly in the planning breakout session and get the whole thing planned out properly into the next six iterations (I know Dean Leffingwell suggests 4 iterations, but we're doing 6 per release train here). Not the most perfect of ART planning days for us, but actually we got the right result and a good team confidence score in to the mix also, so all is well that ends well.
Now we just have to deliver what we committed to !