If you’re doing PI (or Big Room) Planning across multiple geographies, it can be a challenge to schedule the event around public holidays and other events. I’ve enhanced the standard “ART and Team Events Calendar” spreadsheet that Scaled Agile provides within their “PI Planning Toolkit” to allow for much better visibility and customisation of dates.
Downloadable Excel Template
[There is a downloadable version with the file with 2023 holidays added at the end of the article.]
The key enhancements are:
Comprehensive Customisation of PI Duration and PI Planning Event Dates
In the picture below, we extended the end date of the first PI by 5 days to allow for team members to return from the summer holidays in South Africa. In this example, PI 2 is only 5 iterations long to avoid doing PI Planning over the Easter holidays and PI 5 is 9 iterations long because there are 3 “dead” iterations over the December / January long holidays in South Africa.
Note: If you wanted to only do a one-week IP iteration you could enter a value of “-5”.
Customisation of Terminology
If you prefer using “Sprints” to “Iterations” or “Big Room Planning” to “PI Planning” you can dynamically set these naming conventions – and these will display on all column headings and calculated fields.
Detailed Calendar View
This displays a 400-day planning view. The date range can be customised by entering the desired start date in cell B2.
The view allows you to ensure that PI Planning events are not held over public holidays. In the picture below you can see that the PI Planning 2 event avoids Martin Luther King Jr. day in the USA and Republic Day in India.
Public Holidays that are not confirmed (like Eid) are clearly highlighted.
Configure Public Holidays Relevant to your Organisation
You can capture all the public holidays and events that are relevant to your organisation and these display in the detailed calendar view. The template file available for download in this post includes Belarus, India, Philippines, South Africa, and USA as well as Jewish holidays (we have a very distributed delivery model!). You can add in product launch or major milestone (e.g. industry tradeshow) dates as well.
Here’s a quick video navigating you through the spreadsheet tool.
Below is a version of the calculator with the 2023 public holidays added.