One and done: Discover how PNI media embraced virtual PI planning

by Caitlin Mackie, Graduate Marketing Coordinator

30 Sep 2021

PNI Media is a Vancouver-based digital print media company helping turn people’s memories into photo products. Partnering with some of the biggest retailers on the planet, PNI Media offers on-demand, personalized print products and shipping solutions while serving 64 million customers each year.

When the pandemic hit and health restrictions began in early 2020, the business was one month out from PI planning. PI planning was traditionally done in-person with multiple teams onsite, so they needed to find a way to make the process work online.

Planning against the clock

“We had four weeks to find a way, we needed a solution we could quickly deploy, was easy to train people on, and was easy to set up. At the bare minimum, it had to replace the program boards that teams would stand in front of to do their planning.”
Ben Pearson, Senior Product Owner at PNI Media

To find a solution fast, easy integration was a must. With the business already using Jira, the plug-in functionality of Easy Agile Programs meant the team could automatically access everything they needed.

Another key consideration was the company approval process, which saw any budget requirements take a lot of time. “The fact that there was a free trial, and we could jump on initially to see if it would meet our needs, was perfect,” said Ben.

A match made for Jira

From his first experience of Easy Agile Programs, Ben said he could quickly see how it would meet their needs. “I could make my program board just like I could in person, move tickets around simply, and edit them easily.”

To onboard PNI Media’s 200+ employees, Ben used the Easy Agile Programs tutorials for the initial set-up. He also produced a video that ran through how to use the tool, which was shared with product owners, development leads, and other senior employees. “There isn’t a complicated set-up. It just works straight out of the box,” said Ben.

Since rolling out Easy Agile Programs, the team has discovered additional benefits, thanks to the links with Jira. This includes being able to create a ticket without leaving the app, and no longer needing to go into Jira afterwards to move anything around. “When you move tickets around in Easy Agile in the sprints, they move around in Jira too, so you only have to change them once,” said Ben. “With all the planning done in one place, it just makes it easier to get things out the door.”

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100% adoption rate

Ben reports a 100% adoption rate of Easy Agile Programs, with everyone across the business using it for PI planning. It’s been such a success that he suspects the business will keep using the app even after they move back into the office.

READ: The Ultimate Guide to PI Planning

“I honestly don’t think we’ll go back to the traditional way, especially after our team has voted to keep PI planning in a virtual setting,” said Ben. “Easy Agile Programs takes a lot of the manual work that comes after PI planning out of the process. We can do all the mapping in Jira, while we’re doing the planning – so it’s just one and done”.

“Easy Agile Programs is a very easy tool to use. It was simple enough that a person could find out from the documentation how to set something up in 5-10 minutes, and then just use it.” - Ben Pearson, Senior Product Owner, PNI Media

One and done: Discover how PNI media embraced virtual PI planning

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