Finally: Treat Your Agile Program Management Team Like A Team

October 10, 2017 Lee Cunnigham

Agile Program Management Teams

You probably think of your agile program management group as a team. But how does your program management software treat your team?

Despite all the many conversations about “teams at every level of the organization”, most agile lifecycle management software still reserves agile team capabilities for those directly responsible for building user stories.

This is challenging when you’re trying to take a team approach to program management.

Your agile program management software needs to enable your program management team to act with the same transparency, speed, and adaptability as your agile development teams.

So what does that mean?

We know what makes for good agile team software, in general. So, let’s start there. From a team member’s perspective, agile team enablement software must be:

  • Accessible: Don’t make me click through layers of menu options just to get to my work.
  • Configurable: Allow my team to work the way it needs to.
  • Focused: Don’t waste my time with anything I don’t need to see.
  • Immediately Interactive: Don’t make me go somewhere else to take action on what I see.
  • Contextual: Help me quickly understand how what I’m looking at relates to the whole.
  • Collaborative: Make it easy for me to communicate, both within and outside of my team.

Did you know that VersionOne PlanningRooms offer all of these must-haves to your program management teams today?

Program management teams use PlanningRooms for agile planning, tracking, and review at higher levels, such as programs, products, release trains, and value streams. Teams can create their own rooms to focus on specific areas of responsibility.

But just how does a PlanningRoom make it easier for your program management teams to work as teams? For that, let’s look at PlanningRooms in terms of the characteristics we described earlier:


AccessibleEvery PlanningRoom has a unique URL. You can use that URL to access the PlanningRoom with one click, bypassing unnecessary navigation. This makes it easy for your team members – even busy executives – to develop the habit of using the PlanningRoom.


ConfigurableSince each team is unique in the information it needs to see and how it operates, a team can arrange and configure the PlanningRoom panels any way it wants. You can include more than one panel of a given type in a room. You can even include reports from VersionOne Analytics via the Analytics panel. Also, each PlanningRoom panel retains the configurability of its stand-alone counterpart.


FocusedThe PlanningRoom UI shows only the panels that you’ve configured for that room. This allows members to concentrate on only what they need to see. Plus, you can toggle off of any of the panels that aren’t relevant to the current conversation.

Immediately interactive

interactiveUnlike a dashboard, the panels in a PlanningRoom are “live”. This means that the information you see is in real-time. You can also edit the information you see in a panel without having to navigate to another view.


contextual-planningroomA PlanningRoom is set in the context of some part of your organization’s planning structure. You can use your PlanningRoom’s panel configuration to “zoom” in and out within that context, without leaving the room. For example, if you needed to see Kanbans at different levels, you could include several Portfolio Kanban panels and configure each as needed.


VersionOne Conversations are threaded discussions in the context of VersionOne assets and the people working on them. The PlanningRoom also has a Conversations panel available for the room itself. This enables you to have persistent, threaded discussions around the work of PlanningRoom. Also, the Topics panel makes it easy to share knowledge and content by pinning it to your PlanningRoom.

PlanningRooms help your program teams to be efficient at what they need to get done, with reliable information, while shielding them from distractions.

But how do teams actually use PlanningRooms?

Program management teams use PlanningRooms in some pretty complex scenarios. For example, organizations sometimes need to consider information from multiple perspectives that aren’t possible to convey in a single view. Being able to collect those views in a single collaborative space, and then act on the underlying data right there, is invaluable.

But even in the course of “typical” program planning, tracking, and review, PlanningRooms can make the lives of those responsible for higher-level planning and oversight easier. Everything you need is right there. It’s just a matter of assembling the team and setting up the room.

Are You Ready

Are you enabling your program management teams with PlanningRooms? If not, it’s worth a closer look.

The post Finally: Treat Your Agile Program Management Team Like A Team appeared first on VersionOne Blog.

About the Author

Lee Cunnigham

Lee Cunningham is the senior director, enterprise agile strategy at CollabNet VersionOne. He is focused on advising the executive sponsors and senior leaders of large enterprises, providing insight and practical guidance to meet the challenges of large-scale agile. He works with organizations around the world, and his experience, pragmatic approach, and customer focus keep him in demand as a trusted advisor.

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