What is a Delivery Planning Meeting in Kanban?

Sometimes, work can’t be delivered to clients on the same day it’s finished – certain release dates are set in stone.

In a Delivery Planning Meeting, the team plans what needs to be ready for release, as well as what other work items are due to be finished.

The aim of this meeting is to plan and commit to both the main outcomes and the delivery date for the customer.

You should also consider any hand-off requirements or training activities needed for the client.

Keeping all that in mind will help you reduce inefficiencies to a minimum and keep customer satisfaction high.

Now, let’s dive deeper into the format of the meeting itself.

The Anatomy of a Delivery Planning Meeting

Anatomy of a Delivery Planning Meeting | Illustration

Let’s go through the main components of the Delivery Planning Meeting:

The purpose of this meeting is to plan downstream delivery and form a delivery manifest. The meeting’s typical duration is 1-2 hours.

Participants include the Service Delivery Manager, other relevant team members, specialists for technical knowledge and risk assessment, and managers for decision-making.

Inputs are gathered from the Daily Meeting regarding available items for delivery and risk considerations from the Risk Review.

Outputs include decisions on which items to deliver, communicated to the Daily Meeting, and information on delivery issues sent to the Risk Review.

Establish a Regular Cadence

Now, there are three main actions that need to take place to establish this regular cadence:

First, define the frequency of the meeting, and the transition and coordination costs.

Then, determine the invitee list, including individuals who can provide information, make decisions, or take actions related to delivery. Review the state of work items potentially available for delivery, gathering information from the Daily Meeting.

And finally, forecast how many of the items currently available on your board will be ready for delivery before the release date. Generate the forecast using the Monte Carlo simulation to project the probability that comes with your commitment.

For tickets near completion, re-evaluate the probability of finishing them by the release date and consider changing their class of service to a fixed date.

Taking into account the above considerations, make the final decision about which work items to commit for delivery.

Create the Delivery Planning Meeting Agenda

Now, here is the discussion that has to take place:

Which items in the system are ready or will be ready for release?
This means figuring out which tasks are done or almost done, providing an overview of potential release candidates.

What is required to actually release each item to production?
Including any necessary documentation or approvals. This step involves detailing the steps and prerequisites for deploying each item into the production environment.

What testing will be required post-release to validate the integrity of production systems?
Here, we evaluate the types of tests needed, such as regression testing or performance testing, to verify that the release meets quality standards.

What risks are involved?
Considering the potential impact on functionality, performance, and security. This involves identifying potential risks such as defects, infrastructure failures, or security vulnerabilities that could affect the release.

How are these risks being mitigated?
What are the measures you can implement to minimize their likelihood and impact? In this step, we outline proactive actions to address identified risks, such as implementing fallback plans or conducting thorough risk assessments.

What contingency plans are required?
Here, you want to address unexpected issues or complications that may arise during the release process. This involves outlining backup plans and procedures to handle unforeseen events or emergencies during the release.

Who needs to be involved in the release and present during the deployment to production?
Determine the key stakeholders who need to be involved in the release, ensuring clear communication channels. Identify individuals responsible for decision-making, coordination, and oversight during the release process.

How long will the release take?
Estimate the time required for the release process, including deployment and any necessary validation activities. Provide an estimated timeline for the entire release process, accounting for each stage from preparation to completion.

What other logistics will be involved?
Consider other factors such as resource availability, coordination with external teams, and communication protocols to ensure a smooth release process. This involves identifying any additional considerations that may impact the release, such as coordinating with third-party vendors or ensuring adequate communication channels are in place.

The Delivery Planning Meeting can be a valuable resource in your toolkit if you put the structure in place to keep it streamlined and effective.

Here is your action item: Set up your delivery planning meeting as early as tomorrow morning. This is the starting point of building a system of cadences that will suit you well in the long run.

And if you’re interested in exploring the 7 Kanban Cadences in more detail, here is the most comprehensive blueprint for transforming your meetings into outcome-driven events

With this toolkit, you’ll be able to dive deep into every detail, from purpose to implementation steps, allowing you to navigate each meeting seamlessly and strategically.

If you find this helpful, share it with your colleagues on your social media platforms. I’d highly appreciate it if you spread the word.

I wish you a productive day ahead and I’ll see you next week, same time and place for more managerial insights! Bye for now.

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