Scaled Agile Framework®, Innovation and Planning Iteration

Image of Nader Talai
Nader Talai

The Innovation and Planning Iteration

The Innovation and Planning Iteration (IP) occurs every Planning Increment and is the last iteration within the Planning Increment (PI) and provide dedicated time for innovation, planning and inspecting and adapting event. 

SAFe® focuses on continuous customer value delivery, and the teams are focused on delivering the features to achieve the PI objectives. The focus on delivery is intense, and the teams focus on delivery iteration after iteration.

Relentless focus on delivery could lead to no time for innovation. To address this, SAFe® provides a dedicated Innovation and Planning iteration.

Innovation requires time to experiment and learn from the tests. Without a dedicated Innovation Planning  (IP) iteration, it isn't easy to find the time to innovate, yet organisations can't afford to.

Innovation Planning (IP) iteration happens on a regular cadence in every Planning Increment (PI). Planning Increment provides the delivery cadence, and the IP iteration plays the critical role of providing an estimation buffer that enables predictability for PI objectives. Without the Innovation and Planning, IP iteration, it becomes less likely to achieve PI objectives. 

IP iteration provides

  • a balance between the delivery focus and the need to improve
  • an iteration focused on innovation that happens on a regular cadence
  • the opportunity to Inspect & Adapt
  • root cause analysis
  • to improve our skills
  • improve the tooling
  • planning

Estimation buffer enables predictability

Planning to 100% utilisation leads to longer lead times and unpredictable results when problems inevitably occur. IP iteration provides the capacity buffer to stop unfinished work from one Planning Increment to another and ensures predictability.

Enables Continuous learning

SAFe® provides dedicated time to enable continuous learning and innovation. Everyone in the organisation is a lifelong learner. IP iteration allows team members to learn new techniques, technology or practice to grow and be more effective. 


SAFe and Scaled Agile Framework are registered trademarks of Scaled Agile, Inc.

Want to learn more about SAFe Agile Training and how as a SAFe Agilist, you can help your organisation with your SAFe journey? Attend our Leading SAFe, scaled agile framework certification training. 


Related Topics

Innovation and Planning

Scaled Agile Program Board

Scaled Agile in a nutshell

PI Planning Readiness

SAFe Quickstart ART Launch

Scaled Agile Training

Leave a Comment

Blog posts

Related Articles.

Image of Nader Talai
Nader Talai


We talk a lot about self-organisation, autonomy and empowerment. While this is a good start it is...

Read more
Quickstart ART launch
Image of Nader Talai
Nader Talai

SAFe® Quickstart ART launch

You want to achieve business agility and have decided to use SAFe for Lean Enterprises, SAFe® to...

Read more