Planning Poker

Agile Estimates using Scrum Poker and Planning Poker Online





As a member of an agile team, you know how essential it is to estimate and plan your work accurately. However, traditional estimation techniques can be time-consuming and often lead to inaccurate results. That’s where Planning Poker comes in. This agile estimation technique has gained popularity in recent years due to its efficiency and accuracy.


Planning Poker helps teams estimate the size of user stories, features, and other tasks in a collaborative and fun way. It is a structured approach that allows team members to participate in the estimation process and share their opinions, leading to better outcomes. In this article, we will discuss the basics of Planning Poker, how it works, and why it’s an essential tool for every agile team. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of Planning Poker!


What is a Planning Poker Session?


Planning Poker is an agile estimation technique used by teams to estimate the size or complexity of tasks in a collaborative manner. It is also known as Scrum Poker or Agile Poker. In this process, each member of the team independently estimates the size of a particular task in terms of story points, which are a unit of measure used in agile development. The team then discusses their estimates and comes to a consensus on the size of the task.


The History of Agile Planning Poker in Software Project


Planning Poker was first introduced by James Grenning in 2002. He borrowed the concept from an estimation technique called Wideband Delphi, which was developed by the RAND Corporation in the 1940s. Planning Poker gained popularity in the agile community due to its simplicity and effectiveness.


How to hold a Planning Poker Session in Scrum



The Planning Poker process involves several rounds of estimation. In each round, the team estimates the size of a particular task using a deck of cards with numbers or story points printed on them. Each card represents a specific estimate of the task’s size. The numbers on the cards are usually based on the Fibonacci sequence, as it is a non-linear sequence that reflects the uncertainty and complexity of software development.


Each team member chooses a card that represents their estimate for the task. The team member with the highest and lowest estimates explains their reasoning behind their estimate. This helps the team identify any misunderstandings or assumptions that may affect the estimate. The team then discusses their estimates and comes to a consensus on the size of the task.


Advantages of Using Planning Poker Tool for Agile Estimation


There are several advantages of using Planning Poker over traditional estimation techniques:


  • Increased Collaboration: Planning Poker enables all team members to participate in the estimation process and share their opinions. This promotes collaboration and helps the team come to a consensus on the size of the task.


  • Improved Accuracy: Planning Poker helps teams estimate the size of tasks more accurately by taking into account the opinions of all team members. The use of story points also helps to reflect the complexity and uncertainty of software development.


  • Enhanced Transparency: Planning Poker provides transparency into the estimation process by allowing team members to see each other’s estimates. This promotes open communication and helps the team identify any misunderstandings or assumptions that may affect the estimate.


  • Increased Efficiency: Planning Poker is a structured approach that helps teams estimate the size of tasks quickly and efficiently. The use of story points and the Fibonacci sequence also helps to speed up the estimation process.



When to Use Planning Poker Online


Planning Poker is a versatile estimation technique that can be used in various scenarios within an agile team. Here are some specific instances where Planning Poker can be beneficial:


  • Sprint Planning: During sprint planning, teams use Planning Poker to estimate the size of user stories and tasks that will be included in the upcoming sprint. By assigning story points to each task, the team can determine the workload for the sprint and ensure that it is feasible within the available time frame.


  • Release Planning: Planning Poker is also valuable during release planning. Teams can estimate the size of features, epics, or larger deliverables that will be part of the next release. This helps in prioritizing the work and setting realistic goals for the release.


  • Backlog Refinement: As part of backlog refinement sessions, teams often encounter user stories or tasks that are not yet ready for sprint planning. Planning Poker can be used to estimate their size, allowing the team to prioritize and refine the backlog effectively.


  • Change Requests: When change requests or new requirements arise during the development process, Planning Poker can help estimate the impact of these changes. This allows the team to assess the effort required to accommodate the changes and make informed decisions regarding their implementation.


  • Project Kickoff: Planning Poker can be employed at the beginning of a project to estimate the overall size and complexity of the work ahead. By estimating the high-level tasks or epics, the team gains a better understanding of the project scope and can plan accordingly.


  • Continuous Improvement: Planning Poker is not limited to specific phases or events within a project. It can also be used as an ongoing practice for continuous improvement. Teams can regularly review and re-estimate tasks, allowing them to refine their estimation skills and enhance their understanding of the project’s complexity.


Inferences on How Planning Poker Work


In all these scenarios, Planning Poker brings valuable insights and helps foster collaboration among team members. By involving the entire team in the estimation process, it ensures that diverse perspectives and expertise are considered, resulting in more accurate and reliable estimations.


Remember, the primary goal of Planning Poker is to facilitate estimation, planning, and decision-making in an agile environment. Its flexibility and adaptability make it an indispensable tool for any agile team seeking to improve their estimation process and deliver high-quality products efficiently.