Many agile teams utilize affinity estimation to estimate a large number of user stories in narrative points fast and simply. This is a good method to use if a project is just getting started and the backlog hasn't been estimated yet, or if you're getting ready to schedule a release.

Many agile teams utilize affinity estimation to rapidly and simply estimate a large number of user stories in narrative points. Other estimating techniques, such as Planning Poker or the Bucket System, are useful for reaching a consensus in small projects. If a project is just getting started and the backlog hasn't been estimated yet, or if you're getting ready to schedule releases, Affinity Estimation is a fantastic approach to use. When the team is small and the number of participants is small, this method is beneficial.

Affinity estimation vs Planning poker. What's the difference

Planning Poker is a consensus-based agile estimating and planning approach. The product owner or client reads an agile user story or explains a feature to the estimators to begin a poker planning session.

Each estimator has a deck of Planning Poker cards with values such as 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40, and 100, which is the recommended sequence. The numbers reflect the estimated amount of narrative points, ideal days, or other units by the team.

The estimators talk about the functionality and ask the product owner questions as required. After the feature has been thoroughly explained, each estimator chooses a card to represent his or her estimate in private. After then, all of the cards are revealed at the same time.

The estimate is established if all estimators chose the same value. If this is not the case, the estimators will debate their estimations. The reasons for the high and low estimates should be shared in particular. Each estimator reselects an estimate card after more debate, and all cards are shown at the same moment.

The poker planning procedure is continued until the estimators reach an agreement or until the estimators determine that agile estimating and planning of a specific item should be postponed until further information is available.

Affinity estimate with agility has the following characteristics:

Simple and quick

Make your decision as transparent and visible as possible.

Make the estimating session a joyful and collaborative experience rather than a contentious process.

Agile affinity estimate participants include:

A project's Product Owner

A flexible delivery team

Facilitation by a Scrum Master

The following are some of the stages involved in estimating affinity:

Relative Sizing in the Dark:

The agile team discreetly sets the relative sizes of the user stories once the product owner presents them to the team. On a horizontal scale, the team organizes the tales in increasing order. It can also be done by rearranging notes or indexes until everyone on the team is happy with the arrangement. To keep the procedure fast and non-confrontational, this phase is done "silently," as in mute-mapping.

Making changes to the wall:

The members of the team adjust the relative sizes on the wall. This phase entails conversations between the product owner and the team, with the latter having the opportunity to rearrange the order determined in the previous step depending on their discussion and conclusion.

Sorting things into buckets based on their respective sizes:

The objects are organized into distinct "buckets" that are labeled according to the chosen estimate scale. The buckets may be labeled Extra Small, Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large, or they could be labeled using a non-linear scale with narrative point values of 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and 13.

The product owner's dilemma:

In this phase, the product owner may consult with the team on the sizing. If the team decides to modify the size of a story, they must first remove it from the wall before repositioning it according to the new size they arrived at after consulting with the product owner.

Planning poker is an agile estimating approach that employs narrative points to assess the task's difficulty. The narrative point values that may be allocated based on the Fibonacci sequence are 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40, and 100. For the entire project, each of them represents a distinct level of complexity.

The planning poker session begins with all of the team members participating in the estimating process sitting together. Each participant has a deck of cards with the above-mentioned narrative point values. The next phase is for a leader figure or the client to read out the "user story" (basically the project) and detail all of the criteria and features.

The stakeholder who reads the narrative will have a conversation with the team members who are estimating, who will then have a conversation with each other. They can now ask the consumer or the owner clarifying questions and convey any reservations they may have.

After the talks, each estimator will choose a card with the narrative point they feel should be assigned to the project. The final estimate will be based on the narrative point estimates matching up. If they don't match, the estimators who supplied the lowest and highest scores can explain why, and additional debate will occur until an agreement is reached.

This method is ineffective for big groups or when there are a high number of things to estimate. This is a fantastic method to utilize if you just have a limited amount of things (between 2 and 10) and a small group of teammates. It's also one of the most often used estimate methods.