Planning poker (Scrum Poker) is a technique used in agile software development to estimate the complexity and size of work items. It is used by product owners, developers, designers, and other team members to quickly evaluate the relative complexity of work items. It's a great way to assign work items from larger backlogs into sprints.

This article will explain what scrum poker estimation consists of, how to use this technique for project estimation, and how it can be helpful for software development projects.

Tips to efficiently use planning poker for software development estimation

In this technique of assessment, every estimator takes a set of poker cards. Those cards could consist of different numbers from 0 to 9 or 13. The company and the upper management must know how to efficiently use the scrum poker technique for software development project estimation.

Below are a few rules that must be followed to efficiently use the planning poker tools and software for agile software development estimation.

1. Read out all the tasks that the workers need to complete for software development. It could help every employee know what kind of work he has to do to complete the job. When the participants are not aware of the list and the complexities of a task, their estimate would not be accurate.

2. After reading the task, the project manager must brief everyone about the details of each task. It could help everyone learn about the project and the tasks that everyone has to complete in a time. The workers would have clarity about the projects, and they could give an accurate estimate.

3. In the next step, everyone picks a card representing his estimate for the task. Once everyone has chosen a card, they have to turn their cards over at the same time to avoid teammates influencing each other’s estimates.

4. When everyone picks a card, now is the time to ask everyone, especially those who have selected the lowest and the highest cards. They will have to give their opinion about the task and why they have chosen a particular card.

5. After listening to the views of everyone, the employees have to choose the cards once again.

6. Finally, now is the time to know if everyone is on the same page or not. If there is a consensus on the estimation, it is well and good. Otherwise, everyone has to give his opinion once again and go for re-estimation.

After learning about the usage of planning poker, now is the time to learn the benefits of this technique. So, here are a few benefits of using the scrum poker technique for project estimation.

Planning poker estimation activities are fun for everyone

Besides providing an accurate estimate, this practice can be included in a fun activity where everyone is included in a game. When they are together to discuss a project, they can have fun while chatting. This activity is suitable for both the employees and the project.

Everyone has an equal opportunity to give his opinion

Planning poker is a collaborative estimation technique in which participants use playing cards to represent the size of each task. This technique provides an equal opportunity for each team member to give their opinion about the project. Every member provides an opinion according to his skills and experience in the industry.

After the whole team has a consensus, no one could give any excuse if he is not matching the pace of the work.

Equal contribution to the estimation

In planning poker, everyone has an equal contribution to the estimation. The power is in the hands of everyone, and it helps to make sure that no one person dominates the conversation.

It is an efficient way of generating estimates. It reduces the time spent on estimating and generates better calculations due to a more democratic process.

Planning poker estimation encourages team ownership

Planning poker is a technique that encourages team ownership of a software development project by evenly distributing responsibility. In addition, it aims to build an open dialogue about the work and encourage participation by all stakeholders in the project.

Accurate and fast

The main advantage of this technique is that it's fast and accurate compared to other estimation methods as everyone in the team gives his opinion, and in the end, they provide the perfect estimate with no loopholes.

Better collaboration

Software developers have positively received planning Poker because it helps increase collaboration among team members by promoting discussions around the task and then getting consensus on the estimate.


Planning poker is helpful for everyone, especially for the software industry and web development industry. But for better usage of this technique, the workers need to know how to use this technique for project estimation efficiently.

Once everyone in the team has clarity of the project and its minor tasks, it could be easier for the whole team to give an accurate estimate for the software or web development project.

If the management and the employees don’t know how to get the benefits of this technique, they could give an inaccurate estimate, which could ruin the project and the company’s reputation. For this reason, it is essential for workers and management to learn the Scrum poker process and get the best tools from