Planning poker (also known as scrum poker) is a software package that helps facilitate the planning phase of a product development cycle.
This technique is used during the early stages of developing a product like software where designers, developers, and other stakeholders collaborate to estimate how much work it will take to produce the design or the whole project.
Moreover, it relies on consensus building with team members using the information, experience, and skills to develop the whole project estimation.
It’s named after "show of hands" poker games where players are asked for their opinion on the subject and raise their hand if they agree with the comment.
In this technique, one card is drawn at random from a deck. The person who drew the card then makes an estimation. Anyone who agrees with the given assessment raises his hand, and everyone keeps going around until someone disagrees with an estimate or there are no more cards left in the deck.
Planning Poker Rules and Tips to Get the Best Outcome from Each Meeting
Planning Poker is an agile technique designed to use if there is no agreement on a particular topic. It consists of each person showing their thumbs and then flipping them over so that the other players can see.
There are several steps you can take to make sure that your Planning Poker meeting goes smoothly. You should:
- Make sure that everyone has time to review the content and get up to speed before the meeting starts
- Make sure that you have plenty of time for discussion
- Encourage people in the group to add their opinion, even if they disagree
- Put your points in writing before the start of the meeting
What are the four types of cards used for estimating planning poker?
There are four types of cards that are used for estimating:
1. Large card - To represent user stories with many tasks or high complexity
2. Medium card - To represent user stories with few tasks or low complexity
3. Small card - To represent user stories with many tasks and high complexity
4. X-small card - To represent user stories with few tasks and low complexity
The Uses of Scrum Poker
Planning poker estimates the amount of work involved in completing a software task or project. It is a simple but effective way to determine the time and resources required for a project and helps teams agree on how to prioritize tasks.
Here are a few key advantages that a company can get by using this technique.
- This is an efficient technique because it removes some of the pressure from developers. They don’t have to estimate everything by themselves, and they can share responsibility with their teammates.
- It also encourages team members to speak up if they disagree with an estimate, which can help the team better understand how much work they have left to do and their priorities as well.
- To implement this technique for work, no one needs any kind of special training or skills. That is how everyone can easily participate in the discussion, whether he is an expert in the field or not.
- The advantages of this technique are that it encourages participation, provides an opportunity for collaboration and knowledge sharing, and is easy to do because all you need is a deck of cards.
- The planning poker technique also promotes collaboration because team members can pool their skills and knowledge together when estimating tasks using this method and share their thoughts.
- The poker tool helps the workers feel that they have contributed to the plan. When the workers realize that they have participated in creating the project, they try harder for its success than when they are told what to do. When they put extra effort into completing a project, it becomes easier for them to finish the whole project in the least time possible.
Drawbacks of planning poker
- Not any system is perfect in its unmodified form. This poker tool also has its pitfalls. The consensus may still lack crucial information, leading people to rely too heavily on a flawed plan since the start of the discussion.
- Second, the poker tool relies on a democratic process to be accurate & representative of the whole cohort. It is possible, however, for an aggressive and dominating person to seize control of the process. This may lead to an inaccurate count or a skewed estimate.
This is one of the best techniques used for estimating the size of work efforts in software development and other projects to come up with an accurate estimate and reduce the risk of human bias from individual estimators.
Although this is one of the most effective techniques for project estimation still, it has a few drawbacks that could ruin the whole analysis. Therefore, the upper management must have to control the entire process of planning poker to get an accurate estimate. Chpokify has developed the best tools that can help you learn planning poker and get accurate estimations for any kind of project.