Planning pokeer

Planning poker – Let’s play

Only in IT you have a chance to play cards during the working hours.

Planning poker, sometimes called Scrum poker got it name after the famous game because of using cards – and involving all players. The set of cards is rather different and the goal is to agree on an estimate for a particular task in the backlog. Who are the players? The team.

Estimating a task is quite difficult even if the task itself looks like something you have done before. The project may be different, there may be other people in the team and the technology may have changed as well. The planning poker makes sure that all the opinions in the room are heard. How does it work then?

All the players have a card deck with numbers of the Fibonacci sequence starting from zero – 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89. In some decks it can be 0, ½, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40, 100. For each task the Product Owner shortly explains the task, then the team raises the card with the estimate at the same time. The point is not to be influenced how your colleagues estimate the task. If there are differences, people with lowest number explain why the task is easier and the people with highest numbers explain why the task is more difficult. If there is no agreement on the task difficulty, the task is re-estimated.

The planning poker is usually played at grooming and the simple process makes sure that all opinions are heard and the team can commit to the task.

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