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Planning Poker

Planning poker is a tool we use to estimate a projects features at a high level during release planning.

Each member of the Scrum Team is given a set of cards with numbers from 1 to 100, following a sequence similar to the Fibonnacci series.

Planning poker cards

  1. The Product Owner comes to the Release Planning meeting with a prioritised list of things that need doing - the Product Backlog.
  2. The Product Owner presents the highest priority item from the Product Backlog to the team.
  3. The Scrum Team runs through the Product Backlog to decide what the feature that will take the least amount of time to deliver - this feature is valued a 1.
  4. The Scrum Team can ask questions to clarify the features requirements.
  5. Each member from the Scrum then chooses a card that they feel represents the size of the feature in relation to the feature they values as a 1
  6. If the members have choosen a wide range of numbers for the feature they discuss the feature and then play again. The discussion is time boxed to 3 minuets.
  7. The Scrum Team keeps playing until they have a concenus as to the number of points the feature should be awarded.
  8. The Product Owner and Team repeat the process so they have enough of the Product Backlog estimated for 2 or 3 Sprints.

There is always a lot of discussion when teams first start using planning poker to estimate work as to does 1 point represent 1 hour. The points do not have any relation to time, they are simply a weighting to demonstrate how big in relation to the baseline feature (the feature valued as 1 point). The most important thing about planning poker is that it gets the Scrum Team and Product Owner talking so everyone gets a common understanding of the features requirements and size.



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