Scrum Planning and Estimation: Planning Poker

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Welcome to this lesson on Planning Poker, a popular estimation technique used in Scrum Planning and Estimation. Planning Poker is a consensus-based technique that encourages collaboration, communication, and a shared understanding of effort among the Scrum Team. In this lesson, we will discuss the purpose, benefits, and steps involved in Planning Poker.

Scrum Planning and Estimation: Planning Poker Scrum Planning and Estimation: Planning Poker

Purpose of Planning Poker

Planning Poker serves several key purposes within the Scrum framework:

  1. Collaboration: Planning Poker encourages collaboration among the Development Team, fostering a shared understanding of the effort required to complete Product Backlog Items (PBIs).

  2. Communication: Planning Poker promotes open communication, allowing team members to discuss their perspectives, concerns, and insights regarding the effort required for each PBI.

  3. Consensus: Planning Poker helps the Development Team reach a consensus on the effort estimates, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and understands the expectations for each PBI.

  4. Accuracy: By involving the entire Development Team in the estimation process, Planning Poker increases the accuracy of effort estimates, resulting in better planning and forecasting.

Benefits of Planning Poker

Planning Poker offers several benefits compared to traditional estimation techniques:

  1. Reduced Bias: Planning Poker reduces the risk of anchoring, a cognitive bias where individuals rely too heavily on the initial information presented when making decisions.

  2. Increased Engagement: Planning Poker encourages active participation from all Development Team members, leading to more accurate and well-rounded estimates.

  3. Knowledge Sharing: Planning Poker allows team members to share their expertise and insights, promoting a deeper understanding of the work involved in each PBI.

  4. Efficient Estimation: Planning Poker is a timeboxed activity, encouraging the Development Team to make quick, efficient estimates while still allowing for discussion and collaboration.

Steps in Planning Poker

Planning Poker typically involves the following steps:

  1. Select a PBI: The Scrum Team selects a PBI from the Product Backlog to estimate.

  2. Discuss the PBI: The Product Owner briefly explains the PBI, its requirements, and acceptance criteria, allowing the Development Team to ask questions and clarify any uncertainties.

  3. Estimate Independently: Each Development Team member privately selects a card representing their estimate of the effort required to complete the PBI. Planning Poker cards typically use a Fibonacci-like sequence (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21) to represent effort.

  4. Reveal Estimates: All Development Team members reveal their estimates simultaneously, preventing anchoring or influence from others.

  5. Discuss Differences: If there are significant differences in the estimates, the Development Team discusses the reasons behind the varying estimates and seeks to understand each other's perspectives.

  6. Repeat: Steps 3-5 are repeated until the Development Team reaches a consensus on the estimate for the PBI.

In conclusion, Planning Poker is a valuable estimation technique in Scrum Planning and Estimation that encourages collaboration, communication, and consensus among the Development Team. By using Planning Poker, Scrum Teams can increase the accuracy of their effort estimates, leading to more effective planning and forecasting. Give Planning Poker a try, and enjoy the benefits of collaborative estimation!