What Is Agile Planning Poker And How Can It Benefit Your Business?

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Mar 28, 2023
Updated on
Mar 28, 2023
Table of Content

What is Agile Planning Poker?

Agile Planning Poker is a popular estimation technique used by Agile development teams to determine the relative size and complexity of tasks. This technique, which involves using a deck of cards to represent different levels of effort and complexity, can help teams to better understand the scope and priorities of their work, and can improve the accuracy and reliability of their estimates. In this blog post, we will explore some of the key benefits of using Agile Planning Poker in your business.

One of the main benefits of Agile Planning Poker is that it encourages collaboration and consensus within the team. Rather than relying on a single person's estimate, the team works together to come to a collective agreement on the estimated effort, time, and resources needed for a task. This can help to improve communication and alignment within the team, and can also reduce the potential for bias or uncertainty in the estimation process.

Agile Planning Poker offers many benefits for businesses that are looking to improve their project planning and estimation processes. Using this technique, teams can improve collaboration and consensus, enhance the accuracy of their estimates, and make their planning and estimation sessions more interactive and enjoyable. Whether you are new to Agile Planning Poker or looking to improve your team's process, this technique can be a valuable tool for achieving your business goals.

How to Use Agile Planning Poker to Align Business Goals

To use Agile Planning Poker to align business goals, follow these steps:

1) Educate the Team

First, make sure that all team members understand the game and the Agile estimation process. Explain how the cards are used to represent different levels of effort and complexity, and make sure that everyone is familiar with the estimation scale that will be used.

2) Identify your Business Goals

Next, identify the business goals that you want to align with your Planning Poker estimates. This could include goals related to project timelines, budget constraints, or other factors that are important to your business.

3) List the Proposed Task

Once you have identified your business goals, create a list of tasks or issues that need to be estimated. These could be individual tasks or features, or they could be larger user stories or epics. Make sure that each task is clearly defined and that the team has access to the necessary information and data.

During the Planning Poker session, have each team member estimate the effort required for each task. Encourage collaboration and consensus within the team, and make sure that everyone is honest and transparent with their estimates.

4) Review the Estimates

Once all of the estimates have been collected, review the estimates and discuss any discrepancies or concerns. Use the estimates to prioritize tasks and adjust the project plan as needed to align with your business goals.

5) Track Accuracy

As the project progresses, track the accuracy of your estimates and use this data to improve your estimating skills and processes. This can help you to refine your Planning Poker technique and align your estimates more closely with your business goals over time.

By following these steps, you can use Agile Planning Poker to align your business goals with your project planning and estimation processes. By improving collaboration and estimation accuracy, Agile Planning Poker can help you to achieve your business goals and drive better results for your team and your organization.

The Role of Collaboration and Consensus in Agile Planning Poker

The role of collaboration and consensus in Agile Planning Poker is essential for ensuring the accuracy and effectiveness of the estimation process. In Agile Planning Poker, collaboration and consensus are achieved through the use of a deck of cards, which is used to represent different levels of effort and complexity. Each team member holds up their card to show their estimate, and the team discusses and agrees on the final estimate for the task.

Benefits of Agile Planning Poker

1) Avoids wrong individual estimations: A collaborative approach to estimation is important because it helps to avoid the potential pitfalls of individual estimates. For example, if only one person is responsible for estimating the effort required for a task, their estimate may be influenced by personal biases or assumptions. This can lead to inaccurate or unrealistic estimates that don't reflect the true scope and complexity of the task.

2) Increases estimation accuracy: By using Agile Planning Poker, teams can avoid these pitfalls and achieve a more accurate and reliable estimate. By using a standardized set of cards or numbers to represent different levels of effort, teams can avoid the common pitfalls of estimation such as anchoring, where the first estimate given influences subsequent estimates, or the planning fallacy, where teams consistently underestimate the time and resources needed for a task. By using Agile Planning Poker, teams can make more informed and realistic estimates that are based on objective data and collective agreement.

3) Builds team trust: In addition to improving the accuracy of estimates, collaboration and consensus can also help to build trust and alignment within the team. By involving everyone in the estimation process and valuing their input, teams can foster a sense of shared ownership and responsibility for the project. This can lead to improved communication and collaboration within the team, and also increase morale and motivation.

4) It's fun! Agile Planning Poker can also be a fun and engaging way to plan and manage projects. By using a deck of cards or other interactive tools, teams can make the estimation process more interactive and enjoyable. This can help to boost morale and motivation within the team, and can also make it easier to involve stakeholders and other interested parties in the estimation process.

The Importance of Accurate and Reliable Data in Agile Planning Poker

The importance of accurate and reliable data in Agile Planning Poker cannot be overstated.

In Agile Planning Poker, teams use a deck of cards or other tools to estimate the effort required for a task or feature. The accuracy and reliability of these estimates are only as good as the information and assumptions that they are based on. If the team doesn't have a clear understanding of the task at hand, or if the data is incomplete or outdated, the estimates may be inaccurate or unrealistic.

To avoid this, it's important to make sure that the team has access to accurate and reliable data when using Agile Planning Poker. This could include information about:

  • The task/feature
  • Requirements
  • Constraints
  • Dependencies
  • Data about the team's skills and experience level

By having access to this information, teams can make more informed and realistic estimates that are based on objective data rather than personal assumptions or biases.

In addition to improving the accuracy of estimates, accurate and reliable data can also help teams to prioritize tasks and plan their project more effectively. By using data to understand the relative complexity and effort required for different tasks, teams can prioritize the most important or critical tasks and allocate their resources accordingly. This can help to ensure that the project stays on track and delivers the desired results.

GoRetro and Planning Poker

GoRetro Planning Poker is a game-changing tool for Agile development teams. With our user-friendly interface, you can easily vote and estimate issues in real-time, improving communication and collaboration within your team. Our in-game issue management feature allows you to keep track of progress and prioritize tasks, while our integration with popular ticketing systems ensures that you always have access to the latest information. With GoRetro Planning Poker, you can take your project estimates to the next level and drive exceptional results. Try it out today and see the difference for yourself!

GoRetro's Planning Poker

About the author

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert

Highly experienced in leading multi-organizational teams, groups, in-shore as well as off-shore. The go-to person who is able to simplify the complex. An agile advocate, experienced in all common methodologies. Responsible for the entire software development lifecycle process from development, QA, DevOps, Automation to delivery including overall planning, direction, coordination, execution, implementation, control and completion. Drives execution, and communicates on status, risks, metrics, risk-mitigation and processes across R&D.

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