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Planning Poker: The Secret Weapon of Agile Teams

Scrum fosters collaboration, adaptability, and a commitment to delivering high-quality software products. At the heart of Scrum's success is the concept of Planning Poker - a powerful tool that can help your team make informed decisions and manage their workload effectively. If you're ready to take your career to the next level and become a Scrum Master, we invite you to join our Scrum Master Bootcamp. But first, let's delve into the world of Planning Poker and how it can elevate your team's productivity.

What is Planning Poker?

Planning Poker is a consensus-based technique used by a team to estimate the effort needed to work on user stories. It's a collaborative approach that ensures everyone on the team has a voice in the estimation process. Here's how it works:

  1. Card Deck: A set of Planning Poker cards is used, each with a number or a sequence of numbers, typically based on the Fibonacci sequence (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40, 100). Each number represents a relative effort or complexity. This can be facilitated on a remote setting as well with virtual collaboration tools such as Miro or Azure DevOps.

  2. The Estimation Session: During a planning meeting, team members discuss the details of a task. Then, each team member selects a card from the deck that they believe represents the effort required to complete the task. They place their cards face down.

  3. Reveal and Discuss: Once all team members have chosen their cards, they flip them over simultaneously. If there's a wide range of estimates, team members discuss the reasons behind their choices. This encourages open communication and helps everyone gain a better understanding of the task.

  4. Re-estimate (if necessary): After the discussion, the team can repeat the process to reach a consensus on the effort estimation.

  5. Final Estimate: Once a consensus is reached, the estimate becomes the basis for planning and prioritizing work.

Benefits of Planning Poker

Why you should care about Planning Poker? Well, the benefits are numerous, and they directly impact your team's productivity and project success:

  1. Engagement and Collaboration: Planning Poker promotes collaboration and ensures that every team member has a say in the estimation process. It fosters engagement, as everyone is actively involved in the discussion.

  2. Improved Accuracy: The discussion that occurs during Planning Poker helps the team identify potential challenges and uncertainties related to a task. This leads to more accurate estimates, reducing the risk of underestimating or overestimating a task's complexity.

  3. Transparency: Planning Poker provides transparency into the decision-making process. This transparency can be crucial for stakeholders, enabling them to understand why certain tasks are prioritized or why timelines might need adjustment.

  4. Consistency: By using a common set of reference numbers (Fibonacci sequence or similar), Planning Poker ensures a consistent understanding of task complexity across the team.

Your Turn: Facilitate Planning Poker as a Scrum Master

Scrum Masters are expected to facilitate at least 5 events such as daily standup, refinement, planning, sprint review and retrospective. Planning poker is one of the techniques you can use during planning to help team gain consensus. By enrolling in the Scrum Master Bootcamp program you will perform the role of a Scrum Master and get to experience techniques such as planning poker first hand with your team mates. This program offers comprehensive hands-on training and certification to help you get a job as a Scrum Master.

Here is what you can expect on our Scrum Master Bootcamp:

  1. Expert Instructors: Our bootcamp is led by seasoned Scrum Masters who have extensive industry experience. They'll provide you with practical insights and guide you through real-world scenarios.

  2. Interactive Learning: We believe in a hands-on approach to learning. You'll actively participate in simulations such as standup, user story writing, planning poker sessions, to gain valuable experience.

  3. Certification: Upon successful completion, you'll earn a globally recognized Scrum Master certification, enhancing your career prospects. Certification course is optio

  4. Networking: Connect with other professionals and expand your network with our diverse group of participants.

  5. Resume/Interview coaching: You'll get help in writing your perfect resume and you'll attend interview mock sessions to help you ace your Scrum Master interview.

Join us today and get started to transform your career in agile project management!

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