Planning Poker Cards
Planning Poker — is an amazing and simple estimating technique. It's used to quickly estimate product backlogs with story points, working days, hours or any other estimating unit.
How to use planning poker cards
Here's a quick guide to get you started with
better estimations in your team!
1
Get everyone a deck of cards
Form a group of max 10 estimators and a moderator. The PO can participate, but not as an estimator. Make sure all estimators have a set of planning poker cards and with the full deck. It can easily break the flow, if during the estimation phase someone starts looking around for a missing card.
2
Prepare your backlog for estimations
Make sure the tasks in the backlog are ready for the estimations: the deliverables are clear, task descriptions are in place and PO is ready to answer questions on them.
3
Pick a task and think of an estimation
The moderator reads the task or user story. The PO answers brief questions, if any.
As an estimator, think of the difficulty to implement the task. You can measure it in hours, working days, story points or other measuring unit your team has decided on.
Pick the card matching your estimation and put in in front of you face down.
4
Turn cards and evaluate
When everyone has made their estimations, turn all cards face up. The average estimation will give you a good picture on the task difficulty. If estimations vary a lot, discuss the lowest and the highest estimations, to make sure you're not missing any pitfalls.
Pick an estimation everyone agrees on and proceed to the next estimation.
With Planning Poker You Can:
* at least we hope you'll be using this
technique to get better results, as we do ;)
Make better estimations
This is a simple tool you can start using the next day and
get better at estimations
Save historical data
When you have better estimations, you can actually store data and make better preditctions
Make better sprints
If you start making better estimations (and you will) it will be easier to maintain sprints within deadlines
Have fun
Planning poker is fun and engaging, and helps with more contribution with gamification in your teams
What's in our Poker Card deck?
13
default planning poker cards
+ some custom cards
1
Jackie Chan
1
Not Bad card
What is Planning Poker?
Planning Poker is an agile estimating and planning technique that is consensus based. To start a poker planning session, the product owner or customer reads an agile user story or describes a feature to the estimators.

Each estimator is holding a deck of Planning Poker cards with values like 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40 and 100, which is the sequence we recommend. The values represent the number of story points, ideal days, or other units in which the team estimates.

The estimators discuss the feature, asking questions of the product owner as needed. When the feature has been fully discussed, each estimator privately selects one card to represent his or her estimate. All cards are then revealed at the same time.

If all estimators selected the same value, that becomes the estimate. If not, the estimators discuss their estimates. The high and low estimators should especially share their reasons. After further discussion, each estimator reselects an estimate card, and all cards are again revealed at the same time.

The poker planning process is repeated until consensus is achieved or until the estimators decide that agile estimating and planning of a particular item needs to be deferred until additional information can be acquired.

(c) Mountain Goat Software
Win a Planning Poker deck
For the OpenSource conference we're giving away
FREE 50 decks of Planning Poker cards. Register to get a chance to win!
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You will be working in a modern office situated in Chisinau, in an innovative, rapidly growing team, having the opportunity to travel to USA
Be a part of a small, efficient and FUN engineering team in Chisinau
Work with React, Redux, Ruby on Rails and other awesome newer technologies
Get a very nice salary + stock options
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