During the sprint planning meetings, the Scrum team plan the work to be performed during the next sprint. As the Scrum sprint is a time-boxed period, the delivery of software has to be calibrated to fit in it. Planning poker is a collaborative estimation technique used to achieve this goal.
The first thing to say is that the term “Planning Poker®” is a registered trademark of Mountain Goat Software, the Mike Cohn company. This is why this agile planning practice could be sometimes names differently: scrum poker, agile poker, etc. This article presents a list of free and open source planning poker tools and plugins that are also directly available as online tools.
Parabol is an agile meeting tool that helps remote teams run guided retrospective, check-in and Sprint Poker meetings. Parabol’s structured format and built-in templates make it easy for facilitators to run a great agile meeting – no matter if you’re a pro or just starting out. It’s free to use for up to two teams.
Some software development teams try to adopt Scrum, but they don’t achieve the full benefits of this approach. This might be due to the fact that the teams customize Scrum in a way that is inappropriate. In this article, Pablo Pecora suggests five aspects of Scrum, like the planning poker, that you cannot skip if you want to get the benefits of Agile.
In this article, Mitch Lacey discusses the difficulty faced when trying to provide estimates for software development project. The beginning of a software project is the time when you are the least certain about the final scope project, but it is also when you are asked to deliver precise estimates. Agile tries to move from uncertainty to certainty in as quickly as possible.
The first step in creating a useful Agile project plan is the ability to estimate reliably. Mike Cohn discusses how to do this. He explores various approaches to estimating in Scrum including unit-less points and ideal time. The class presents four specific techniques for deriving reliable estimates, including how to use the popular Planning Poker® technique and other techniques that dramatically improve a project’s chances of on-time completion.
Mike Cohn wrote an interesting post where he discusses he allows or even encourages to estimate with story points as large as 20, 40, and 100. He explains that they are useful when you need first and not necessarily precise estimate of the general size of a new project being considered.