With its iterative approach, the Scrum framework enables teams to minimize risk and manage risks confidently. Risk can creep into various elements when managing a project and prevent you from delivering a valuable project. But it takes much more than risk awareness to head off these risks.
If estimating is a core activity of traditional project management, Zuzana “Zuzi” Šochová explains to us in this article that it is not used by advanced Agile and Scrum teams. Instead, the focus should be on being more reactive to changes and responsive to feedback. We are realizing that Agile is not about plans, but planning as a continuous activity.
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.
There is plenty to fret about when you are running or on an agile team, but your measure of estimation should be one of them. In fact, despite what you may have heard from consultants or others, Scrum is not prescriptive about any particular estimation measure, let alone story points. Many practitioners support story points and it has been very in vogue for a while now, you should do whatever you and your team feels most comfortable with.
The values contained in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development might be good for the Agile teams, but most of the senior management in organizations prefer having a defined solution, a detailed planning and a budget that should be respected. This article discusses how to make these two different approaches work together.