Planning Poker is an estimating technique to quickly gain team-consensus as to which possible solutions to prototype and which to toss out.
👥 whole team | ⏰ between 15 and 30 minutes
You’ve identified a number of possible solutions to a problem, but the team can’t build all of them. Planning Poker can help the team quickly gain consensus as to which possible solutions require too much effort, and therefore, should be tossed out.
Planning poker is great because it:
- Fosters collaboration by engaging the entire team
- Creates a consensus estimate rather than having a single person driving the estimate
- Exposes issues early through discussion of each possible solution
- Each team member gets a set of four cards that read Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large.
- The Product Owner (or session facilitator) presents one possible solution at a time to the team.
- The Product Owner then answers any questions the team might have about the solution.
- Each participant privately selects a card representing his or her estimate of the “size” (taking into account time, risk, and complexity) of the solution.
- When everybody is ready with an estimate, all cards are presented simultaneously.
- If there is consensus on a particular size then the team moves to the next solution.
- In the event that the estimates differ, the highest and lowest estimators defend their estimates to the rest of the team.
- The group briefly debates the arguments.
- A new round of estimation is made (see steps 4 and 5 above).
- Continue until consensus has been reached for each possible solution.