16 September 2021

Extreme programming (XP) : Planning poker

Planning game

Planning poker definition

  • Planning poker is a popular agile game used to estimate the relative work effort of developing a User Story.
  • Planning poker = scrum poker

Planning poker purpose

  • Planning poker is based upon the Wide band Delphi estimation technique, it is a consensus-based technique for estimating effort.
  • Sometimes called scrum poker, it is a technique for a relative estimation of effort, typically in story points, to develop a User Story.

Planning poker cards

  • The presence of a Product Owner is necessary when playing a game of planning poker because the Product Owner provides an overview of User Stories and answers any questions the Developers may have.
  • At a planning poker meeting, each estimator is given an identical deck of planning poker cards with a wide range of values.
  • The Fibonacci sequence is often used for values for planning poker (i.e., 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc.).
  • Each team member has a deck of cards with various numbered values which he or she can draw from to « play (showing one card) » to indicate an estimated point value of developing a User Story. [Coaching Agile Teams. Lyssa Adkins.]

Planning poker practice

  • A planning poker meeting works as follows :

1) a moderator (like a Scrum Master), not estimating, facilitates the meeting.

2) the Product Owner provides a short overview of the User Story and answers clarifying questions posed by the Developers, typically the Product Owner does not vote.

3) Each estimator selects an estimate of work effort by selecting a card,

4) Once everyone has selected a card, everyone overturns their card concurrently,

5) Estimators with high and low estimates are given a chance to defend positions.

6) The process repeats until there is consensus, the Developer who owns the User Story is typically given higher credence. [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]

Reference point User Story

  • The reference point User Story for planning poker is typically a medium or average size User Story.
  • Estimators can use the reference point to make relative estimations. [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]

Relative sizing/story points

  • Agile teams typically User Story points to estimate the relative size or effort of developing a User Story [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]
    • Both planning poker and affinity estimation are agile techniques used to size the work effort of developing User Stories. [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]
  • Instead of User Story points, agile teams may estimate the relative sizes of user stories using ideal days.
    • Ideal days represents the amount of days – uninterrupted by meetings, personal life, non-working days, or any other delays, obstacles or distractions – that it would take a single person to build, test, and release the User Story, relative to other User Stories in the backlog. [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]
    • Agile teams should agree to one method of estimation, either story points or ideal days, as both use different units of measurement and can lead to confusion. [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]

Story points definition

  • A story point is a fixed unit and relative value of development effort.
    • It is used in the relative sizing of User Stories to estimate work effort involved with development.
    • Story points represent the relative work effort it takes to develop a User Story.
    • Each point represents a fixed value of development effort.
  • In general, story points can be considered as the cost of developing a user story, while value points can be considered as the benefit of developing a user story. [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]
  • Example :
    • A 0 point user story is said to be of minimal effort for a development team. [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]

Story points purpose

  • Agile teams typically use story points to estimate the relative size or effort of developing a User Story [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]

Story points practice

  • When estimating the agile team must consider complexity, effort, risk, and inter-dependencies. [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]
  • Story points are not time-based, meaning [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]

User story time-boxed value

  • Two to three minutes is a typical time-boxed value for discussing User Stories when playing planning poker. [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]

User story triangulation

  • Triangulation involves estimating the relative effort of developing a User Story by comparing it against two other User Stories. [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]

User Story impediment

  • When an agile team is scoring a particularly vague and unclear User Story, it typically assigns it a high value knowing that it will most likely become further defined in upcoming iterations. [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]

Scrum for Developers : Scrum PSD flashcards

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