Planning Poker

Last post 12:29 am May 14, 2014
by Sanjay Saini
4 replies
05:10 pm May 11, 2014

I have just joined a Scrum team, which comprises of the old team members and new team members. I was looking through the planning poker cards and the Question mark (?) has been removed and only cards with numbers 1 to 8 are used.

When I challenged this I was told by an old team member this is how we do it, and if you cannot forecast you do not play a card.

I think that this is not correct as there is a danger of anchoring and also no discussions will take place when team members don' t fully understand whats being delivered.

My question " is this correct? I believe all the card should be used as per the empirical process that's in place for scrum process.

Any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

manny thanks

04:10 am May 12, 2014

I agree. As you say there is a risk when it comes to anchoring. Everyone will have to give their input how else are we coming to consensus?

04:55 am May 12, 2014

A Scrum Team can size stories however they like, and it's not unreasonable to limit the range to a subset of numbers from a planning poker set. However, it isn't reasonable to stifle discussion or to disfranchise a team if the question mark card is removed, some other method for enabling discussion must be available.

Note that if backlog refinement is done regularly and well, all team members should be able to size Product Backlog Items when required to.

04:50 pm May 12, 2014

Thanks for your input Gentlemen, I will raise this in the planning meeting today.


12:29 am May 14, 2014

I agree with Ian. If they know their scale 1-8 and are aligned with it.

I have seen this as problem that Dev team always needs more clarity and everything written in the PBI before putting any story point for it. I would argue it with more discussion within team members during the grooming and don't spend more than 5-10 mins per PBI per session. You should groom the same PBI at-least twice before coming for the planning meeting.

Increase discussion as much as you can.