Planning Poker?

Last post 04:34 pm October 25, 2019
by Paul Cornec
10 replies
03:35 pm July 22, 2015

Just curious if anyone uses Planning Poker for their team's estimating process? If so, I have a question I need clarification on . . .

I know that the beginning point must be chosen - whether it's the easiest item or an "average" item, or whatever. Then, everything is estimated relative to that starting item. My question is, do you estimate only considering the items without estimates on the backlog for that session? Or do you consider how you have estimated everything over the course of the project?

Thanks for any input!

06:29 pm July 22, 2015

Why not do both, so that all items are given initial estimates, and which are subsequently improved in as timely a manner as possible?

09:06 am July 23, 2015

Thanks, Ian! That's helpful and probably how we'll view things.

For what it's worth, in case anyone else sees this and has the same question, I'll add that I asked Mike Cohn about this, as well. He came back with, "Comparisons should be to any past stories."

09:58 am July 23, 2015

Our team has not yet used planning poker, any idea how this could be done working with distributed teams?

12:15 pm July 23, 2015

> Our team has not yet used planning poker,
> any idea how this could be done working with distributed teams?

I look at it this way. If there is a problem in getting a team (distributed or otherwise) to collaborate on estimation, what are the chances of them being able to collaborate effectively during development?

12:17 pm July 23, 2015

Well, most of my team is co-located, but we have 2 people that are remote. So, we use GoToMeetings to do a video conference, basically, and meet Every team member has cards to show and, after talking through an item, everybody shows their "vote" at the same time and we go from there.

Another option is I have not used it, personally, but I believe you can set up an online or mobile game to use with a distributed team.

Hopefully that helps!

04:36 pm July 23, 2015 i have been to be very useful for distributed teams.

08:59 am July 27, 2015

I believe you have two challenges here, the first is to coach the team in understanding the concept of sizing using a points system and the second avoiding the story points distribution skewing as the project progresses over time. The problem is that teams tend to “forget” their initial story point reference and eventually impacting project estimation and you will begin to see issues in achieving the sprint goal too.

I have used a story reference card created by the team which they refer back to when estimating and planning – the team reviews the story point reference card every few sprints when the team deems necessary.

Planning poker works well with co-located as well as distributed teams. Planning poker is a great concept which allows you to coach the team in their understanding of story sizing. I have used Webex with distributed and co-located teams during refinement and sprint planning meetings where the team members send me a private message on webex with their estimate so not to influence the rest of the teams estimates allowing for productive discussions when estimating and planning.

08:32 pm July 31, 2015

I think this material will help you:

Making your personalized Planning Poker cards in #10 minutes…

06:10 am March 13, 2016

The open source alternative is designed for remote teams and with the target to include different ticketing system.s

03:08 pm October 25, 2019

Another alternative is, which allows you to set up your planning in under a minute on both desktops and mobile devices.