Estimating the features of a product backlog becomes easy now with the use of newest techniques and strategies in giving an accurate approximation of it. Thus, each of this backlog products and items estimation becomes more systematic and agreeable among the team through planning poker.
Planning poker, otherwise known as Scrum poker, is usually used in estimating the effort and size of the developmental goals in the agile software development. This method was first discovered and named by James Grenning. In the later years, Mike Cohn popularized it in the book entitled “Agile Estimating and Planning”, having the name marked as a major contributor on the digital on line world. Over time, because of the rapid technological advancement, a lot of programmers had already discovered new and fresh approaches in providing an agile estimation of a certain feature or item.
What is a planning poker?
Planning poker is simply a technique used to make a more reliable and accurate estimate of a certain feature. It involves all the team members to decide what will be the final estimation of that certain backlog product. This is done through the use of a planning poker card deck, wherein after the features of the product owner is discussed, then all the team member should holds on to a card with their corresponding estimate number. The majority or the group raising the same number will be the one that will serve as the official estimate of the team. In this process, each team member is required to raise the card at the same time to eliminate the possibility of having unreliable result of the votes. They make sure that the estimates of each of the member will not be affected by other member in the team so that the result of the estimate is more accurate and agreeable. Moreover, if the estimates are closer together, then it only means that there are higher estimates taken .On the contrary, if there are relative large gaps among between the estimates, then the highest and the lowest estimates will be discussed to the team.
In this strategy, copies of deck card and an egg timer are very much needed during the votation in the discussion of each product feature or item. The card used here is typically of Fibonaccii sequence for the team to easily reflect and avoid confusion in giving estimates, especially on larger items. The idea behind the use of this estimation scale comes from the Information Theory that states that the information that we got from an estimation grows much slower than the precision of the estimation itself. It can be so abstract in the minds of other people but it simply conveys that this Fibonacci series can be used as a great estimation scale in providing an agile yet accurate estimation.
Generally, in poker planning, the involvement of all the team members is very vital in making the final estimate. Thus, this process requires part of the time and patience of the team members for the process will be repeated until they had already achieved a consensus and made a final decision on what estimates will be really chosen among all other estimates.
— Slimane Zouggari