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Planning Poker and Estimation Techniques

Estimation is a crucial part of the project management process, it helps the team to plan and set realistic goals. Planning Poker and Three-point estimation are popular techniques used in Scrum to estimate the effort required to complete user stories, these techniques provide a common understanding of the effort required to complete a user story and help teams to plan and set realistic goals. The key is to choose the estimation technique that works best for your team and your specific context. It is also important to remember that estimation is not an exact science and that the estimates should be considered as a guide rather than a definite answer.

In a nutshell

Planning Poker, also known as Scrum Poker, is a consensus-based technique used to estimate the effort required to complete user stories in Scrum. The goal of Planning Poker is to provide a quick and accurate estimate of the effort required to complete a user story, while also encouraging participation and discussion among team members.

During a Planning Poker session, each team member is given a deck of cards with numbers representing different levels of effort, such as story points. The team then reviews each user story and, using the information provided, each team member privately estimates the effort required to complete the story. Once all team members have made their estimation, they reveal their cards simultaneously and discuss their reasoning.

If the estimates are widely different, the team discusses the story further and may break it down into smaller stories to get a better understanding of the work involved. If the estimates are similar, the team can use the median estimate as the final estimate for the story.

Planning Poker is a useful technique for Scrum teams because it provides a common understanding of the effort required to complete a user story. It also promotes collaboration and participation among team members, which helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and committed to the estimate.

Another estimation technique that is often used in Scrum is Three-point estimation. This technique is used to estimate the effort required to complete a user story by considering three different scenarios: best case, most likely, and worst case.

For each user story, the team discusses and estimates the effort required to complete it in the best case scenario, the most likely scenario, and the worst case scenario. The team then uses these three estimates to calculate a final estimate for the story using the following formula: (best case + 4 x most likely + worst case) / 6.

This technique allows teams to consider different scenarios and factors that might affect the effort required to complete a story, such as uncertainty and risk. It also provides a more accurate estimate than a single point estimate, as it takes into account the potential range of effort required to complete the story.

Both Planning Poker and Three-point estimation are popular techniques used in Scrum for estimating the effort required to complete user stories. Both techniques promote collaboration and participation among team members and provide a common understanding of the effort required to complete a user story. However, the choice of technique will depend on the team’s preference and what they find more suitable for their specific context.