Planning Poker

During agile projects it is common for teams to estimate the “size” of each user-story being considered for inclusion in the next development sprint by committee. This involves each team member assigning a number of points to each user-story. It is usual to restrict number choices to the Fibonacci numbers. Many teams do this using special “planning poker” card decks, allowing each team member to select a card from their own deck in private, prior to everyone revealing their cards at the same time.

However, with the increase in popularity of home working it is not always possible to have all team members in the same room to facilitate an estimation session. is a great (and free!) website that allows teams to play planning poker online. User stories are loaded in to the tool in advance, and then iterated through one at a time. Participants are allowed some time for discussion, during which each should choose a card. Once everyone has chosen the cards are revealed allowing a consensus to be reached.