Estimating tasks with your team is a highly significant phase that will help you agree on the next steps of your project. You and your teammates can test several estimation techniques or tools before settling upon an instrument to get the prioritization criteria right. It’s worth keeping in mind that such a tool should help you prioritize your work items and maximize results.

This article will discuss Appfire’s Agile Poker and what you can use it for. You will learn how to combine Agile Poker and the Priority Planning Poker method to estimate your work, prioritize items within the project and reach a consensus with your team faster.

What is Priority Planning Poker

Priority Planning Poker is a technique that product development teams can use to ensure that everyone contributes to the prioritization process of work items. It also provides every team member with a way to easily decide how they can put their efforts into work.

This method allows people to participate in a democratic, fair, and transparent estimation session to help them make group decisions on the coming weeks’ priorities.

The fundamentals of the Priority Planning Poker method are very simple. It ensures the entire team makes decisions free of biases; therefore, it’s entirely fair, and everyone can feel included.

To run a successful Priority Planning Poker session, follow these suggestions:

  1. Create a virtual room where you would be able to present selected issues for your next sprint.
  2. Invite your team members to the session.
  3. Present them work items that need improvement or to be worked on.
  4. Allow everyone to participate in the discussion and let them assign points to tasks.
  5. Demonstrate the results of the voting.
  6. Discuss when necessary, accept the vote, or ask participants to vote again if the votes differ substantially.
  7. Start working on your tasks accordingly to the priorities set during the priority planning poker session.

Benefits of Priority Planning Poker

Eliminate bias and don’t influence others’ decisions

This phenomenon, also known as “anchoring,” happens very often during group discussions. When someone announces their priority values (or their votes are visible to others), people will subconsciously use these guesses as an anchor point, thus making all of their estimates less reliable.

Priority Planning Poker keeps all your votes private and anonymous throughout the estimation session to allow your teammates to speak their minds and make their own estimating decisions without outside influences.

Estimate work items more accurately

Prioritization can help you make more accurate decisions. A planning poker game makes your predictions more accurate, and with every estimation session, you know better how long specific tasks from your backlog might take to complete. This benefit can ultimately result in more fixes, updates, or products delivered on time.

Make everyone’s voice heard

Often more introverted team members let just one or two people dominate the conversation. This leads to decisions without true consensus, and it lets the HiPPO – Highest Paid Person’s Opinion – effect slip in.

Priority Planning Poker solves the problem of an unfair win of the “loudest” person on the team by giving everyone the space for an equal voice.

A quick recap of the Agile Poker app

Agile Poker is a flexible toolkit that allows you to choose between several estimation methods for refinement, planning, or other ceremonies.

It’s more than just combining playing poker with planning. It’s an interactive game that will facilitate collaboration, teamwork, and discussion and ultimately help your team agree on what to work on next in your upcoming sprint.

All participants of the estimation session can assign their votes to the discussed work items and define how much effort they think will be involved in the story.

The voting phase is collaborative and unbiased, so you don’t need to worry about influencing (or being influenced by) the decisions of others. Their estimates can be kept private until your entire team is ready to reveal them and take part in a discussion.

Agile Poker will be your go-to planning toolkit when you want to estimate work items collaboratively. You can choose one of four available estimation methods: interactive, asynchronous, relative, or bucket sizing. Advanced features for all estimation methods streamline discussion and help balance the pace of the estimation process and expected accuracy.

Prioritizing with Priority Planning Poker in the Agile Poker app

Using the Priority Planning Poker method, you can prioritize your work items within the Agile Poker application.

You can support this estimation process and help your team prioritize their work with Multi-field estimation in Agile Poker for Jira. Backlog estimation is a core aspect of successful planning for hundreds of agile teams. This method will allow you to estimate several Jira fields at once and then calculate the final score (or value) based on those estimates.

Watch this short tutorial to get to know Multi-field estimation:

 

To start your estimation session:

1. Create an interactive or asynchronous session in the Agile Poker app.

2. From the Multi-field estimation toggle, choose between several pre-defined templates or create a custom one where you can estimate up to five fields. Pick one of the following templates: Ability and Impact, ICE, RICE, WSFJ, or PERT prioritization frameworks.

3. Select appropriate Jira fields for estimation.

4. Enable the Final score toggle to calculate the outcome of the entire session.

5. Modify the criteria if needed.

Once ready with the configuration, go ahead and run the estimation process. Depending on the type of session you choose, it can occur either in real-time or at everyone’s own pace. The estimates are private until everybody is ready to assign estimates, and only then a further discussion can begin by showing the results. Some of the votes may be very similar, and reaching a consensus within a team will be easy. But sometimes, re-estimating might turn out necessary.

The estimations may differ way too much due to someone’s lack of experience, over- or underestimating, or a simple mistake. In such a scenario, the team must discuss why the results are so distant from each other and try to agree upon a new estimation value for a particular work item. Only then can the group move forward to the next issue or finish the game.

Save the final estimates in corresponding Jira fields once you and your team are happy with the estimates. As an outcome, you will have a list of user stories with a well-discussed, adequately estimated, and automatically calculated priority score that can be used for further planning.

In conclusion

Now that you have seen the step-by-step overview of a successful estimation session, take a look at the Agile Poker app. It will help your team estimate and prioritize work in an unbiased way.

Last updated: 2022-11-22

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