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How to use Planning Poker® Cards

Planning Poker is a registered trademark of Mountain Goat Software, LLC.

Also known as Scrum Poker, Planning Poker is a consensus-based technique for estimating, used commonly in the business world! Mostly used to estimate effort or relative size of user stories in software development, planning poker cards are used for each story where the whole team will participate in the estimation process. Estimate in a faster and more accurate way using the simple but powerful technique of Planning Poker!

Planning Poker was designed in such a way to avoid the influence of the other participants. The process is kept simple… The team will listen to the proposal and each individual will decide independently how long it will take before simultaneously revealing the cards together to avoid any influence! Are you still following?

Here’s what you will need:

1) A deck of Planning Poker Cards!

… That is all.

A typical Planning Poker sequence: 0, ½, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40, 100, ? ( which means unsure) and a Coffee Cup (which means I need a break). Ivory Graphics can customise your decks with different numbers and personalised cards. A lot of companies we have worked with in the past have used KINGS! - The use of the King card means the end of the discussion… Although you can use a different card if it would be more appropriate for you!

How do you play Planning Poker?

  1. Each estimator holds a set of Planning Poker® cards.
  2. The product owner or customer reads the item to be estimated.
  3. The item is discussed.
  4. Each estimator privately selects a card representing their estimate. This card should not be shown to the other estimators.
  5. Once each estimator has selected a card, all selected cards are revealed at the same time.
  6. If everyone played the same card, that's the estimate.
  7. If estimates are not the same, the group discusses the estimate, focusing especially of any outlying values.
  8. Repeat until estimates converge.

For information and extra advice on how to play Planning Poker, please be sure to contact our technical support team who will be more than happy to help you!

Mountain Goat Trademark