Planning Poker Tools

Updated:  9/27/2023

Mike Cohn has the phrase ‘planning poker’ registered.  So, this is acknowledgement of that. And, like Kleenex, that’s what we call the thing itself.  It no longer has a generic name.

A more descriptive name is maybe ‘wide-band delphi estimation using the Fibonacci sequence.’  But planning poker and priority poker are faster.  Planning poker is for estimating effort. Priority Poker is for estimating business value.  We have several blog posts here about estimating business value.  Please search.

As some readers know, I particularly like Priority Poker. (Where you use the same basic technique with different ‘experts’ to estimate business value.)

So, for this post…. what are the best tools, sites or apps?

First, I like using the cards themselves.  This is great.  Remember that the proper way of doing it, say with 5 people, is to average the numbers once they get ‘close’.  (We usually define close as ‘within 3 PP cards’ — ex: all votes are either 5 or 8 or 13.)  Average. Do not make them agree on one PP card.

So, when using the cards, the hard part is addition and then division.  Which I learned of course, but later found frustrating to do quickly while others are watching.  Now, if you have Philip on your team (and Philip does addition and division wonderfully in his head), then you have no problem.  If your team is collocated.

But, I don’t always have Philip.

Here are some tools:

Note Jaime Carter recommended . But the link no longer works.  This used to be from Mike Cohnm but apparently he sold it to another group.

My favorite:  It does everything. Low costs (a donation of $10 – please do that!) And it is simple.  It hides votes until you reveal. It works for remote teams.  It does this addition and division!  (Thank God!)  Easy to configure to use the real Fibonacci sequence that I and Jeff Sutherland and others recommend.   Perfect?  No, I do not say that, but a better feature set than I have seen elsewhere.  (This partly depends on how you value certain features.)

And there are a host of iOS apps that I know of.  Maybe 15 different ones now??  Go to the App Store and search.

I am still looking for one to do the averaging for me.  But I like those those two sites above.

Comments?  Suggestions?


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