Product management glosary

Planning Poker

What is Planning Poker?

Planning Poker is a popular and widely used estimation technique in Agile project management, particularly in Scrum methodology. It is a consensus-based approach to estimating the effort required to complete tasks or user stories in a project. Planning Poker helps teams to collaboratively estimate the complexity of work items, ensuring that everyone's opinion is considered and reducing the chances of over or underestimating the effort required.

How does Planning Poker work?

Planning Poker is a simple and engaging process that involves the entire team. The process typically follows these steps:

  1. Each team member is given a set of Planning Poker cards, which are usually numbered using the Fibonacci sequence (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, etc.), although other sequences can also be used. The numbers represent the relative effort required to complete a task or user story.
  2. The product owner or project manager presents a user story or task to the team and provides a brief explanation of its requirements and goals.
  3. Team members discuss the user story or task, asking questions and clarifying any ambiguities. The goal is to ensure that everyone has a clear understanding of the work item.
  4. Once the discussion is complete, each team member privately selects a Planning Poker card that represents their estimate of the effort required to complete the work item. The card is placed face down on the table.
  5. When all team members have made their estimates, the cards are turned over simultaneously, revealing each person's estimate.
  6. If there is a consensus on the estimate, the process moves on to the next user story or task. If there is a significant difference in estimates, the team discusses the reasons for the discrepancy and repeats steps 4 and 5 until a consensus is reached.

Benefits of Planning Poker

Planning Poker offers several benefits to Agile teams, including:

  • Collaborative estimation: By involving the entire team in the estimation process, Planning Poker ensures that everyone's perspective is considered, leading to more accurate and realistic estimates.
  • Reduced bias: Since team members make their estimates independently and simultaneously, Planning Poker reduces the chances of individuals being influenced by others' opinions, resulting in more objective estimates.
  • Improved communication: The discussions that take place during Planning Poker sessions help to clarify requirements and promote a shared understanding of the work items among team members.
  • Increased engagement: The interactive and gamified nature of Planning Poker encourages team members to actively participate in the estimation process, increasing their engagement and commitment to the project.


Planning Poker is an effective and engaging estimation technique that promotes collaboration, reduces bias, and improves communication within Agile teams. By involving the entire team in the estimation process and encouraging open discussion, Planning Poker helps to ensure that work items are accurately estimated, leading to more successful project outcomes.