Planning Cards Help Agile Teams Estimate Work

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Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™ has Planning Cards as a tool to help agile teams estimate work. Excerpts of the information and instructions—which are included with each deck of the cards—follow. This article is for those interested in getting an overview.

About These Planning Cards

  • These cards are used to help estimate work
  • Each deck contains four sets of cards—enough for four estimators
  • Each of the four sets has a unique color on the front side of cards—it’s in either blue, green, orange, or yellow
  • Cards are based on the Fibonacci sequence, where every number after the first two is the sum of the two preceding numbers
  • Each set includes cards with the following values: 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, and "?"
  • Each deck comes in a storage case

Purpose

These cards and instructions support the most popular approach to estimating work in Scrum projects—estimating the complexity of work via story points.

The Development Team—which may be comprised of business analysts, coders, testers, etc.—collaboratively estimates each item in the product backlog in story points. Story points are a relative measure of complexity.

Participants

  • Product Owner
  • Development Team
  • Scrum Master (facilitator/observer)

Frequency

  • Once or twice per sprint

Time-box

  • One hour for each week of the sprint
  • It’s a common practice to limit each meeting to one hour and have multiple meetings as appropriate

Prerequisites/Inputs

  • Product backlog containing user stories, bugs, and other requirements
  • One set of planning cards for each member of the Development Team

Suggested Steps

1. If each member of the Development Team does not already have their own set of planning cards, the Scrum Master provides materials as needed

2. The Product Owner describes an item (a user story, bug, or other requirement) from the product backlog and mentions its intent and business value

3. Each member of the Development Team silently picks a card best representing their assessment of the complexity of the work and places the card face-down

4. After all of the Development Team members have made their selections, the cards are turned face-up, and the values are read aloud

5. If all of the selections have the same value, the Product Owner records it as the estimate, and that completes the exercise for the item; otherwise, proceed to the next step

6. Team member(s) who gave an outlier value —such as someone who gave a high value and/or someone who gave a low value—explain their reasoning

7. After a brief discussion, the team may take the most common value (the mode average) as the estimate or they may play another round of this planning game (steps 3-7)

8. Steps 2-7 are repeated until each item in the product backlog has been estimated

9. The Product Owner updates the product backlog with the estimate values

Options

Some organizations use a subset of the cards and slice product backlog items when the estimate is "too large." Here's an example:

  • Development Team uses cards with the following values: 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, and 21
  • Predetermined that 21 is "too large"
  • If a product backlog item is estimated at 21, it is sliced into two or more parts in collaboration with the Product Owner, and the resulting smaller items are estimated by the Development Team

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This article provided a quick overview of an aspect of estimation in agile projects. Further details—including more information on the Fibonacci sequence, and additional options—are provided in the book, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions. Agile Scrum is available in paperback and ebook formats at Amazon. For additional information, visit AgileScrumGuide.com.


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New Book: "Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change"

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Scott M. Graffius, Principal Consultant and CEO of Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™, provides a revealing first-hand account of an organization's agile journey in his new book, Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change. This is Scott's second book.

About the Book

Thriving in today's marketplace frequently depends on making a transformation to become more agile. Those successful in the transition enjoy faster delivery speed and ROI, higher satisfaction, continuous improvement, and additional benefits. Based on actual events, Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change provides a revealing behind-the-scenes account of a successful agile implementation at a global entertainment company.

Scott M. Graffius' first book,
Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions, provides readers with practical information they can use to get benefits from the most popular agile framework, Scrum. It presents top practices from successful implementations based on Scott's hands-on experience and 116 diverse sources such as the Scrum Alliance, the Project Management Institute, MIT, the IEEE, Gartner, and the Software Engineering Institute. BookAuthority named Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions "One of the Best Scrum Books of All Time." The publication garnered 17 first place awards from national and international competitions. Scott and his book have been featured in Yahoo Finance, Computer Weekly, the PM World Journal, Learning Solutions, Innovation Management, and additional media publications.

In
Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change, Scott shares a behind-the-scenes account of a successful agile implementation at a global entertainment company. The story is based on actual events and it's told from Scott's perspective as an agile coach. The transformation dramatically improved the way the organization works and delivers business value. New capabilities and practices enabled the enterprise to adapt to its changing environment, move faster, and drive innovation, which made it more competitive and prosperous.

Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change is offered in digital and print formats.

Agile Transformation in ebook format (ASIN: B07R9LJLPJ) is available in:
 

Agile Transformation in paperback (ISBN-13: 9781072447962) is for sale in:
 

The book is on Amazon's "Hot New Releases" list as shown in the screen shot.

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You’re invited to watch the trailer, visit the website, read the blog, and connect on social. Like Agile Transformation on Facebook, and follow Agile Transformation on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

About the Author

Scott M. Graffius, CSP-SM, CSP-PO, CSM, CSPO, PMP, ITIL, LSSGB is a project management expert, consultant, speaker, and author. He is a Principal Consultant and the CEO of Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™, a professional services firm, where he helps clients strengthen their project management capabilities and realize their strategic objectives and business initiatives. Before that, he ran and supervised the delivery of projects and programs in public and private companies with businesses ranging from e-commerce to advanced technology, manufacturing, entertainment, and more. Scott and his award-winning book on agile project management, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions, have been featured in Yahoo Finance, the Boston Herald, Learning Solutions, Informa, Innovation Management, and additional media publications. His second title, Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change, was published in April 2019. Scott regularly speaks at conferences and other events around the world. Additional information is available in his bio.

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Scott M. Graffius Named Author of the Week by AUTHORSWEEK for "Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change"

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AUTHORSWEEK named Scott M. Graffius as Author of the Week for his new title, Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change. This is Scott's second book.

About the Author

Scott M. Graffius is a project management expert, consultant, speaker, and author. He is CEO of Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™, a professional services firm, where he partners with client companies to help them achieve their strategic objectives and business initiatives through project management leadership. Before that, he ran and supervised the delivery of projects in public and private companies with businesses ranging from e-commerce to advanced technology, manufacturing, entertainment, and more. Scott's first book, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions, garnered 17 first place awards. Scott and Agile Scrum have been featured in Yahoo Finance, the Boston Herald, Learning Solutions, Informa, Innovation Management, and additional media publications. He regularly speaks at conferences and other events around the world. For additional information on Scott, see his bio.

About the Book

Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change (ASIN: B07R9LJLPJ) provides a revealing behind-the-scenes account of a successful agile implementation. The transformation dramatically improved the way the organization works and delivers business value. The story is based on actual events and it's told from the author's perspective as an agile coach.

Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change by Scott M. Graffius is offered in digital and print formats.

Agile Transformation in ebook format (ASIN: B07R9LJLPJ) is available in:


Agile Transformation in paperback (ISBN-13: 9781072447962) is for sale in:


Get your copy today!

You’re invited to watch the trailer, visit the website, read the blog, and connect on social. Like Agile Transformation on Facebook, and follow Agile Transformation on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


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About AUTHORSWEEK


AUTHORSWEEK provides a weekly round-up of the latest book releases and author platform programs. For additional information, visit their website at
AUTHORSWEEK.COM.


★★★★★


You're invited to find out more about Scott:


And connect with Scott on social:








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Trailer for "Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change"


Based on a true story,
Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change by Scott M. Graffius provides a revealing behind-the-scenes account of a successful agile implementation at a global entertainment company. You're invited to watch the trailer for the book. It runs 30 seconds.

About the Author

Scott M. Graffius is a project management expert, consultant, speaker, and author. He is CEO of Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™, a professional services firm, where he partners with client companies to help them achieve their strategic objectives and business initiatives through project management leadership. Before that, he ran and supervised the delivery of projects in public and private companies with businesses ranging from e-commerce to advanced technology, manufacturing, entertainment, and more. Scott's first book, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions (ISBN-13: 9781533370242), garnered 17 first place awards. Scott and Agile Scrum have been featured in Yahoo Finance, the Boston Herald, Computer Weekly, Learning Solutions, Informa, Innovation Management, and additional media publications. He regularly speaks at conferences and other events around the world. For additional information, see Scott's bio.

About the Book

Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change (ASIN: B07R9LJLPJ) provides a revealing behind-the-scenes account of a successful agile implementation. The transformation dramatically improved the way the organization works and delivers business value. The story is based on actual events and it's told from the author's perspective as an agile coach.

Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change by Scott M. Graffius is offered in digital and print formats.

Agile Transformation in ebook format (ASIN: B07R9LJLPJ) is available in:


Agile Transformation in paperback (ISBN-13: 9781072447962) is for sale in:


Get your copy today!

You’re invited to watch the trailer, visit the website, read the blog, and connect on social. Like it on Facebook, and follow it on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


★★★★★


You're invited to find out more about Scott:


And connect with Scott on social:




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