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Agile Poker Cloud

This part of the documentation relates to Agile Poker for Jira Cloud. If you use Jira Server go to the Agile Poker for Jira Server and Data Center documentation.


Relative estimation session by Agile Poker for Jira Cloud is one of the most popular parts of our software. It is:

  • Really fast, easy, and intuitive since the team doesn’t need to think of estimation values, but only compare one issue to another. Recommended for:

    • Teams that are new to estimation;

    • Mature teams that want to speed up the estimation process;

    • For any other team that prefers a visual representation and interaction

  • Designed for making quick and rough estimations of a large batch of issues (50+), still, highly adopted by teams with a small (<20) number of issues per estimation session;

  • Considered as an estimation session with a low level of issue discussion comparing to standard Planning Poker, still, a team and session moderator can easily adjust it to their needs.

The Relative estimation session is based on the Team Estimation Game method, employing a Trello-like interface for smooth issue drag and drop user experience. The relative estimation mode is also heavily inspired by techniques known as Magic Estimation, Silent Grouping, Affinity Estimation, or Swimlanes Sizing, so knowing one of them should make you comfortable with the flow. Here is the general gist of the session: 

  1. A moderator starts the Relative session and selects issues to be estimated.

  2. A moderator invites participants to the session via a sharable link. Alternatively, the moderator shares the screen with participants and interacts on their behalf. 

  3. The first participant places the top issue on the virtual wall.
  4. Next participant places the next issue on the virtual wall relative to the first issue:

    • if it’s smaller, it gets placed on the left;

    • if it’s bigger, it gets placed on the right;

    • if it’s around the same, then it should be placed below (forming a column)

  5. Next participant may:

    • either place a user story card from the pile on the virtual wall using the same rules as above;

    • or move a card already placed on the board together with a comment explaining this move.

  6. The team continues to take turns placing issues until the pile is finally depleted and all issues are on the virtual wall.

  7. If required, the team can use the Voting option where participants can vote for a place for a specific user story.
  8. It is the time to fine-tune the order by moving issues one at a time with a few words of explanation.

  9. When everybody is OK with the outcome, the issues are ordered left to right, smallest to largest.

  10. The last step is to assign estimation values corresponding to each column (usually with the Fibonacci sequence).

  11. Save the assigned estimation values to the issues.

Check the detailed explanation below or see how it works here:

Session Configuration

Initial configuration

Onсe launched from the Classic or Next-Gen project menu, the Relative session is configured in 3 quick steps:

  1. Create Relative session:
    • Choose the name for your session or go with a pre-set one;
    • Switch Private mode ON if you wish to limit participant's access and ability to configure the session. Consult Public vs. Private sessions for more details
  2. Manage participants:
    • Add your team members to the participants list;
    • Select a dedicated moderator to facilitate the session or keep the Moderator field empty to enable session controls for everyone 
  3. Select issues:
    • Use JQL to narrow the search;
    • Enable estimation of Epics and/or Sub-tasks;
    • Select issues you would like to estimate one-by-one or in bulk (for sprints or a backlog)

NOTE: In this step, you can select fields to be displayed in the backlog while selecting issues and on the estimation board. Select Epic, Version, Assignee, Priority: 

Once ready, click the Start session button to proceed.

From inside the session click Configuration (a cog icon) or Participants from the top right to update session settings. Session scope can be also re-configured from the main Relative session window using Add issue, Create issue and Remove from the session (appears during card dragging process) options: 

Once the session was started, you can share the session link with your team by copying it from the browser's address bar, the bread crumbs section, or from Manage participants screen; click Participants button located in the top corner to open it:

You can also remove inactive team members from the session. Inactive participants have a grey indicator next to their avatars, while active have a green one:

Moderator role

In the Participants menu, the moderator role can be assigned. It gives several privileges comparing to non-moderator participants: 

  • start and manage the voting process;
  • submit the final votes;
  • save estimates;
  • for private sessions, only the moderator can manage participants and session configurations.

The moderator is displayed with a crown next to an avatar (except if everyone is a moderator).

If there is no moderator selected (default state), all the participants have access to all the features mentioned above. Please note that the moderator's role in a public session doesn't have an exclusive power to manage participants; every participant has full access to participants and moderator management settings. While for private sessions participants are managed by moderators only. 

Estimation process

Issue placement phase

While on the session page, drag the issues from the deck (left screen side) to the virtual wall (right screen side): 

Continue dragging issues from the deck. You can drop the issue in the following places:

1) within the existing column (if an item is comparable in size):

2) to the left (or right), if the item is considerably smaller (greater) than the existing issues on the board:

3) place the issue between two existing columns:

Voting option

The moderator can activate the voting option and ask participants to vote for a "column" for a specific user story. Alternatively, the team can vote for every single story in sequence using Automatic issue pickup for voting.

In order to enable the voting option the moderator has to expand the Voting panel using the arrow icon:

When enabled, the Automatic issue pickup for voting option will place the next issue from the session scope list to the voting area once the final vote for the current issue has been cast. When disabled, the moderator will manually control issues to vote for. 

Drag and drop a user story to the voting area to start voting:

Now participants can vote for existing or new columns for the selected user story. The personal voting process options are:

  • in order to cast a vote, a participant should click on a like icon or a header in the preferred column;
  • participants can change votes an unlimited number of times before the voting ends;
  • the voting process is unbiased, participants don't see votes or cursors of other team members;
  • the voting progress might be monitored using status marks on participants' avatars;
  • the voting is finished automatically when all the participants have voted;
  • the moderator can finish the personal voting process at any time by clicking on the Reveal votes button;
  • during the personal voting phase, the moderator(s) can freely move cards around the board, but without options of adding new or removing old columns to avoid conflicts with participants' voting progress:

Once personal votes are revealed, the following options are available:

  • the winner(s) will be highlighted with blue Accept buttons, other existing or potential columns will have standard grey Accept buttons;
  • the final vote is cast by the moderator by clicking on the Accept button inside the appropriate column or by dragging the issue there;
  • the moderator can use the Reset voting option to restart personal voting process in case the team wants to come to a consensus;
  • during the final voting phase, the moderator or moderators can freely move cards around the board and even add or remove columns, which might lead to a loss of personal votes:

Depending on a team and flow, different session scenarios are possible, like voting for a single issue, or every issue from the session scope. 

Placing estimates

At any moment of time, but usually after your "Session scope" deck is empties, you can start filling in estimate values for the buckets where it says "No value":

Please note that additional Labels might be added on the left from estimation values fields at any point of the estimation process:

Saving estimates

  • When happy with what you see, you can click on the 'Save estimates' button (bottom right) to conclude the session and update the issues' respective estimation field. 

    NOTE: all the estimations are saved to:

    • an estimation field specified in Board Settings for Scrum boards of Company Managed (Classic) projects;

    • an estimation field selected during session creation or configuration for Kanban boards of Company Managed (Classic) projects and all board types of Team Managed (Next Gen) projects;
  • Then click on the 'Save' to confirm the action:


  • That’s it! Now you can go to the board, or get back to the estimation session:

Limitations and caveats

Current implementation stores the session state in the browser local storage. This has the following implications:

  1. Your browser must support local storage and have it enabled

What's next?

Check out other estimation sessions offered by Agile Poker for Cloud:

Please let us know if this article was helpful, your feedback is appreciated: support@spartez-software.com

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