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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.

Introduction

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 behalf of them. 

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

    • 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;
    • Select issues you would like to estimate one-by-one or in bulk (for sprints or a backlog)

Once ready, click 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, create 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;
  • the moderator has a crown next to an avatar;
  • for private sessions, only the moderator can manage participants and session configurations.

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. 

Click on the raising hand person from the top of the "To be estimated" part to start the Voting:

Drag and drop a user story to the voting area:

Then vote for existing or for a new column for this user story. Winner or winners will be highlighted in green: 

Voting status is displayed both in buckets and on Participants' avatars:

If needed, voting progress can be reset and repeated if the team wants to come to a consensus:

To finish voting simply drag the voted story to the winning bucket.

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


Placing estimates

At any moment, but usually after your "To be estimated" deck is finally empty, 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.

  • 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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