Well, I suppose it makes us more agile – in that we move from our desks to the meeting rooms more often…
The dev team here at MOO started using the Agile Scrum methodology for managing our software development projects at the beginning of the year, and it’s been a very enjoyable experience so far. Imagine my glee when I found out we weren’t the only ones making Planning Poker cards from MOO Business Cards :-) And they’re not the only ones either, our friends at Made By Many said of their cards:
“We used MOO to make up printed agile estimation cards because we were fed up with scraps of badly-drawn paper. Each estimator has their own individual colour, and selects a card with his/her personal estimate. It makes the process feel much more professional! ”
Planning Poker is a different way of estimating projects. In my previous lives, I’ve used hours, days, weeks, sometimes months, and the ever popular “pull a figure out of the air and double/triple/quadruple it, depending on how hard you think your project manager’s going to work you” approach. Scrum uses a funny unit called a ‘story point’, where a story is a piece of work and the number of points the story is worth is how much effort the piece of work will take the team to produce.
It’s called planning *poker* because after talking about what’s involved in the tasks, each of us gets a set of numbered cards, decides secretly how many points we think the task is worth, and puts a card down, face down. The ideal aim of the game is for all of us to know each other and our codebase so well that we all agree first time around when we turn over the cards. Since ideals are very hard to achieve, we more likely end up arguing the case to the rest of the team.. Shouting can sometimes be heard. Biscuits are eaten in anger and frustration, and sometimes, happily :-)
We caught the design team on a good day and plied them with biscuits too, and they made us these. Not just in pink either…
So if you’ve had similar fun with your planning poker cards, send them over to the Flickr pool or let us know, I’d love to see them!
***UPDATE: If you’d like to make some planning poker cards, you can use ours! Upload your own image for the back and pretend you designed them yourself (we wont tell).***
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