Jira Planning Poker | What you need to know

Jira Planning Poker _ What you need to know

Accurate project estimation is crucial in Agile development as it helps teams plan and deliver work effectively within a given timeframe. One popular Agile estimation technique is Planning Poker, a consensus-based approach that involves the entire team in the estimation process.

In the context of Jira, Planning Poker can be used to estimate the effort required for individual issues or stories. This can help teams to prioritize work and plan sprints more effectively.

What is Planning Poker?

Planning Poker is an agile estimation technique that uses a gamified approach to help teams estimate the relative size of user stories or tasks. It is a consensus-based technique, meaning the team works together to arrive at a final single estimate.

The unit number measured during the agile estimation is called story points, used in agile software development to estimate the size of user stories or tasks.

Story points are not based on time or hours. Instead, they are based on the complexity and effort required to complete a story or task. This makes them a more flexible and accurate unit of measure than time or hours.

Here are some steps to run a planning poker session:

  • Step 1:  Define the scope of the task and break it down into smaller units, such as user stories or features.
  • Step 2: Prepare a deck of cards with numbers representing different levels of effort, such as the Fibonacci sequence (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc.) 
  • Step 3: Invite the team members who will work on the task to participate in the session. Make sure everyone has a set of cards and can see each other’s cards.
  • Step 4: Choose a facilitator who will lead the session and keep track of time.
  • Step 5: For each unit, the facilitator reads the description and clarifies any questions or assumptions.
  • Step 6: The team members privately select a card that represents their estimate of the effort required for the unit and place it face down on the table.
  • Step 7: When everyone is ready, the facilitator asks the team members to reveal their cards simultaneously.
    • If there is a consensus (all cards have the same value), the facilitator records the estimate and moves on to the next unit.
    • If there is no consensus (cards have different values), the facilitator asks the team members with the highest and lowest estimates to explain their reasoning. The team members can then discuss and revise their estimates if needed.
  • Step 8: The facilitator repeats steps 6 and 7 until all units have been estimated or the time limit is reached.
  • Step 9: The facilitator sums up the estimates for all units and reports the total effort for the task.

What is Planning Poker in Jira?

Planning Poker in Jira is the plugin that allows teams to use the Planning Poker estimation technique directly within Jira.

What is Planning Poker in Jira

Jira, a popular project management tool for Agile teams, integrates with Planning Poker to bring this estimation technique directly into the toolset. This ensures that estimation is an integral part of the Agile workflow.

Jira supports the Planning Poker process by providing tools and features that align with Agile principles. In Jira, teams can create user stories, backlog items, or tasks, simplifying the process of structuring the work for estimation. You can initiate Planning Poker sessions directly in Jira, ensuring that all estimations are recorded and stored in the same place as the project details.

Jira simplifies the tracking and management of estimations through its visualizations and reporting features. Once estimations are assigned through Planning Poker sessions, Jira’s dashboards and reports provide insights into the distribution of story points across tasks or user stories. This information helps teams identify bottlenecks, allocate resources effectively, and make informed decisions about scope and priorities.

Benefits of Planning Poker in Jira

There are several benefits of using Planning Poker in agile project management, including:

Accurate estimation

Planning Poker helps to achieve more accurate estimates by allowing team members to share their knowledge and expertise. By involving the whole team in the estimation process, your teams can avoid the biases and blind spots that arise from relying on a single person’s estimate.


Scrum Poker is a collaborative technique that promotes communication and discussion among team members. It could identify potential issues and risks early on in the project and create a shared understanding of the work involved.


Integrating Jira can save time by reducing the need for extensive documentation and meetings. It could streamline the planning process and prevent delays by involving the entire team in the estimation process.

Efficient Backlog Management

By assigning story points through Planning Poker, teams can effectively prioritize the backlog within Jira. This prioritization helps teams plan sprints or iterations more efficiently, ensuring that the most important and manageable work is tackled first.

Data-Driven Decision-Making

Jira’s integration with Planning Poker allows for the tracking and visualization of estimations. This data can be used for informed decision-making. Teams can identify trends, track progress, and adjust based on historical estimations and actual performance.

How to make a Planning Poker session in Jira

Here are the step-by-step instructions to run a Planning Poker session in Jira as a facilitator with the AgileBox plugin:

Step 1: Download and access to the AgileBox app

Click here to install and try AgileBox: Agile Planning Poker, Retrospectives, Daily Standup for Jira

Find the AgileBox icon on the left side menu of your project.

Step 2: Create a new planning poker game

Drag and drop unestimated issues into the Pick to estimate column → Fill in the game details.

  • These issues must be available on your project backlog before.
  • Here you can choose the suitable deck type: Fibonacci sequence, T-shirt size, or Custom deck
How to create a planning poker session

Then go to the Games section and enter the game you just created.

Step 3: Start estimation

Select the issues you want to estimate → Click the Start button to activate the countdown timer → Team members then pick suitable cards to represent their story point estimation.

how to create a planning poker session 2
  • If there is a consensus (all cards have the same value), the facilitator records the estimate and moves on to the next unit.
  • If there is no consensus (cards have different values), the facilitator asks the team members with the highest and lowest estimates to explain their reasoning. The team members can then discuss and revise their estimates if needed.

Repeat until all issues are estimated.

Step 4: Create Sprint (optional)

AgileBox supports the Create Sprint option within the app. This helps team quickly create a new sprint after the estimation section without leaving the app.

Click on the Create Sprint button on the Estimated column → Drag and drop the issues you want to put into the next sprint → Click Create and fill in the Sprit details

Read this blog for more details on how to use Jira Planning Poker by AgileBox. Planning Poker Explanation | Beginner’s Guide to Planning Poker by AgileBox

Agile Estimation Best Practices

Planning Poker is based on a few essential best practices that can help ensure successful Agile estimation. Here are some of them:

Involve the entire team. 

Everyone on the team should be involved in the estimation process, from the product owner to the developers to the testers. This ensures that everyone has a shared understanding of the work and can contribute their expertise.

Encourage diversity of perspectives. 

Different team members will have different perspectives on the work, so it’s important to encourage diversity of thought during the estimation process. This will help ensure that all aspects of the work are considered, and the estimates are accurate.

Communicate effectively. 

It’s essential to communicate effectively during the estimation process. This means being clear about the work being estimated, the assumptions being made, and the reasons for the estimates. It’s also important to be open to feedback and willing to adjust the estimates as needed.

Refine estimates over time. 

Estimates are never perfect, but they can be improved over time. As the team gains more experience with the work, they will be able to make more accurate estimates. Refining estimates based on actual results and team feedback is also important.


In conclusion, understanding the significance of accurate project estimation in Agile development cannot be overstated. It is the linchpin of effective project planning and delivery within predefined timelines. One valuable technique for achieving this precision is Planning Poker, a consensus-driven approach that actively engages the entire team in the estimation process.

By breaking down the concept of Planning Poker, we’ve demystified its steps and highlighted its potential within the context of Jira, a versatile Agile project management tool. Planning Poker offers a gamified yet systematic method to estimate the relative sizes of tasks or user stories, ensuring that estimations are reached collectively and collaboratively.

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