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Tanné de prendre des décisions? Laissez le planning poker faire le travail!

Tired of making decisions? Let planning poker do the job!

June 15, 2017By Nmédia

You gather around a table with other participants. All of them have cards in their hands. This is serious. Decisions will be made, but no bet will be lost. Planning poker is the ideal method to estimate any project, and at Nmédia, we've adapted it to reflect our image!

What is planning poker?

Don't look for planning poker at the casino. Planning poker is an innovative and efficient way to plan a project, whether this is a complex web project with many features and players, or simply the household duties shared among family members. Even though this technique is mostly used with Scrum and Agile processes (as in the case of Nmédia), it suits every situation.

A concept that has come a long way

In the 1950's, the Delphi method was used to manage projects and forecast financial activities. About twenty years later, the Wideband Delphi method came to life and aimed for more interactions and better communication among participants. Over the years, many versions were developed by various organizations. In 2005, Mike Cohn from Mountain Goat Software popularized this method under the name of planning poker in his book entitled Agile Estimating and Planning. And we now use it today!


  1. All stakeholders involved in the estimation process have a deck of 13 cards in their hands with numbers from 0 to 100 as well as a question mark. The "real" game has an infinity symbol, but we took the liberty of removing it. To each their own!


  2. The project manager reads the context (or user story, in the case of Scrums). Then it's time to ask questions and clarify all project details.
  3. Once the situation is well understood by everyone, each participant estimates the time, complexity, price or other elements to estimate. If you consider that the project will take 30 days, choose the corresponding card in your hand. (If you follow the rules strictly, you cannot combine cards, but nothing prevents you from doing it.) Be careful! You need to keep it to yourself!
  4. Moment of truth, all bets are off! When the signal is given, everyone turns their card face up. If everyone has the same card, hurray! this stage is done and you go on to the next.
    But if numbers are different, one at a time participants explain why they chose their number. Let those whose estimates are very low and very high speak first. They may have thought of events or other elements that could entirely change their numbers.
  5. You keep estimating until consensus is reached. This is not a vote. There is no need to get an estimate that is 100% accurate. What's important is to facilitate communication among coworkers and come to a common understanding.


This intrigued us so much that we decided to make our own card deck, so we know planning poker very well.
Ask us anything about it!


  • All participants, no matter their experience, have the opportunity to speak up.
  • The measure units remain the same throughout the project: days, hours, prices, etc.
  • The technique applies to every situation: professional projects, college or university team projects, household duties, etc.
  • This method can be used to plan more than the duration of a project: the number of players required, the number of features to develop, or others.
  • The estimation is more accurate since many stakeholders confirm it.
  • Down-times are reduced or even eliminated as the game is continuous. Discussions don't drag on and on.


Want to play with us? We're betting on you!

You think you could be a great player at Nmédia? Play your cards right by sending us your application! Who knows, you may be our next ace of hearts!