Once you've clicked to create a game in one of the above-mentioned ways, Planning Poker will navigate you to Game Configuration Menu divided into sections, with prompts for game settings. It will help you to customize a future game, making estimations as close to your project's traits as possible.
A very basic game configuration section will ask you to enter the most essential parameters of your game and will provide you with tips.
Game basics configuration section contains the following inputs:
You can specify whatever game name you want to make it stand out in your project. There is no restriction on unique game names, so stay creative in order not to get confused when viewing your games list in a Planning Poker Dashboard.
Describe your game, so its plot and purpose are clear to all estimation participants.
Export estimates to
This dropdown provides you with means to choose a field of an issue object, where estimation points value will be finally stored once the issue was estimated. You can write the estimation to the following issue's fields:
Comments. This field stores string values, so it fits to save abstract estimations such as t-shirt sizes or custom deck non-numerical estimation values. This field is available by default in all types of projects;
Story Points. This field stores integers. It will suit for saving numerical estimations such as Fibonacci deck type cards or custom numerical deck cards. This one is recommended;
Story point estimate. This field stores integers, similar to the previous field;
- Time tracking. This field stores time units such as 1h, 30m, 5m, etc. This field will serve a good combination together with hours deck type or with a custom deck, containing cards with time units estimation values;
- Custom field.
4. Deck type
In this dropdown you can choose cards' front values that game players will use to vote when estimating an issue. You're free to pick some predefined deck types:
Fibonacci deck, containing 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 cards;
T-shirt deck, containing XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL cards;
Hours deck, containing 1h, 2h, 3h, 4h, 5h, 6h, 7h, 8h, 9h, 10h, 11h, 12h cards.
Building a custom deck
As you may have noticed, there is actually one more option in the dropdown. With its help, you are able to build your own deck type.
When you choose "Custom" option from the dropdown, an additional input appears below the dropdown, where you can comma-separately enter values of desired cards in your deck.
5. Add "coffee" cards
If checked, this adds two additional cards to your deck: "?" and "coffee".
"?": Allows a player to state that they can't be certain about an estimation of the current issue.
"coffee": Allows a player to inform other game participants that they want to take a break.
Example of a deck with "?" and "coffee" cards in it:
When you're done with basics settings, you may want to take the next step and start editing the backlog in the game. You can always continue to tweak your game with a more sophisticated configuration too.
Switching to advanced configuration
When configuring your game, you can click "Show advanced configuration" to get access to additional game preferences sections such as Deck mapping, Game flow, and Game administration.
Game advanced configuration
Deck mapping offers a very handy option to specify the card front value of your deck type will be actually saved within a field of an estimated issue.
For example, you've chosen a t-shirt sizes deck type and are going to save your estimation to Story Points field of an issue. You want to make "S" t-shirt size to be saved as 2 Story Points and "M" size saved as 4 Story Points.
You can map all the cards in your chosen deck type in a few straightforward steps:
- Enter a card front value;
- Enter an estimation value you wish the card value to be saved as. Click "Add";
- You can view your current list of mapped cards below. Unnecessary mappings can be removed from the list by clicking a cross sign on them.
Card mapping is an easy and convenient way to set an estimation "price" of any card in any deck type, including your custom decks.
The Game flow configuration section makes it possible to change the impact of the game process on its participants.
Game flow configuration section looks the following way and contains the following inputs:
If checked, the next round of the game will automatically start when current issue estimation is successfully saved, or the issue was skipped. Next issue to estimate will be automatically picked from the top of the game backlog.
If checked, this will automatically start a round timer's countdown at the beginning of the voting phase of the round. If the timer limit is exceeded, the round's voting phase ends whether or not all the users have cast their cards. Default timer duration is 45 seconds.
This input allows changing the round timer duration from a default 45 seconds to any other value in seconds. Changing a default 45-second value will affect both timer autostart (if enabled by the above option) and timer started by admin's action
4. Label estimated
If this field isn't empty, a label will be added to an issue after estimation was successfully saved.
5. Label skipped
If this field isn't empty a label will be added to an issue after the game admin presses either the "Skip and postpone" or "Skip and remove" button.
6. Estimation context
Estimation context is a highly-advanced and a very powerful feature deriving from a relative nature of a scrum estimation approach.
Take a look at the excerpt from a voting phase example below.
If a voting phase starts and you haven't hovered over any cards in the deck yet, the estimation context section will be empty. It will inform you that estimation context will appear in it once you hover over a card.
For example, if you hover over a card with a value of 3, Planning Poker will look through the project current issue located in, and will show all other issues that have been previously estimated as 3. Same with other cards.
Estimation context functionality gives game participants huge relative clues on how they may estimate similar issues. And here is where a need for more flexible estimation context control comes into play.
Say you have a project with a vast number of opened and estimated issues with numerous topics, labels, categories, and even teams. But your new Planning Poker game goes around issues connected only with your product's look-and-feel. Therefore you want to limit the game's estimation context to matters of design and user experience in order to give players the most relevant clues on previous estimations.
To do so, you will use Estimation context setting, issues' labels, and JQL. You will set the game Estimation context section to display only estimated issues, that have "design" and "ux" labels on them. It will require you to type the following JQL query to Estimation context settings input: "labels IN (design, UX)".
And that's it: from now on Estimation context section will display only estimated issues of the current project labeled with "design" or "ux".
7. Issue status
You can choose a state (To Do, In Progress, etc) to transition the issue after estimating it.
Same as above but for the sprints
Game administration allows you to control both players and administrators' access to the game.
Game flow configuration section will look the following way and contain the following inputs:
Allows you to choose users from project participants to notify them by email about joining a Planning Poker game. This comes in handy if estimation session being held remote or you've set a game private.To add a user to a notification list just click on a "Select User" dropdown and search for the desired user by typing username and using autocomplete. You can add several users and manage a notification list by removing users from it. If several users are added to the notification list, notification emails will be sent bulk to all the users in a list. The notification email contains an URL to join the game.
If checked, will make your game invisible in a Planning Poker app dashboard for all the project participants except the game administrator. You will be able to add users to a private game only by sending them a notification with this game's URL, as described above.
By default, a game creator alone holds administrative rights regarding the game. In practice, it's often necessary to spread admin rights among other game participants for different reasons.
This feature allows you to add multiple game admins and manage their list. To add additional game admin press "Select user" dropdown and start typing the user's name to chose a user from the list below (1).
This list will also display users who currently have administrative privileges regarding the game. To remove such users from the list of game administrators, simply click the red cross icon in front of the user's name (2).
4. Admin password
The current game admin may add additional game admins on his own, by using an above-mentioned feature of this configuration section, or by using "Add additional game admin" button in the game top bar. However, sometimes the current game admin may be unavailable at the moment when there is a need in additional game administrators.
Admin password setting allows other players to become an additional game admin if they know a password set by this option, even in case if current game admin is unavailable.
If Admin password input is not empty, "Become Game Admin" button appears in a game top bar. By clicking it (1) and submitting an admin password via an opened modal (2) the user becomes an additional game administrator.
5. Multiple custom fields
This dropdown allows choosing a custom fields to be displayed under the issue description during a voting phase like this:
When you're creating your first game, you will be provided with a set of default configuration values.
But Planning Poker is smart enough to remember the settings you've saved before. If you've saved a game configuration, your settings preset will be saved in your user's storage. When you start a new game, the previously saved settings preset will be applied as a new game default configuration values.
For example, if you've chosen "Story Points" field in "Export estimates to" dropdown and saved this configuration, next time when you will be creating a game, "Story Points" will be suggested as "Export estimates to" option by default.
This is useful behavior in that it will help a particular scrum master maintain his or her configuration style throughout numerous games.
After you've finished all the configuration preparations you can start an actual game. A breakdown on a game process is provided in "Game Details" chapter of this Guide.