A Comparison of Agile Estimation Tools – Useful tools for remote teams

You can use various methods to estimate work items in Agile processes. One of the most popular methods is Planning Poker®, which has proven to be an easy-to-use tool. James Grenning developed it and Mike Cohn of Mountain Goat Software has popularized it. You can read more about alternative estimation tools in “9 Agile Estimation Techniques.”

The best version of the tool is one that allows the whole team to gather around a table, pass out physical card decks, put on your poker faces, and start. But it’s likely that today’s Agile teams are distributed, so physical poker decks can be of limited use. If everyone on the team, including remote teams, has their own poker deck, you still can play with the remote folks by showing their cards on camera. However, the fun of being there gets lost. If remote participants don’t have their own decks, and they have to show the number of estimation with their hands, it can get messy. (more…)


A template for easy (Scrum) Retrospective preparation


The retrospective is the most important event within the Scrum framework. Why is this? The whole Scrum idea is based on inspect-and-adapt cycles. The retrospective it the event where the just finished sprint is reviewed team internally to get insights on where the problems are and how to improve the process for the next sprint (see the links below for a Scrum introduction). Without the retrospective the inspect-and-adapt cycle would simply not work.

But retrospectives are not limited to the Scrum framework, they should be part of every agile method. Even outside agile methods retrospectives can be used to review all kind of milestones / projects etc. So if you are not yet familiar with the methodology, you should definitely take a look. (more…)