Stop using another tool for online Planning poker

Planning poker is a gamified and consensus-based technique to estimate the effort or size of development goals. Planning poker is one of many scrum ceremonies for your team. Scrum meetings are among the many workflows for you as an agile team leader to manage. Having different tools to help facilitate every scrum workflow adds overhead and friction in engaging your team. You and your team have to onboard and learn every tool and remember to login to each.  

There are many online tools available to automate the process of Planning poker online. Even the simplest one requires the team to onboard and learn the way it works. Ideally you should not require your team to learn new tools but engage them in the tools they already use. Your team is using tools for issue tracking and chat. For most agile teams, it is Jira and Slack. If you are one among them, then automating Planning poker sessions by employing only these tools is what we are going to discuss in this blog.


Scrum ceremonies in Slack

You can engage your scrum team in a Planning poker session directly inside Slack. You can get your team to participate in the session in Slack without the need to login to another tool. This greatly reduces friction and increases participation and engagement in your Planning poker sessions.


Dont learn another tool

Troopr Slack bot can automate and facilitate many scrum ceremonies including online Planning poker in Slack. Troopr is deeply integrated with Jira to pull issues and also update them in Slack. Troopr automates routine aspects of scheduling meetings, checking in with participants, aggregating responses into reports and sharing reports in Slack and on the web. Setting up Troopr, meeting participation, follow up and reporting all work within Slack.

Why Planning Poker in Slack?

Here are some of the reasons why you should move your planning poker online to Slack.

  • Minimize context switch
  • Easy to setup
  • Easy to participate
  • Discuss and finalize votes in Slack
  • Update Jira estimates in Slack

Minimize context switch

Your scrum team needs to get back to work sooner. Conducting asynchronous meetings in Slack keeps the overhead costs to minimum. Troopr Check-ins are asynchronous by default so your team members can participate in the Check-ins when they get a chance and don't need to all be at the same place at the same time. And because the entire participation is in Slack, it saves a lot of time for everyone not having to switch tools and not having to learn to use yet another tool for Planning poker.


Easy to set up

Setup a check-in for Planning poker in 3 simple steps

  1. Choose the participants and scheduling options
  2. Choose Planning poker questions and configure the estimation options
  3. Choose your reporting options
Planning poker setup


Easy to participate

Participants get a message in Slack with an action button encouraging them to cast their votes. The participants are also allowed to respond to the questions later. If any of the participants miss to cast their votes, Troopr sends an automatic reminder to them encouraging them to participate.


Easy to participate


Discuss and finalize the votes in Slack

Troopr aggregates the participants responses into a single report that can be shared with your team in Slack channel. You can initiate discussions on the estimates and finalize the votes with the team right there, without ever leaving Slack.


Update Jira estimates in Slack

Troopr is deeply integrated with Jira, allowing you (the session facilitator) to update the estimates to the Jira issues just with a push of a button in Slack. Troopr also allows you to make any field updates or take any action on the corresponding Jira issue in Slack.


Go beyond Jira Planning poker

Troopr goes beyond online Planning poker sessions to automate most common Scrum ceremonies in Slack including sprint retrospectives, daily standups, backlog grooming and more. Troopr supports distributed user time zones - allowing the co-located team to file their responses at their prime working hours. Troopr also comes with customized scheduling preferences, reporting preference, team insight reports, actionable web reports and history of reports for all the scrum ceremonies.

Jira retrospective in Slack

You can also automate your sprint retrospectives in Slack. The setup process is similar to that of Planning poker and Troopr prompts participants appropriately for response in Slack. The participants can write down their feedback when they get a chance. Troopr prepares an aggregated retrospective check-ins report for Slack and a web that comes with action buttons to like/vote/comment and add and track action items in Slack. You can also convert retrospective feedback as a Jira issue directly in Slack.

Jira retrospective in Slack


Daily standup in Slack

Troopr Daily standups in Slack allows your team to asynchronously check-in their responses to the 3 default or customized questions in Slack. Troopr prepares an aggregated Daily standup report for Slack and web. Jira issues mentioned as part of responses are automatically linked and unfurled in the reports.

Daily standup in Slack


Get started with Troopr

Get started by installing from Atlassian Marketplace or Slack App directory. The entire setup process is simple and takes under a minute. (Blog link).

When your Jira domain is connected to Slack workspace, Troopr attempts to 100 percent auto-map user accounts from Jira to Slack. This is followed by account verification that every user had to do from their Troopr web application. Once this is done, you can create and automate any number of scrum ceremonies including Planning poker for your team workflow.

Troopr lets you pick the Jira issues from the backlog and choose the estimation options, scheduling options, reporting options in the setup process. The participants receive a message with Jira issue context unfurled in Slack. The participants can choose to respond now or skip it for later. If any of participants fail to remember to cast their responses, Troopr sends a smart reminder encouraging them to actively participate. Troopr then aggregates the participants responses into a single report and shares them in designated Slack channels and web portal. The reports are actionable and deeply integrated with Jira allowing you to update the estimates to the respective Jira issues at a click of a button.

Like what you read so far? Try it for yourself. Troopr is designed to fit teams of any size and free for 14 days evaluation. Troopr scrum bot is trusted by 1000s of agile teams worldwide including at Intel, Accenture, Adobe, Electronic Arts and more.

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