Top 3 free online planning poker tools for 2023

Planning poker, also known as "pointing poker" and "scrum poker" is a popular technique that agile teams use globally to estimate task time frames through consensus. Team leaders often put a great deal of effort into getting it as accurate as possible.

There is no dearth of estimation techniques but determining the right process and tools to collaborate with your team is vital. In this blog we compare popular Planning Poker tools including Troopr, Standuply and PlanningPoker.

Agile teams around the world use Planning Poker as a consensus based estimation technique to estimate product backlogs, mostly used to estimate effort or relative time of development goals in software development.

Should you choose a new tool for just Planning Poker?

If you are a scrum team, other than planning poker you are likely also practicing daily scrum, retrospectives, backlog grooming and other ceremonies. Introducing new tools for each can be overwhelming to the team and cause a significant overhead for onboarding and training the team members.

It would make sense to look for tools that offer an integrated solution for all scrum ceremonies for your team. You have options like Troopr and Standuply that offer all-in-one scrum ceremonies automation including conducting your online planning poker sessions.

Evaluating online planning poker tools

There are many tools available to automate and run planning poker sessions. If you are searching for a reliable free planning poker tool, then you are most likely looking for 3 key factors.

  1. Covers all the features that fit your team's needs
  2. Reliability of the - vendor and the tool
  3. Cost of upgrade when your team needs to grow

Troopr, Standuply,* offer free tiers in their pricing plans. These online poker tools will be the focus of our comparison here.

While works online with your email account, Troopr and Standuply are Slack bots that require your team to use Slack (free version works).

The tool is choosen as a reference. There are many other similar tools in the market that offer free or ad-supported planning poker implementations.

Comparison of free tiers

*Teams of any size can benefit from the free version of Troopr check-ins with access to one check-in (multiple re-runs)

Learn more about Troopr pricing here.

Key feature comparison

Cost of upgrade

Although tools like these simplify the planning poker process, they require the entire team to onboard and learn a new tool. You can also analyze what workflow tools you are already using and try to make the most use of them. If you are using Slack for workspace collaboration, then an online planning poker automation that can work completely in Slack can be useful to prevent additional application overload. Additionally, your team need not be on the Slack paid version to start using Slack planning poker automation bots. All the functionalities are designed to work well in the free version of Slack.

Why conduct Planning Poker in Slack?

Slack makes it easy for teams to collaborate in real-time. It offers separate channels for all your team's needs with features to add members to the respective channels. Slack's app directory offers a variety of options to run a planning poker session for your team with applications that offer an elaborative approach to scrum poker followed by automated results and estimation options. While most function around slash commands,these tools require your team to onboard the slack app and learn different tools to practice different scrum ceremonies.

If you are looking for a consolidated solution for all your scrum ceremonies then Troopr is the right place to start. Troopr offers your team the following features and benefits:

1.  Troopr provides a 3 step configuring process for your planning poker sessions which can  be performed manually or scheduled as per your team’s needs.

2.  Troopr saves time by automatically integrating Jira without any hassle and automates the results in your slack workspace.

3.  Troopr customized to your team’s estimation options by automating your planning poker into custom, linear, t-shirt, and fibonacci varities.

4.  Troopr eliminates the need to learn any other tool allowyou to run a planning poker session from your configured slack workspace.

5.  Troopr supports asynchronous work and is time zone and remote friendly allowing flexibility of participation window to your team members. It also fosters better collaboration by providing a wait time from 15 minutes to up to 72 hours for final report delivery.

6.  Troopr delivers an automated assessment of team participation in the form of a summary report to the configured Slack channel.

7.  Troopr saves time with its automated and easy update of the final estimate to Jira from your Slack workspace itself.

8.  Troopr offers instant engagement benefits and lets you run a planning poker session with  a “run now” feature which delivers immediate results with a click.

9.  Troopr offers a consolidated approach by automating scrum ceremonies like standup, retrospective,and planning poker in your slack workspace.

To learn more about Troopr’s scrum ceremonies click here.

Getting started with Planning Poker in Slack

Once you install Troopr to your Slack workspace, it will be shown under apps on Slack’s left side panel. With Troopr you can instantly engage your team in a planning poker session in Slack.

Getting started with planning poker in Slack

Click on the “Troopr Assistant” app to create a planning poker sessions from the Slack in 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Choose the Planning Poker Check-ins and add the team members who would like to participate in the estimation exercise. Choose a manual or automated schedule to run the Check-in.

Schedule planning poker

Step 2: Select Jira issue manually or specify a JQL for the issues needing estimation (your Jira account should be integrated with your Slack account before starting this step)

Planning poker questions

Step 3: Choose the poker session duration and customize report delivery in Slack.

Reporting in planning poker

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