Backlog prioritization sessions with fully remote and distributed teams can be a real challenge, even for an adept Scrum Master or Product Manager. With the evolving hybrid or remote-only workplace trends, backlog prioritization has come a long way since the days of face-to-face team meetings. Even Planning poker has had its share of jumps by moving far from the initial card activity.
Reasons why backlog estimation has become rather hard to manage vary greatly.
- Some managers may face difficulties related to cross-department estimation, or inaccurate results due to lack of proper context.
- Some struggle to choose a time slot for a planning session across the various time zones team members live in.
- The backlog refinement process can become even lengthier and less accurate given the difference in estimation pace across the team.
So, how do you make the planning sessions better-tailored to your teams and more time-efficient?
If any of these concerns ring a bell to you, read on; we have a solution for 3 of the most common cases remote teams deal with, when prioritizing in Jira.
1. Difference in estimation units and metrics across teams
As a Scrum Master or Product Owner, you may want to collect different types of estimates from different teams or departments, to use as criteria for agile priority poker.
For example, business teams would tack the expertise to estimate effort or confidence in story points. The developer team, on the other hand, would be out of context for an accurate estimation of potential customer reach or impact of a task.
2. Estimation pace and lack of proper context
Some team members may take more time to review the issue for accurate estimation. It is even more of a challenge with tasks that have dependencies or a bunch of related child issues.
With online or interactive estimation sessions, it’s hard to assess tasks from different perspectives and review the whole context. As the team has to look at one item at a time.
3. Cross-department prioritization and fully remote teams
Gathering everyone at the same meeting when you have a fully remote team living in different time zones poses a challenge on its own. But handling a cross-department agile poker session with distributed teams is close to a nightmare for any manager.
🤔 What’s the solution?
You could spare your stakeholders and teams a lot of meeting time and make sure their votes are counted by just sending them a link to async priority poker session in Jira prior to the meeting.
This would allow both stakeholders and developers to review and vote on issue priority metrics at their own leisure. And then, you can go through the results and share the calculations with the teams.
🤓 How Foxly’s Async Priority Poker can help
The Priority planning poker game in Foxly app for Jira Cloud is designed to fully cater backlog refinement meetings to distributed teams, both development and business!
You can opt for interactive (online) sessions or create an offline or asynchronous planning poker game in Jira.
1. Agile Estimation Techniques for Different Teams: Units and Metrics to Use
With Foxly asynchronous planning poker, you can create multiple poker sessions per project and adjust them to different teams.
Send a separate poker link with different sets of metrics to stakeholders/business teams and development teams and let them vote on the criteria that matter, in their own time.
You can also go as far as to choose appropriate estimation units for different metrics, from story points/numbers to labels, ratings or short text.
This will allow your tech teams to vote on task effort/ease and confidence, and your business team to focus only on metrics relevant to their area, such as impact, reach, business value, etc.
2. Increase Time Efficiency in Estimation Meetings with Async Poker
Let Foxly async poker help make your backlog refinement meetings short and efficient.
Your teams can take advantage of assessing all issues at the same time, and do it at their own pace. Team members can open issues and review all subtasks and dependencies to give their accurate estimates with all the context taken into account.
Use the meeting time to share and discuss the results and listen to the outliers.
3. Remote Planning and Estimation for Distributed Teams
Tailor your workflows to swim the tide with your fully remote and distributed teams. Asynchronous planning poker in Foxly offers a beautiful solution for that.
Just open a game for a day or two, track the progress and then collect the scores.
Let’s look at a process that can help you set this up.
How to set up and play planning poker in Foxly?
- Navigate to Priority Poker in Foxly and start by creating a new poker game.
Choose Async poker, name the game and select the metric you want to include. You can select all metrics or a set of metrics, relevant to your team.
Foxly comes with five out-of the box prioritization templates (Value vs. Effort, ICE, RICE, WSJF, and Quick wins), but you can also create your own template with custom metrics and formula.
2. Next, you select issues that will be included in your agile poker to be voted on by your team members.
You can also create multiple Jira planning poker games for the same project or set of issues from the backlog to accommodate for different teams’ focus.
And share the link with the parties involved.
3. Keep track of the poker game progress from the admin view or join the game to submit your own votes.
When all the issues are estimated, close the voting, review and share the results.
4. When all the issues are estimated, close the voting, review and share the results.
🤩 Why Foxly is the best for you?
When compared to online/interactive planning poker, where the business and development teams estimate issues one by one across a predefined set of criteria, Foxly’s Async Priority planning poker offers you the opportunity to customize the estimation session to your teams' needs and according to their expertise. Foxly allows you to create multiple poker games to involve both stakeholders and developers into backlog prioritization from various angles. Which results in more accurate estimation and better decision-making as to what it is you should work on next.