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5 Key Benefits of Asynchronous Planning Poker

Improve your efficienty and enhances the productivity of team members with asynchronous planning poker.
August 29 · 3 min read
Asynchronous Planning Poker is here to make planning poker more efficient and productive!
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With the COVID-19 pandemic, the remote working environment has triggered across the world. For employees, doing day-to-day operations from their homes became a new normal. Since the COVID-19 pandemic isn't over yet, it has let many businesses set up solid roots of remote working that they might continue it post-pandemic. But here is a question that how do those businesses that practice agile methodology are able to manage planning poker? This is where asynchronous planning poker comes into action. In this article, we will have a comprehensive overview of asynchronous planning poker and discuss its key benefits over traditional synchronous planning poker.

Asynchronous Planning Poker - Explained Simple

Asynchronous planning poker is getting more and more attention owing to be a rescuer of planning poker in the remote working environment and its other benefits over the traditional planning poker approach.

To explain how asynchronous planning poker works, let's start with a brief look at synchronous planning poker and then link it with the asynchronous approach.

  • A story is narrated by the product owner to the team members during an on-premises meeting or video call session. The members are allowed to ask questions and clarify their concerns about the story.
  • Every team member sets up an estimate but does not disclose it until the rest of the members have set up their estimates.
  • The estimates are presented simultaneously. Members with low and high estimates are given a chance to present their viewpoints on their estimates. Afterward, some discussion can carry out until the final plan is set up.

The working principle of asynchronous planning poker is similar to the above-mentioned approach, but it involves no sitting together session or dedicated video call session. It is triggered by an email sent to all the team members, which contains a list of stories (with resources) that need to be estimated.

Team members can go through the stories whenever they get the time and provide their estimates. All the estimates from a member are compiled into a reply. Once every team member has provided the estimate, the initiator gathers all the estimates and presents the results. In case results show prominent differences, then a follow-up synchronous meeting can be set up to discuss the differences and increase the accuracy.

This sums up what is asynchronous planning poker, and how it works. In short, it's more like synchronous planning poker, but with a modern approach based on the current business needs.

Key Benefits of Asynchronous Planning Poker

Following are some of the key benefits of asynchronous planning poker over traditional synchronous planning poker:

  • Accuracy of Estimation: Since team members can go through stories at their own pace, so the estimates are more accurate.
  • Better Written Story Description: Asynchronous planning poker triggers the practice of written story description with little to no room for verbal explanation. Therefore, any clarifications are also going to be presented in written form. This way, it removes the chances that the team will forget about those clarifications at the time they start working on the story.
  • Efficiency: Asynchronous planning poker empowers team members to study and provide estimates on stories based on their schedules. There is no one-time sit and work rule in it, so overall it improves efficiency.
  • No Time Wasted: Once all team member estimates are compiled and there are not many differences in the estimates, then there is no need for any kind of discussion. This way, members get less distracted and can continue working on their day-to-day operations.
  • Beneficial for Newbies: New members in a team usually need some extra time to dig stories and come up with the estimate. Asynchronous planning poker empowers them to have the time they need without any pressuring call from anyone.

In a nutshell, the asynchronous approach makes planning poker more efficient and enhances the productivity of team members. If you are looking to practice asynchronous planning poker in your organization, Async Poker is here to rescue you. Async Poker is a top-notch remote planning and estimation tool that lets you estimate your product backlog efforts in Jira under an asynchronous approach for distributed, collocated, or remote agile teams. It is designed to increase estimation accuracy and empower you to practice asynchronous planning poker under cost-friendly subscription plans.

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