Estimating Your Next Website Project- Efficiently and Accurately


Planning Poker: An Efficient Estimating ToolThe process of estimating and pitching a price for any type of digital project can be a heated back-and-forth debate among team members, a simple guesstimate, or a WAG (wild-a**-guess).

Alas, a digital solution for estimating anxiety:

With this tool, developers, designers, and other digital freelancers can come to a consensus quickly and in a fun manner.

How does it work?

  1. A moderator sets up a story/scenario.  A story can represent a very detailed task or a high-level consolidation of tasks for the project.
  2. The moderator then invites peers/team members to an interactive conference call to "play" a hand of planning poker.  Team members can include programmers, testers, database analysts, user interaction designers, and so on.  Each member provides their estimate for the given story.  A timer is included to keep the process moving forward.
  3. After completing the game, the results are averaged and can be exported.

The service is completely free, maintains privacy of data, and efficient.

Why should you consider using Planning Poker?  According to its users and developers (Mountain Goat Software):

Planning Poker works because it lets the people who are actually going to be completing the work do the estimatingEstimates derived from Planning Poker are more accurate because of the emphasis on lively discussion and the fact that estimators are called upon by their peers to justify their estimates — factors proven to increase accuracy. Finally, Planning Poker provides a true average of individual estimates, which has been shows to lead to better results.

I stumbled upon this great tool while reading The Art of Estimation, an article featured on a LinkedIn Q & A post.