By Cassandra Balentine
352 Inc. is a digital product development agency headquartered in Atlanta, GA with offices in Tampa and Gainsville, FL. Founded in 1998 with Geoff Wilson, the privately held company has 80 employees and does not disclose its annual revenue.
Specializing in product strategy, user experience design, custom Web development, and digital marketing, the company’s goal is to turn ideas into successful digital products for companies like AutoTrader, Microsoft, and YouCaring.
Planning Poker is a consensus-based estimating technique that agile teams around the world use to estimate product backlogs.
Recently, at the Scrum Alliance Global Scrum Gathering 2015, 352 announced a fully redesigned and rebuilt Planning Poker for the agile development community.
“As avid practitioners of agile Web development, 352 teams are regular users of Planning Poker. During an internal hackathon, a 352 team built a new digital Planning Poker proof-of-concept with a fresh, user-friendly design and powerful new features,” says Kate Griggs, scrum master, 352.
Initially developed by Mountain Goat Software, the new PlanningPoker.com by 352 reimagines the classing planning tool for today’s agile teams. The updated digital product offers a new user experience and modern design.
Mountain Goat Software is owned by Mike Cohn, which Griggs says is a leader in agile development and the author of Agile Estimating and Planning. “Cohn had considered redeveloping Planning Poker with his own team, but when he saw the initial product from 352, the partnership was too good to pass up,” says Griggs.
The core of the new Planningpoker.com was designed and developed over the course of three days. After pitching the new design and functionality to Cohn, the six person development team worked on the project after hours for six months to build a full-fledged product.
The new digital features provide secure entry for protected project information, quick-add for user stories and estimation, flexible estimation scales, a customizable round timer, and immediate score averaging for efficiency. “The new platform gives on site and remote team members an equal seat at the development table for a fun, refreshing round of effort pointing,” says Griggs.
Key differences with the new platform include a modern design that offers a much-improved user experience. Play from anywhere is a new feature that includes mobile devices so that teams can be “together,” even in different time zones. Secure registration ensures project information is protected. The ability to choose from Fibonacci and other popular effort point scales allows teams to continue in the way they prefer. The capability to view a story’s immediate score average rounded up to the next number in the chosen sequence makes it so that teams can avoid convergence discussions in a tight timebox. Additionally, the ability to quality-add user stories to lay out a sprint plan before or after entering the game enables teams to focus on relevant backlog items.
Planningpoker.com is used by agile development teams worldwide. “We hope it becomes a tool for scrum masters and teams everywhere,” concludes Griggs. SW