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Agile Poker Relative Sessions Now Support Unbiased Voting

Oleksii Kovalenko
Oleksii Kovalenko
Jun 2nd, 2021

Just in time for the end of May 2021, we released several important features for Relative and Bucket Sizing sessions of Agile Poker for Cloud. Those include:

  • Unbiased Voting. There is an option to vote for a place (estimate) for a particular issue, but now personal votes are unbiased, they are not revealed until the end of voting, and even cursors are hidden from the interactive board. Check out the video to see the revamped Relative Session in action.

vote for a place (estimate) for a particular issue without revealing your vote until the end of voting, and even cursors are hidden from the interactive board.


  • Automatically picking up the next issue for voting. If you want to vote for all issues in the session scope, leave this feature on and it will select the next issue to vote on once the current one is estimated.
  • Accept Estimate. Once all votes are revealed, each bucket has an Accept button that moves the issue being voted on to the selected bucket. The Accept button(s) will be highlighted for the winning bucket.
  • New Issue Details View and Edit. The new issue details dialogue supports all fields configured in Jira and allows editing of any fields with all options Jira supports.

New Issue Details View and Edit

Why is it important?

As you may already know, Agile Poker for Jira Cloud is a great estimation app that supports 4 estimation methods, which we can roughly categorize by estimation principles:

  • Poker-like estimation, where participants use cards with estimation values to submit their personal estimates. Interactive and Asynchronous sessions of Agile Poker belong here;
  • Board estimation, where participants give their estimates by moving User Stories around the estimation board, we sometimes call such methods Relative or Magic Estimation methods. Relative and Bucket Sizing sessions represent this type in Agile Poker.

We described the main differences between these two principles in the earlier blog post. But let’s briefly discuss the main advantages of the Relative method:

  • It is fully relative.
  • It is visual and interactive.
  • It is easier to set up, moderate, and manage.
  • It is productive and gets results faster.
  • It is more collaborative.
  • It is well perceived by new, inexperienced teams.

But still, Planning Poker has its own unique advantages:

  • Equal voice through unbiased estimates;
  • Equal contribution to the plan as the result of the previous one;
  • Step-by-step game instructions;
  • Discussions that end with consensus.

The last update of Agile Poker brought new features that fulfill the above-mentioned advantages of Relative and Bucket Sizing sessions.


Planning Poker flow with the Bucket Sizing Session

The Bucket Sizing session allows distributing issues through the buckets labelled with your standard estimation values.

The suggested flow is the following:

  1. Open Agile Poker for Jira Cloud for the board your team uses by default.
  2. In the Bucket Sizing section, click Create Session and follow the creation funnel.
    • Make sure to select the buckets set that your team uses regularly, such as the Fibonacci sequence or a custom one;
    • Select issues you want to estimate;
    • Optionally, select several already estimated issues for the initial reference;
  3. Share the session link with your teammates after you create the session.
  4. If you added reference issues, place them in the appropriate buckets.
  5. Expand the voting panel and drop the first item there to start voting. Make sure the 'Automatic pickup of the next issue for the voting' option is ON.
    • In case you need to update story details, click on the issue and make necessary changes;
  6. Cast personal votes for a bucket for the first user story. Votes will automatically reveal once all participants have voted, or you can do this manually.
  7. Discuss the voting results with the team:
    • Submit the final vote when the consensus has been reached or when there is a clear winner;
    • Discuss the results with the team if there is no clear winner;
    • Consider resetting voting after discussion and repeating the voting process until consensus is reached, and then cast the final vote;
  8. Once the final vote for the issue has been submitted, the next issue from the session scope will be automatically picked up for voting.
  9. Repeat the process until all issues are in the buckets and save the estimates.

As you can see, the process is pretty similar to the Planning Poker’s one.

As a result of such a flow, your team gets estimates in the backlog or an iteration based on each member’s opinion. However, unlike in Planning Poker flow, all estimates (votes) are done while having the whole board of estimated issues for reference.


Relative session flow with unbiased voting

The Relative session allows you to estimate without values or labels. Compare the size of multiple stories and decide whether the user story is larger, smaller, or the same, and place it in the appropriate column.

The recommended flow is the following:

  1. Open Agile Poker for Jira Cloud for the board your team uses by default.
  2. Click on Create Session in the Relative session area and follow the creation funnel. Select issues you want to estimate.
  3. Share the session link with your team members after creating the session.
  4. Select the smallest user story from the session scope and move it to the board to create the first column. Note that you can use voting when at least one column has been created.
  5. Expand the voting panel and drop the first item to start voting. Make sure the ‘Automatic pickup of the next issue for the voting’ option is ON.
    • Click on the issue to see user story details in case you need to refresh story details;
  6. Submit personal votes for an unlabelled column or space in between the columns for the first user story. The votes are automatically revealed once all participants vote, or you can do it manually.
  7. Discuss the voting results with the team:
    • Cast the final vote when the consensus has been reached or when there is a clear winner;
    • Discuss the results with the team if there is no clear winner;
    • Consider resetting voting after discussion and repeating the voting process until consensus is reached, then submit the final vote;
    • If the final vote is cast for a new column, Agile Poker will create it for you and in the next round of voting, instead of seeing the place for the new column, you will see the newly created column + 2 places for voting on possible columns.
  8. Once the final vote for the issue has been submitted, the next issue from the session scope will be picked up for voting.
  9. Repeat the process until all issues are in the columns and save the estimates.

Agile Poker just got a lot more flexible. We recommend that all teams using the Agile Poker interactive session or any other Planning Poker game solution try the flows from above and you will see how easy, fast and dynamic this approach is.

Please share your feedback with us: support@spartez-software.com