You know when someone pulls out the packs of planning poker cards that you’re about to enter into a parallel universe where the normal rules of working life are temporarily suspended and we use a form of game-play to get us past the awkwardness of not wanting to estimate our backlog items.
I will be writing separately, soon, on how gamification makes Scrum, and other variants of agile projects, possible. For now, I would like us to consider those times when planning poker goes bad.
When we start out on a venture, of any kind, we hope things will run smoothly, we expect the ‘happy path’ / ‘sunny day’ scenario to be true. In designing our software, though, we know that we need to allow for alternate paths and exceptions. In the same way, when thinking about our projects, we should expect to be hit from left-field with surprises, and have ways of coping with those.