MARS App Profile:
App: Planning Poker®
Vendor: Lizard Brain Atlassian Apps (Appfire)
Primary Category: Planning
Active Instances: 2,230
Instances Monthly Growth: 5%
Instances 2021 Growth: 38%
Competitor: Agile Poker for Jira (Spartez / Appfire), Foxly (Jexo), Agile Scrum Planning Poker (DevSamurai), Scrumpy Planning Poker (AELBOX)
One of our unique offerings at Blended Perspectives is our Marketplace Analytic Research Service (MARS) database of Atlassian Marketplace 3rd party apps.
While many Atlassian Partners make their own apps, we believed that we could bring greater value to our customers and the Atlassian Community as a whole by creating a quantitative and objective database covering every facet of the Atlassian Marketplace.
MARS contains a vast array of data from instances, reviews, and pricing, to platform, app growth, and version releases. This is all tied together at the top level through our meaningful app categorization in which, for every app over 500 instances, we carefully assigned our own categories based on the primary functionality of each app. We do this instead of using Marketplace app categorizations which are somewhat meaningless due to vendor self-selection. This means that MARS can give us a completely unique perspective into which apps are really excelling and driving forwards in the Marketplace.
This month our MARS App of the Month is Planning Poker® by Lizard Brain (Appfire).
Planning Poker® by Lizard Brain is largest and fastest growing app in the thriving Planning Poker space. This subsection of the Planning category has grown by 26% over the past year and Planning Poker® has been leading the way with 38% growth over 2021 and 5% in just November.
Figure 1: Planning Poker Apps with Instances & November % Growth
Planning Poker as a concept is a consensus based agile estimating and planning technique while Planning Poker® and the other Atlassian Marketplace apps featured in Figure 1 are Jira add-ons that facilitate this planning methodology.
Essentially, each team member has a deck of “Poker” cards with a number signifying different numbers of points. The players then discuss the story/feature/task before all revealing their estimations by showing their card with what they deem to be the appropriate number of points. If all players reveal the same number then great, this number becomes the estimate. However, if not then the players can discuss their estimations before repeating the process until a consensus is achieved.
Planning Poker is widely believed to lead to more accurate estimations through facilitating engaged discussions, ensuring every voice is heard, and making sure that proposed estimations can be backed up with evidence.
Traditionally Planning Poker has been done with physical cards in Scrum meetings, however, with the growth of dispersed and hybrid teams in 2020 and 2021 this has been made much more difficult. Many Scrum Masters quickly found that during the pandemic that there was no way to run Planning Poker sessions effectively over Zoom with their traditional decks and quickly began adopting Jira add-ons like Planning Poker®.
Planning Poker® joined the Appfire family of apps with their takeover of Lizard Brain in May 2021. Appfire soon followed up this takeover with the acquisition of Spartez Software in July, makers of the second largest Poker app “Agile Poker for Jira”, showing that they clearly believe that this is an important market segment to have a strong presence in.
Games can be significantly customized to suite the individual needs of each team.
Including pre-game backlog configuration
Once the game has begun players make their estimations following all Planning Poker best practices such as hiding estimations until all have come in. Furthermore, since it is deeply embedded in Jira, Planning Poker® lets users invite participants, view and edit issue details and comments during the game, and save their estimates for the selected Jira fields.
Planning Poker® also lets you make more accurate estimations by showing you issues from the same project that were estimated with various scores.
Planning Poker® even works on Android and iOS.
We believe that Planning Poker®’s success is due to a number of factors. Firstly, it has a clean and simple interface that making sure that everyone instinctively knows what to do. Secondly, Planning Poker® is more integrated with Jira and allows for greater issue customization than many other apps. And thirdly, since it is solely focused on Planing Poker it is able to price itself more competitively than competitors like Agile Poker for Jira.
Even for non remote/dispersed teams Planning Poker® offers a marked improvement over physical decks with its deep Jira integration ensuring games are streamlined and estimations are accurate. Planning Poker® by Lizard Brain is definitely worth checking out.