Estimably™ is a free external service that allows teams to run an estimation game to collaboratively estimate their backlog. It supports estimation for both co-located and remote team members, allowing for group collaboration combined with independent voting. When the team reaches a decision, it can automatically update the item's estimate. Team members have the flexibility to use smartphones, tablets or their computers to participate in the estimation game making participation fun and easy for all.
Access from TeamRoom
Estimably is integrated directly into Lifecycle through the TeamRoom. When Estimably access is enabled, you will see a new Estimably tab in the TeamRoom menu.
Starting a Game
Only the facilitator needs to access Lifecycle to start a game. The designated facilitator starts a new and then communicates the URL and Game ID to the participants. Participants will log in to the game using that information. When they do, they are visible to the facilitator. When everyone is in, you're all set to get rolling.
To be able to effectively collaborate during the course of the game, you will need an audio connection for any remote team members. Phone or online voice chat services can work well to allow for necessary discussion.
Playing the Game
Use the Show Unestimated Only option in the Backlog panel to create a queue of the team's items that still need to be estimated. The facilitator drags an item from the Backlog panel into the game. The Begin Round button allows all participants to see and begin voting on the item.
At this point, the Product Owner will want to describe the item and the acceptance criteria to the group to ensure everyone has a good understanding. Team Members can ask questions to clarify as necessary.
Then, the voting participants cast their vote. Not everyone has to vote, it's OK to have some participants who just observe. As the voting occurs, the facilitator can see who has voted. Each participant can see a running total of the number of votes cast, which helps the team keep a steady pace through the game.
When participants have voted, the facilitator ends the voting round, which presents everyone the results. If there is agreement by all, then the facilitator simply submits the vote to save it to that work item and select another to estimate. If there is some variation in the voting, the team members can discuss their reasoning. At this point, the facilitator can elect to run the vote again or can select a verbally agreed-upon value to submit as the estimate.
If no agreement can be reached due to unclear criteria or significant differences of opinion even after multiple rounds of voting and discussion, keep the game moving by skipping the current item. The facilitator can elect to choose another item from the backlog without saving any estimate for the current one.