New App: Make The Estimation Process Simpler And More Inclusive


Userlevel 4

Hi Miro Community,

 

We’re so excited to let you know that the Estimation app is now available to all users on paid plans! 

The estimation process is designed to help your team predict the amount of effort required to bring a project across the finish line ― often used in Agile product development practices. 

Our new Estimation app lets you add more to structure the process, increase the accuracy of your estimates, and gives everyone a voice with votes. 

  • Create Miro sticky notes and cards, or bring Jira development tasks onto a Miro board to make it easier to estimate, and add design files or diagrams for more visual context

  • To make the estimation process more inclusive, give everyone an opportunity to cast a vote, empowering individuals and sidestepping the bias of group thinking

  • Once voting is done, you can start an agreement session to go through results and focus on the tasks where team members disagree

  • Remove the hassle of manually updating estimates in Jira and sync them with the click of a button

Visit this Help Center article to learn more and don’t forget to let us know what you think once you’ve tried it! 

 

Happy estimating,

Jenny


29 replies

Dear Miro Team,

I suggest to rethink the necessity for an estimation feature. For a couple of years now there is an ever-growing share among “leading” agile coaches and developers who argue against estimates that surely you also have come across. Let’s mention Kent Beck, Ron Jeffries, Allan Holub, Tom Ottinger, Alistair Cockburn, J.B. Rainsberger, Vasco Duarte, etc. to name just a few.

 

Estimates aren’t necessary for being agile and they don’t contribute to become more agile. What I have observed so far is that whenever teams estimated their work these estimates sooner or later leaked to management and were there taken at face value - with all the subsequent hassle one would expect. This is harmful to teams.

Jira has been offering estimates for years and recently - giving in to pure ridiculousness - also introduced decimals for estimates. As if estimates are some sort of scientific measure. They are not. Virtually all other task management tools do the same. But Jira and many colleagues are not a tool well suited for agile teams. Full disclaimer: I once was also strongly in favor of estimates and even took video courses from Mike Cohn on how to improve estimates. Improving estimates is not valuable work. Estimating is not valuable work either.

The “inventor” of Story Points, Ron Jeffries, is even slighty sorry for inventing them given how points are being misunderstood and misused in modern SW development: https://ronjeffries.com/articles/019-01ff/story-points/Index.html

 

Miro has been my favorite tool for workshops over the last four years or so and introducing estimation will not change that. Yet I would advocate to NOT become another task management tool.

Userlevel 7
Badge +6

@Jennifer Yzelman -

It’d be great if the following changes were made to the cards:

  • Replace 21 with 20 - normal estimating poker decks round up the numbers after 13
  • Add a 0, ½, 40, 100, infinity and coffee cup card

Also, I wasn’t sure about this but can you have multiple simultaneous estimation sessions going on at the same time on one board or is it a single active session per board? The reason I ask is that when I teach this technique in classes I might have 3-4 groups and each would be sizing their work items separately from others, all on the same board.

Kiron

Thanks for your feedback, Kiron! I lead Miro’s product teams in this area and it’s always great to hear from our users and community members.

It’d be great if the following changes were made to the cards:

  • Replace 21 with 20 - normal estimating poker decks round up the numbers after 13
  • Add a 0, ½, 40, 100, infinity and coffee cup card

More estimate types and custom estimates are things we’re actively considering. What do you use the coffee cup for, out of interest?

 

Also, I wasn’t sure about this but can you have multiple simultaneous estimation sessions going on at the same time on one board or is it a single active session per board? The reason I ask is that when I teach this technique in classes I might have 3-4 groups and each would be sizing their work items separately from others, all on the same board.

Much like with our voting app, you can only have one session per board at a time. Would you be able to use multiple boards for this, or is there another constraint that prevents this?

I love this for cards. Are there plans to let kanban templates total estimation points rather than count stories? That would be a gamechanger for us.

Userlevel 1

Hey @Sebastian Burkart do you see it as part of the top panel? [see image attached]

 

Thanks again for all of your feedback – some great suggestions in there and we’ll factor these in to our planning for future improvements.

 

Christoph – thanks for your comment about estimation as a concept. We aim to support a wide variety of working processes and styles, and recognise that different people value different parts of the Miro experience. Workshops are super important to us and that area of focus isn’t going to go away!

Userlevel 4

Dear Community Members,

 

Happy Friday to you all 😊

 

First, I’d like to thank you all for your feedback. This is very helpful in making the solutions that we provide better for you.  

We would like to share some exciting news about the Estimation app. Next to the Fibonacci scale, you can now also estimate your tasks with t-shirt sizes

Try it out and let us know your feedback! 

 

 

Drop by our Help Center to learn more about the Estimation app or download this Solution Kit board to learn more about how you can run estimation sessions in Miro. 

 

Kind regards,

Jenny

 

+1 on allowing 

In a virtual form, I’d like to propose an option for folks that could speed up the discussion and consensus process… how about adding a text field (optional!) to the voting panel, with the question “Why?” as a label. Then people could, for instance vote “0.5” and in the Why box, enter “This would take me two minutes - it’s a one line change.” 

Usually we would ask for the numbers blind, and then have the discussion about why… seems this might give the group a running start at understanding the votes faster than having the first pass discussion. 

For bonus points, maybe the votes and “why” comments could optionally be stored in a comment in Jira once voting completes? Then the team would have an automatic record of the reasoning, without having to transcribe or convert to notes…

Here are a few more thoughts on allowable point values.

I agree that some teams like to have 0, and ½ (0.5) as option. 

While the community (myself included) talks about using a fibonacci series for planning poker, there’s an urban legend (I don’t have proof of this) that some early practitioner created a set of planning poked cards using “pure fibonacci” - ie 21 included - and then copyrighted the cards, so people decided to go to 20/40/100 instead, rather than having some future copyright issue. 

While I suspect that legend isn’t fully true, almost all teams I’ve worked with over a couple of decades use the sequence 8/13/20/40/100 for larger scale estimates. 20/40/100 almost always indicate “this is various levels of huge, and I might be scared to even estimate it,” but having those reactions available is useful in the estimate discussion process. 

Alternate use case: This sort of estimation is also used for epics / larger scale work before stories are created… and in those cases the numbers can be much larger, into the hundreds of points with real estimation values. 

Here’s a proposal: Enable a standard estimation series, geared around points for stories, using the pattern: 0,0.5,1,2,3,5,8,13,20,40,100, and as an option, allow people to create their own estimating series (for larger work, or for people who “just don’t like the commonly used pattern.”

It seems this would give solid guidance for people who don’t have a specific preference, allowing for industry norms, and then also allow for other cases where other numbers would be a better fit. 

Curious for thoughts about this...

I love this for cards. Are there plans to let kanban templates total estimation points rather than count stories? That would be a gamechanger for us.

Thanks! We’re actively looking at potential improvements to the Kanban widget for planning/estimating/capacity measurement purposes. Stay tuned!

Please add to the backlog:

As a facilitator I have the ability to use preconfigured “mode settings”:

  1. “Learn Mode” w available sizes: modified fibonacci series
  2. “Predict Mode”  w available sizes: 1, TFB, NFC
  3. “Ludicrous Mode” which allows, no enforces, two decimal places of precision on learn mode


    JK about #3. Replace that w “timebox for enabling ‘Learn Mode’ to 3 iterations. Then only available option is #2.”
     

    Don't worry about getting better/more accurate at "estimating"

     

    Instead:

  • Get better at asking "can we make this any smaller?"
  • Limit WIP (finish before starting)
  • Make "Flow" more efficient (doing time vs waiting time)
  • Reduce/ eliminate dependencies
  • Swarm on impediments
  • Work in pairs/ensembles more

 

Userlevel 4

Thank you for your feedback @Reimar

This is something that we’ll definitely look into.

As for Azure DevOps, did you know that we recently released the two-way sync? Now you can easily create and edit Azure DevOps work items directly from Miro, and turn sticky notes and Miro cards into Azure cards. No need to worry about manually updating tasks and information in two places: all changes are automatically reflected in both tools ― whether you make them from Miro or Azure DevOps. More information can be found on this help center article. 

Hi @Kiron Bondale @Kevin Kinisky  @Jasmine Friedrich @Joel Foner @caboh_pm @Matt Donatelli @andy cleff @Christoph Möbius @olivamogar @Reimar 

Hope all of you are having a great start of the week! 

We wanted to ask all of you for a special request: We wanted to get a peek into how you, as a user, are Estimating using Miro 😊 This is to better understand the usage and usability of our app for your requirements.

Would you be interested in share a note or a short screen-recording (like on Loom for eg) with us? 

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thanks a ton!
Shubangi

 


PS: Incase you think you might know someone else who might be want to share their story, tag them here and we will reach out to them!

Hi @Shubangi Sunder 
just invested some time for getting a better understanding of the Miro capabilities. For us doing Estimations in Miro makes sense, if I can use the data out our operational Azure DEVOPS instance. (As well I would use it for Story Mapping instead of using the next tool) I understand that I need an Enterprise Plan for this. But we are less then 50 Miro users. So we are out. How or where can I vote for enabling the Azure Connectivity for the Business plan? 
Only with this connectivity I can use it and from my point of view I do not see why Miro does not support smaller companies / Startups with this functionionality.
Thanks!
Reimar

Userlevel 1

Hi @Kiron Bondale @Kevin Kinisky  @Jasmine Friedrich @Joel Foner @caboh_pm @Matt Donatelli @andy cleff @Christoph Möbius @olivamogar @Reimar 

Hope all of you are having a great start of the week! 

We wanted to ask all of you for a special request: We wanted to get a peek into how you, as a user, are Estimating using Miro 😊 This is to better understand the usage and usability of our app for your requirements.

Would you be interested in share a note or a short screen-recording (like on Loom for eg) with us? 

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thanks a ton!
Shubangi

 


PS: Incase you think you might know someone else who might be want to share their story, tag them here and we will reach out to them!

We do estimation sort of goofy, so the estimation setting tool doesn’t quite fit in. What is helpful is the points being visible as a special tag on each card, and potentially being able to change the tag manually, since that could help us count load in each sprint on a kanban widget. Right now we use another tag with each point value to help color code different sizes, but honestly it’s pretty janky and not particularly accessible.

Userlevel 7
Badge +6

@Peter Parkes -

  1. The coffee cup is a signal which a team member would use to let the team know that they’ve been estimating for long enough and its time for a break (coffee or otherwise)
  2. Multiple boards could be used but its a kludgy solution as I’d need to direct learners to go to a different board specifically for their breakout team and then come back to the main board. I’ve found that multiple boards tend to create a lot of confusion for learners. I’ve used links to make it easy to go from one to the other but it still isn’t as easy as doing it on a single board.

Kiron

The coffee cup is a signal which a team member would use to let the team know that they’ve been estimating for long enough and its time for a break (coffee or otherwise)

Got it – thanks! The way we’ve built the app also allows for asynchronous ‘voting’, and then synchronous agreement. You can start the process and let people vote in their own time, and then get together to discuss and agree estimates.

 

Multiple boards could be used but its a kludgy solution as I’d need to direct learners to go to a different board specifically for their breakout team and then come back to the main board. I’ve found that multiple boards tend to create a lot of confusion for learners. I’ve used links to make it easy to go from one to the other but it still isn’t as easy as doing it on a single board.

Very clear – thanks!

Userlevel 4

@Peter Parkes  The opportunity for asynchronous voting is a great enabler here. Already provided this feedback before but I think that whomever initiates the voting session should have the ability to enable anonymous voting or by username. This way there is a choice. I can see both sides of the argument as to why anonymous and why some would prefer transparency.

Userlevel 7
Badge +6

@Shubangi Sunder -

I teach so my use of estimation techniques is to help learners understand how to use them. I’m still using the Planning Poker Miro app as that is using the normal modified Fibonacci sequence and simulates IRL estimating poker better than the native capability.

Kiron

I think that whomever initiates the voting session should have the ability to enable anonymous voting or by username. This way there is a choice. I can see both sides of the argument as to why anonymous and why some would prefer transparency.

We’re exploring some options for more configurability here – thanks again for the feedback!

Hi,

 

@Jennifer Yzelman

somehow i can not find the app in the Miro Marketplace anymore. What did i do wrong? Or did something change?

 

A friend of me, also with a paid plan, was also unsuccessful.

 

Cheers

Sebastian

 

Userlevel 1

Thanks @Jasmine Friedrich and @Kiron Bondale ! :) Very useful feedback. 

Thanks @Shubangi Sunder  

 

i was blind / stupid not seeing it there. Thanks a lot

 

Cheers

Sebastian

Userlevel 1

Of course not @Sebastian Burkart  its a good insight for us into how users search :)

Dear Miro Team,

I suggest to rethink the necessity for an estimation feature. For a couple of years now there is an ever-growing share among “leading” agile coaches and developers who argue against estimates that surely you also have come across. Let’s mention Kent Beck, Ron Jeffries, Allan Holub, Tom Ottinger, Alistair Cockburn, J.B. Rainsberger, Vasco Duarte, etc. to name just a few.

 

Estimates aren’t necessary for being agile and they don’t contribute to become more agile. What I have observed so far is that whenever teams estimated their work these estimates sooner or later leaked to management and were there taken at face value - with all the subsequent hassle one would expect. This is harmful to teams.

Jira has been offering estimates for years and recently - giving in to pure ridiculousness - also introduced decimals for estimates. As if estimates are some sort of scientific measure. They are not. Virtually all other task management tools do the same. But Jira and many colleagues are not a tool well suited for agile teams. Full disclaimer: I once was also strongly in favor of estimates and even took video courses from Mike Cohn on how to improve estimates. Improving estimates is not valuable work. Estimating is not valuable work either.

The “inventor” of Story Points, Ron Jeffries, is even slighty sorry for inventing them given how points are being misunderstood and misused in modern SW development: https://ronjeffries.com/articles/019-01ff/story-points/Index.html- geometry dash

 

Miro has been my favorite tool for workshops over the last four years or so and introducing estimation will not change that. Yet I would advocate to NOT become another task management tool.

Thanks!

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