Game controls

This page is applicable to both Planning Poker for Jira Cloud and Jira Data Center.

In Planning Poker for Jira Cloud, understanding game controls is crucial for facilitating smooth gameplay and effective project estimation. This guide outlines the game controls available to both the game administrator (scrum master) and participants.

Admin Controls

  1. Top bar menu – Along with the default functionality of the top bar menu, the game's admin is capable of using the following privileges:

    • Edit Game & Edit Backlog – Use these buttons to edit your game configuration during the session.

    • Change admin – Once you click this button, a modal will open. Just start typing the user name, select a desired user from the list, and confirm your choice to assign an additional game admin.

    • Restart game – Click this to replay the game from scratch. 

    • Finish game – To conclude the game, simply click the "Finish Game" button. This action will end the game, regardless of whether all the issues have been estimated and all rounds have been played. Once the game is finished, both the estimated and non-estimated issues will stay in the backlog list, and the estimated issues will be archived exactly as they were when the game was concluded.

      • Once the game is finished, the "Finish game" button will transform into the Re-open game button. Feel free to reopen the game whenever you like by clicking this button. Reopening a game won't remove any previously saved estimations from the backlog. To re-estimate issues in a reopened game, the game's administrator will need to manually replay rounds and re-enter estimations for each issue.

  2. Sum of estimates – When an estimated value is saved at the end of a discussion phase, it is added to the sum of estimated points counter. This allows a scrum master to consider how many story points have been already generated by the issues estimated during the game, to compare the sum of estimated points with the team's velocity, and to consider a sprint to come. The admin can reset the estimated points counter by clicking on the number.

  3. Start countdown – In case the voting phase lasts too long or game participants have to be hurried up in order to make their decisions faster, the admin can start the countdown. Once the countdown timer runs to its end, all cards are opened and the round goes to the discussion phase. Keep in mind that 45 seconds is just a default timer duration – you can customize it in your game configuration (Cloud, DC).

  4. Kick a player – Admins can kick players and spectators during the backlog, voting, or discussion phases by clicking on their names. Kicking is reversible, so players can reconnect via the Planning Poker dashboard or an invitation link. Admins can also self-kick by clicking their own name. If each player who hasn't played their card is kicked, the voting phase would be over and the round would go to its discussion phase.

  5. Admin actions – Admins are provided with a group of additional controls during the voting phase. These controls allow the admin to commit the following actions:

    • Reveal cards – Instantly reveal played cards, concluding the voting phase and initiating the discussion phase. Estimations from participants who haven't played their cards won't be considered during the discussion.

    • Skip & postpone – Admins can decide to postpone the current issue for later estimation rounds without initiating the discussion phase. The issue being voted on will be moved to the bottom of the game backlog list.

    • Skip & remove – Admins have the authority to skip and remove the current issue from the game backlog. If it's the last issue to estimate, the game ends. When an issue is removed from the game backlog, it remains in the Jira backlog. The removed issue can be brought back to the game backlog by re-importing JQL.

  6. Backlog – The backlog list is accessible to the game admin throughout all phases.

    • Quick-add – The admin can add an issue to the game backlog by typing its key (e.g., JRCS-10) and clicking "Quick add”. The added issue is placed at the top of the backlog list.

    • Re-import backlog for current JQL – The admin can search Jira projects for issues using JQL and add them to the game's backlog. The JQL query, used to filter and add issues, is saved as a game parameter. If issues were added or removed during the game, the admin can restore the initial backlog list using this feature. This feature can be used without affecting any issues that have already been estimated in the game, regardless of whether they were quick-added during the game or not.

    • Estimate now – The admin can select issues to estimate in any order. Clicking this button initiates the voting phase for the selected issue.
      Meanwhile, the backlog overview enables the admin to swiftly estimate an issue by clicking on it and selecting Estimate now:

      Additionally, the estimated items archive allows game admins to review estimation history and make changes to the game's backlog. When you click on an issue in the archive, a window appears showing its estimation history and two buttons, allowing you to re-estimate it or delete it:

Player Controls

  1. Top bar menu – In the game, you'll find a top bar menu with the following options:

    • Dashboard – Click to leave the game and return to Planning Poker dashboard.

    • Sound On/Off – Toggles the sound of the estimation timer.

    • Become admin – Appears only when there is an admin password.

    • Become spectator – Changes your status from participant to spectator. When in spectator mode, the button becomes "Become participant" to rejoin the game if participants are still playing. If you're the last participant to play your card and switch to spectator, the voting phase ends.

    • Share game – Copies the game link for sharing with other participants.

  1. Sidebar – Lists game participants:

    • Green: Participants who played their cards.

    • Grey: Participants yet to play their cards.

    • Game spectators.

      It also includes: 

    • Sum of all estimates.

    • Timer (if enabled).

    • Ability to switch to/from Spectator by clicking the icon next to the name.

    • For Admins: Ability to switch other participants' roles to/from Spectator.

"Sum of Estimates" will be displayed only if your game uses a deck type with integers on cards' fronts (i.e., Fibonacci deck).

  1. Issue Section – This is where you'll find information about the issue at hand. Here is what you can do:

    • Edit issue – Click to edit the issue. Works for administrators, players, and spectators with the right access to a Jira project.

    • Get updated issue data from Jira – Use this to get the latest data if the issue was updated elsewhere in Jira.

    • Show comments – Displays the comments on the issue.

    • Add comment – Click to add a comment to the issue.

    • Show attachments – Opens the attachments related to the issue.

    • Show linked issues – Displays the issues that are linked to the issue.

    • Show sub-tasks – Displays the sub-tasks associated with the issue.

    • Hide this – If the issue summary is taking up too much space, use this to collapse it.

Related Articles

To learn more about your responsibilities during the game flow, check out the documentation below: