Do you still use physical cards in planning poker? Or maybe you use an app? Either way, the question has to be “why?”
A past colleague of mine recently emailed me to say that he’d found such apps, and I asked why he didn’t use hands? “It’s quicker and a lot less hassle”, I said. To my astonishment, he replied “what do you mean use hands?” I’d assumed that everyone knows the hand-based technique. So, in case you’re also in the dark, here it is.
If you follow Mountain Goat’s Planning Poker™ technique, then it’s pretty easy to substitute cards (or e-cards) by using your hands: 1 to 8 should be easy to work out, then use a fist for 10 (to make 13 and 20). If you’re sizing stories over 20 then you’re back to cards (and should maybe review your process).
I’m not against cards or e-cards, but they do take longer for people to pick a number (see also dropping cards and clicking out of app). No doubt someone will complain that using hands allows people to change their minds after seeing others’ votes/game the system. My reply: Be vigilant and encourage everyone to speak their own mind and to “grow a pair”.