I am new to Scrum and I have been reading the book of Kenneth entitled "Essential Scrum" and I have some doubts regarding the poker planning.

I understand the mechanics of the game, and for what I see the number that is in each card could represent the "approximate" number of ideal days that a user story should take; if I am wrong, please correct me.

The problem that I got is with the tasks that are 100 points in value. Does that mean that task will take like 100 ideal days for finishing? does is not against the limit of time that a sprint should take?

Thank you for clarifying this, but in the book is not clearly stated this part.

  • The cards are numbered as they are to account for the fact that the longer an estimate is, the more uncertainty it contains. WP Looks like the number reflects the uncertainty percibed by who is playing the card. 100 denotes absolute uncertainty, so the player has to explain why and should reconsider his estimation when part of the uncertainty is clarified.
    – Laiv
    Jul 2, 2017 at 17:13
  • A 100 point story means the task should be broken down into subtasks, and/or there is a significant misunderstanding of the task's scope. Jul 2, 2017 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


Planning Pocker ® is an efficient process to reach consensus about an estimate. Mike Cohn, who has popularized this method, explains on his web site:

Planning Poker can be used with story points, ideal days, or any other estimating unit.

So it's up to the team to decide in which unit the estimates should be made:

  • If it's story points, it's about a relative effort. This takes not only into account the expected work time, but also the complexity and the risks (i.e. if you have complex stories, you'll have to take into account more user interactions, some surprises, and perhaps even rework). So there's no direct conversion of story points to time.
  • If you take ideal days, it's about a duration for the team, if there were no interruptions, no lags (waiting for others), no other obligations. So the real time it will take will certainly a little longer.
  • If you take ideal effort, it's about workload of those involved in the story, again in an ideal situation.

Velocity measurements will tell you how many of these story points, ideal days or ideal effort are performed in a certain unit of time, which will allow you to do a velocity based planning of your sprints.

And if a story is simply too large to fit in a single sprint, you have to split in smaller chunks as explained here or here.

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