How to Play Business Value Poker

Create More Value and Have More Fun Doing It

Introducing Business Value Poker

Business Value Poker (BVP) by 21Leadership is a fun and engaging way of assessing the value of a potential initiative (project, feature, user story, etc.). BVP was originally developed by Kristian Haugaard and Martin Ellemann Olesen and is built on same principles as Agile Planning Poker.

BVP is a consensus-based technique used to estimate the value of an initiative in an agile development environment. During a BVP session, participants (players) are each given a deck of cards with values representing the business value ranging from 0 to 1,000. The goal of BVP is to encourage active participation and collaboration among players, and to arrive at a shared understanding of the expected business value of completing a task.

There are several benefits to using Business Value Poker:

  • Active participation: By encouraging all players to participate in the process, BVP helps to ensure that everyone is fully engaged and invested in the initiative.
  • Improved accuracy: By discussing and refining value estimates as a group BVP helps to ensure that everyone has a shared understanding of the objective, which can lead to more accurate estimates.
  • Better communication: BVP helps to promote open and honest communication among players, which can improve overall group dynamics and lead to more effective problem-solving.
  • Faster prioritization: BVP can be completed relatively quickly, which helps to keep the group on schedule and focused on delivering value to the customer.
  • Transparency and Visibility: BVP is a simple and easy-to-use technique that makes the estimation process transparent and visible to everyone in the group.
  • Consensus: BVP helps the group to reach a consensus on the estimate through discussion and negotiation, which helps build trust and collaboration among group members.
  • More fun: Playing cards beats almost every other way of figuring out which initiatives to prioritize.

Updated Edition

The latest edition contains Business Value cards ranging from 1,000 down to 21. A set also includes a new Golden Star card that can be assigned any meaning the group finds beneficial. Examples of use are must-win battles, breakthrough projects, or even compliance work. A set also contains a question mark and a trash can card.

Another new feature in this edition is the option of using the cards for Planning Poker or T-shirt Sizing Poker by turning the cards on their head. In this way, you only need one set of cards to prioritize work ranging from big bets to bite-size sprint backlog items.

Game Rules:

  1. Each participant selects a set of Business Value Poker cards
  2. The “game master” reads the item to be valued out loud
  3. The item is discussed until everybody knows just enough to play
  4. Each participant selects a card privately and places it on the table face down
  5. All participants reveals their cards simultaneously by turning them around
    1. If all cards show the same value, this is the business value
    2. If values are not identical, the participants discuss the value.
      Start with the highest and lowest value
  6. After a short discussion, participants play again, taking the new knowledge into account
  7. Repeat playing until the value converge and move on to the next item

Get Your Own Cards

A deck of Business Value Poker cards consist of 72 cards (6 sets of  12 cards per player). They can also double as Planning Poker and T-shirt Sizing Poker cards.

A deck costs DKK 200 or €27 ex. VAT including postage and packaging. Fill out the form below to order:

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