Delegation Poker

What is Delegation Poker?

Delegation Poker is a group-based discussion and negotiation technique for areas of responsibility between a manager and his team. Originally conceived by Jurgen Appelo, we've changed and adapted it.

But why „group-based“?

  • It avoids one-sided views (swarm intelligence).
  • It also requires the quiet ones to share your opinion.
  • It promotes structured discussion in the group.


The anchor phenomenom makes it difficult to get real, individual assessments in group-based discussions. The anchor problem means, that the assessments by all discussion participants are subconsciously biased to the assessment of the first one, who initially explains his opinion (anchor). To avoid this effect, everybody has to make his individual decission secretly before sharing it with the other group members. This is exactly what planning poker cards are for.

And how does it work?

Just follow these simple and clear steps to successfully play Delegation Poker. It is best to stick strictly to it at the beginning and only change things if you really understand the system.

  1. Manager and every team member get a set of cards each.
  2. The manager explains one area of responsibility. The team may discuss briefly, that everybody has the same understanding.
  3. The group of all team members and the manager each choose a card that corresponds to their assessment.
  4. The cards are turned over at the same time so that they can be seen by all participants.
  5. The group discusses about the different assessments, especially outliers.
  6. The group repeats these steps until the assessments converge.


Recommendation: Set a timebox for each estimation round (e.g. 5 minutes). When the time runs out, you can decide with the team to invest another 5 minutes or to continue.

How can I get the cards?

If you like our delegation poker cards, please send us a message to order the cards. We will take care of it as soon as possible! In the meantime, take a look at our other card sets as well. We are always happy to receive feedback, so don't hesitate to let us know your opinion.