Using Tom Gilb’s impact estimation for Agile Enablement
I described here some of the ideas that Tob Gilb shared with me and one of my consulting clients. Following this session we decided to apply his impact estimation model to drive the project. In this post I will show how this manifested, provide some examples and describe how we have used the technique and what we have learnt.
The day with Tom focused on identifying project objectives. As I described earlier, each objective is stated along with an ambition level and a scale. Following a review of our work with Tom he has recommended a couple of places for improvement:
- Be rigorous with terms and definitions: Tom described that, in his experience, careful definition of terms will increase your ability to use objectives to justify decisions. This is particularly true where a document must stand alone.
- Break down objectives so that they can be represented using a single scale: we had objectives that required multiple scales such as combining schedule adherence and quality; Tom recommended a hierarchical model.
An example of one of our objectives is:
Objective: Teams are efficiently delivering high quality, high value software at the right time
Team’s clients recognise the quality delivered and appreciate the timeliness of delivery and ability to respond. Clients see their needs met and the benefit realised through deliveries.
- % of deliveries that meet client expectations
- Ratio of value delivered to cost
- % reduction in cost of delays incurred (£/week) by project teams
- Mean satisfaction level (0-10) of project sponsors
Having identified a set of objectives we began to brainstorm the strategies, i.e. approaches we could take, to achieve our objectives. We started our with a minimal expression of strategies e.g. “Coach teams”. As we began to evaluate the impact of the strategy against the objectives we found we had to be far more specific. This included identifying how many people would be affected, what areas the coach would focus on.