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Impact Mapping: Making a Big Impact with Software Products and Projects Paperback – 1 Oct 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 86 pages
  • Publisher: Provoking Thoughts (1 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955683645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955683640
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 0.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By literatur on 19 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book describes the technique of "impact mapping" in enough detail to allow you to use it with working teams, and facilitate workshops on it.

For more on the technique itself which is a useful way to generate ideas for features that are firmly oriented to business value (the opposite of just 'doing them because we can'), see Gojko's website at impactmapping.org

What I specifically appreciated about the book was:
- it's short - long enough to cover the ideas in good detail, but with no bloat (300 page textbooks that include 30 pages worth of value are a bane!)
- useful tips on how to apply the technique in different contexts
- draws on and references a lot of the best thinking and best practices in agile product development in general so it's a v useful starting point for further reading.
- clear and jargon-free

In general I think impact mapping is a hugely useful addition to your portfolio of techniques if you're doing agile / startup product development and if you're going to do it you should really get this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sean Robbins on 19 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This intentionally short book serves as a great introduction to the tool of Impact Mapping and also the principles and ideas behind it. I read the e-book version and have to say it was presented beautifully. The presentation, coupled with the brevity of the book should hopefully help to disseminate the ideas within.

Impact Mapping is a tool that is intended to help organisations to utilise 'Agile' principles throughout software development organisations rather than localising these changes within Tech Departments. It is intended to help clarify thinking in such a way as to allow organisations to derive project scope from their goals.

I've yet to try the technique of Impact Mapping but I have been persuaded by the argument for deriving product design and features from the desired effects and impacts that a software development organisation wants to have, rather than (as I am more used to seeing) from a set of desired features or features derived from perceived user needs.
The change in thinking required to use Impact Mapping, or any other tool with similar intentions, must in my opinion require many decision-makers to reach the conclusion to work in this way. As a lone voice in a crowd, seeking change, I suspect I require my boss and my boss' boss to consider these ideas.

Which leaves me with the troubling question, how do I encourage others to read it?
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Tom Gilb on 18 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
First, a confession of self interest. Gojko is a new professional friend, who I have met at several IT Conferences. He cites and credits me, and my ideas, in his book. All of his ideas are highly resonate with my own. So, what is not to like?

On the other hand, I have a reputation, I hope, of being highly critical of most all the new IT development trends. Partly for the sport, partly because software as a trade is still so embarassingly primitive, and failure prone (a subject Gojko leads in with). So, if there is something wrong with the book, something that would waste the readers time - I am honor-bound to say so!

I have a method for reviewing books. If the point made in a sentence or paragraph is IMHO a good one, I write a `+' in the margin. If it is debatable, a `?' and you can guess what symbols I use for brash claims and bad logic. If it is generally bad for long stretches, I don't mark anything, put it aside and, politely, don't review it.

Hopefully the intelligent public won't be fooled either, by useless books. But the IT development community is famous for liking and adopting very `simple' development ideas, that don't work. Or, worse, the methods work a little better than even worse, previous methods. Our failure rate is still horrendous - a shame to the profession. I read this book in 3.5 hours straight, interspersed with other things (OK, family TV).

So how does this book rate? Every page has about 4 to 8 `+'s. There are no `-`s at all. There are a very few places where a `?' means it might be clearer for me. So that means I think Gojko has hundreds of well-formulated and useful insights (`+') that are worth sharing. Pretty good, since some books in our profession have none (IMHO).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Mantell on 2 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have done quite a lot of work trying to get requirements out of business peoples heads in a form that can be used for software development. I have used some of the work of Tom Gilb, I have used Mind Maps amongst many other techniques.

So first off, I am very impressed with the way Gojko has synthesised a number of techniques to produce something which quickly extracts the key information from stakeholders, in a workshop environment, with more precision and yet without getting into implementation details. You don't usually get much time to do this sort of thing, so focus an speed are essential.

I have not yet tried this technique myself (but I will!), but there is an interesting vimeo which includes a section by a facilitator from a company using the technique: [...]

So another key point is the amount of background material already available on [...]

The book itself: it is nice and short, with a light writing style, so quick to read. It covers what Impact Maps are, their role and how to create them. I particularly liked the emphasis on pragmatically extracting measurements, plus warning signs for various types of problems such getting the right people, right number of people, facilitating tips, and specific mapping gotchas.

This book is well worth the price and the short time you will require to assess the relevance to you - mastering will take longer.

Why not 5-stars? I would have liked a section which took a look at another example in more detail - there is a running example through the text which is good, but an example which was almost a "play through" of a session would have been perfect.
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