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Impact Mapping: Making a big impact with software products and projects [Paperback]

Tom Poppendieck , Gojko Adzic , Marjory Bisset
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
Price: £9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2012
Software is everywhere today, but countless software products and projects die a slow death without ever making any impact. The result is a tremendous amount of time and money wasted due to wrong assumptions, lack of focus, poor communication of objectives, lack of understanding and misalignment with overall goals. There has to be a better way to deliver! This handbook is a practical guide to impact mapping, a simple yet incredibly effective method for collaborative strategic planning that helps organisations make an impact with software. Impact mapping helps to create better plans and roadmaps that ensure alignment of business and delivery, and are easily adaptable to change. Impact mapping fits nicely into several current trends in software product management and release planning, including goal-oriented requirements engineering, frequent iterative delivery, agile and lean software methods, lean startup product development cycles, and design thinking. About the Author Gojko Adzic is a strategic software delivery consultant who works with ambitious teams to improve the quality of their software products and processes. Gojko won the 2012 Jolt Award for the best book, was voted by peers as the most influential agile testing professional in 2011, and his blog won the UK Agile Award for the best online publication in 2010.

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Impact Mapping: Making a big impact with software products and projects + Specification by Example: How Successful Teams Deliver the Right Software
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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: 21.1 x 21.1 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful Practical Transformational 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of useful techniques 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

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
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Bruce
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a good description of why you want to use impact mapping, plus a guide on how to facilitate an impact mapping event. I liked that it took the good things from Gilb's impact estimation approach and coupled these with the 'do don't talk' approaches for early validation from service design and design thinking so that you see how you can shorten the feedback loop and also put effort where it's required to achieve results.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reference guide on how to manage big impacts 17 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is intentionally concise and precise, since its purpose is to be a reference, both visual and textual. It describes a methodology on how to describe the impact that new projects/applications will have on the business. This methodology involves continuous and peer-oriented exchanges between business experts and senior consultants/IT experts. Its result is a visual map that helps understanding the goals of a projects and how the involved team can achieve them.

I still have to test by myself, but it seems that the methodology can be introduced quickly, given that the team is prone to it (and probably that the team is made by professionals already working together). Obviously mastering it is no way an easy task, and experience is required in order to be effective in impact mapping.

Overall a good reference on a technique that may change the way the teammates work together when defining a new project goals and the way to reach them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars would recommend
Very well written and concise it discusses the processes and benefits of impact mapping. I think thus will be a good read for teams and organisations applying agile delivery as ur... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ruth
5.0 out of 5 stars Lower the gap between development team and business people!
In many companies, the gap between business people and development team is pretty huge.
- Dev teams are working using a water-scrum-fall methodology. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Maxime Sanglan
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical & well-researched
This is another great book from Gojko Adzic.
Contains a simple, fast, and practical framework that you can use tomorrow to improve the Product Owner - Feature Team... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Andy Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Its a quick read with lots of useful info for anyone involved in software projects. I can really recommend it.
Published 3 months ago by Adam Gustavsson
5.0 out of 5 stars *Gojko is a bit of a phenomenon here in London* No kidding.
Whilst I have read many of his books, I have never met him(or twigged these books were by the same person), At NDC In London today, went to his talk on Impact Maps and Story Maps -... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Douggy Fresh
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
I wasn't sure i would have been interested into the subject and when i received the book the great amount of illustrations surprised me a lot. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Roberto Lo Giacco
5.0 out of 5 stars Big picture Agile
Great Agile-led development is when the review of the iterations have context.

This book provides an excellent framework for providing visibility of the the business... Read more
Published 8 months ago by jameshavelock
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is pretty revolutionary
If you can pick it up cheap enough (which I did) you'll over look its brevity as an issue.

The contents though are accessible and its core messages are revolutionary for... Read more
Published 11 months ago by R. Lissimore
4.0 out of 5 stars simple idea, but very powerful
Impact mapping provides a simple, powerful technique for defining and prioritizing software projects. Read more
Published 12 months ago by nevillek
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and useful
I've read both of Gojko's previous books and they've made a significant impact on how I think about and approach development projects as a business analyst on an agile team. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Stuart G
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