Bloody brilliant, its a renewed view of old techniques. The killer difference is this book describes a simple framework that can be tailored to suit any project, with a health warning that highlights the issues of glossing over steps, skipping steps or over complicating the approach is going back to where many have been before with project delivery; late or delivery something that doesn't achieve the original goal.
The bit in the book about making tasks measurable, while challenging demonstrates the failing mindset of many ongoing projects.
Refreshing to find a booked that focuses on delivery and not on the waste of governance, e.g. backlog grooming and writing lots of stories. So enjoyed this book!!
This book is a much better option. It is more accessible as it uses mind mapping techniques that many people will know. Worth reading several times and trying out the next time you get a stakeholder prepared to spend some time with you.
My only concern is all of these mapping techniques encourage people to think of every concept. It's part of the innate 'once through' mentality. Mapping sessions should be an iterated activity. In my experience repeating things like this (and project planning) never happens. So they become the Big Modelling Up Front anti-pattern.
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.
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.
I'm going to give it 5 stars, with a reservation. I think the idea itself is worth 5. It's a short book, and I've read it 3 times.
Where I feel the book is weak is by not actually making the concept so clear. After the first read, I kind of realised the book had a big idea worth understanding more, but I needed to read it again to get a grip on it. Why it failed is, in my opinion, by trying to be too visual, with lots of cartoon pictures to summarise topics. The main set of pictures uses a racing car, driver, mechanic, engine and stuff, and this made it less clear, not more.
However, once I went over the book and got my own metaphors and pictures (I'm certainly not against pictures), once I personalised the ideas, in other words, I recognised the book as contributing substantially to my thinking in business model design.
I like this book and process. If you see his website I think he’s improved his ideas a little since this was written. While I doubt beginners would think about this (maybe I’m wrong) there are sections of the book that are quite basic.
While this is a little book, it’s to the point and useful.
I’m a Business Analyst, and Having heard and researched Impact Mapping, I read this book before facilitating an Impact Mapping session. You can get the gist of Impact mapping in about 10 minutes and it needs little facilitation for an audience to get it and get some value out of it. However, a read of this book will help you avoid some traps and get even more value out of Impact mapping. A must read for all managers!
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 context in a simple to understand manner that focuses on the minimum required pertinent detail.
When I used the technique to work through a live programme's goals it quickly and clearly showed flawed assumptions, backlog tasks unlinked to the goals and a lack of empirical justification for prioritisation of resources. The resulting format was easy to work through with product owners and other stakeholders to collaborate in how to re-align the programme.
Highly recommended particularly in engaging with the senior business stakeholders.
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. I had read the 'beta' document that eventually became this book and it didn't disappoint once it was in print, it's nicely illustrated and easy to read. What I like about all his books is his practical, concise use of realistic examples, and an honesty that the techniques he describes are capturing his latest thinking and don't claim to be a silver bullet and the final word in software development.
The book addresses a problem any type of project often faces - how to get agreement from stakeholders on what the goals of a project are and what needs to change to achieve it, and avoid jumping straight into a wishlist of features and solutions driven by who shouts the loudest. The technique has the added benefit of keeping the project at a level of definition where solutions can still be negotiated and evolved iteratively, and will help to keep the team focused on meeting the business objectives.
I've also recently read 'Discover to Deliver' (Gottesdiener/Gorman) and can see impact mapping working nicely with the methods described there.