SPA Conference session: Effect Mapping

One-line description:A game-changing technique for product/roadmap/scope management
Session format: Workshop (150 mins) [read about the different session types]
Abstract:Effect Mapping is a game-changing technique for strategic analysis, project roadmap and high level scope visualization, particularly effective for software projects delivered iteratively.

Gojko Adzic and I have been using this technique with a number of our clients, with consistently valuable results. In this session, I'll explain the key aspects of effect mapping and teach you how to facilitate effect mapping workshops.

Effect maps provide an excellent level of visibility to stakeholders and help drive software projects towards delivering the right product with a high level of quality. The maps also facilitate the application of several techniques of agile planning, product design, prioritisation and scoping. We have found the combination of these techniques to be by far the most powerful way of managing iterative product development.

For more information on effect mapping, see Gojko's writing on the subject at
Audience background:Senior technical people, Senior product people
Benefits of participating:Learn what an Effect Map is and how to create one to efficiently chart the value of your project.
Discover ways to avoid "User Story Hell" and improve agile prioritisation.
Learn how to focus agile and iterative delivery on genuine business value and stakeholder concerns.
Materials provided:Copy of white paper on "Agile Product Management using Effect Maps" by Gojko Adzic.
Link to on-line presentation content
Process:Facilitator will use presentation material for scene-setting and introduction of problems to be solved.
Group work to become familiar with the process of constructing Effect Maps.
Discussions about techniques for elaborating maps, limitations and problems to look out for.
Further Group-work to explore the technique further and discuss facilitation techniques.
Retrospective and discussion of usefulness of the technique.
Detailed timetable:00:00-00:30 Introduction to Effect Mapping: Problems we are trying to solve, basics of Effect Maps, benefits, related concepts and techniques.
00:30-00:45 Group Exercise: Create a simple Effect Map.
00:45-01:10 Discussion of challenges, tips for improving Maps
01:10-01:20 Break
01:20-02:10 Further group work on effect maps. Participants can use their own project/domain, I will provide alternatives if preferred. Participants will work in groups to create effect maps.
02:10-02:30 Retrospective and Discussion
Outputs:Working in groups, we will create several effect-maps representing different contexts and problems.
Participants will have an opportunity to workshop a problem or goal volunteered from their own domain, creating an effect map for that.
History:Gojko Adzic presented a shorter version at XPDays benelux 2011, and got the biggest impact at the conference. See:
1. Gojko Adzic
Neuri Limited
2. David Evans
Neuri Consulting LLP