Escape Velocity: Shifting from Constraint-based to Value-based Delivery through Impact Mapping

How do you measure a project's success?  Traditional project management defines success as delivering the baseline requirements on-time and within cost.  These measures are constraint-based.  Some agile projects define success when the backlog is empty and the burn-down chart has hit zero. I call this measurement, velocity-based. Velocity, when used to measure success, pulls us back into the gravity well of constraint-based measurements.   Is there a better way? Can we escape velocity? Shouldn't we measure the success of a project based on some value delivered to someone?  Such a measure would be value-based. Enter impact mapping, a value-based approach to measuring project success.  This talk is about the impact of impact mapping, why you should use it, and how you can use it to measure a project's success so that you are delivering true value to the end-user and not just a collection of user stories.

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Outline/structure of the Session

  • Discuss constraint-based, velocity-based, and value-based project success measurements 
  • Walk the audience through a simple impact map
  • Highlight the value, measurements, assumptions, metrics, and prioritization map visible through the impact map
  • Discuss how the discussions around the impact map shifts the conversation into the business point of view and towards end-user value
  • Conclude with a short discussion on how value-based lives within the traditional constraints and references for further learning on Impact Mapping.

The presentation is available for viewing at

Learning Outcome

  • Understand what is impact mapping and, more importantly, the impact of impact mapping
  • Learn a technique that redefines project success in terms of value delivered to someone 

Target Audience

Managers, Business Analysts, and Coaches.


There are no prerequisites, though reviewing material at or reading Gojko Adzic's book, Impact Mapping, are helpful either before or after the talk.

schedule Submitted 1 week ago

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