Value Planning Book manuscript

About the Book

Value Planning (VP) means you will elicit and clarify critical stakeholder values quantitatively, and prioritize delivering those values, as soon as possible.



Key Planning Concepts

1. STAKEHOLDERS: Identify your most critical stakeholders.

2. OBJECTIVES: Identify the smart levels of their most critical value improvements.

3. STRATEGIES: Identify potential strategies for delivering planned value levels to stakeholders, at lowest cost and risk.

4. SMALL STEPS: Decompose strategies into suitably smaller deliverable increments.

5. DELIVER VALUE: Attempt to deliver measurable value to some stakeholders.

6. LEARN: Measure results and costs; then decide if you are on track, or need to change something. Continue the process until all goals reached.



We will make use of our Planning Language, called ‘Planguage’ (‘PL’).

The central capability of Planguage is that it can be used for any system of ‘product’ or ‘service’, at any level of abstraction or detail.

Planguage is capable of expressing all results, improvements, values and qualities quantitatively.

Planguage can help you plan, estimate and track delivery of all costs and resources.

Planguage will help you keep numeric accounts of multiple critical values, and corresponding multiple critical resources, so you can manage value for money; i.e. the efficiency of planning, decision-making and contracted result deliveries.

Planguage is extremely risk conscious at the level of every aspect of planning that might involve risk to your successful value delivery.

Planguage not only helps with planning values and costs, but is consequently used to manage practical implementation, learning and feedback from plan application.

Planguage will help you align and connect plans at many related levels of consideration, from top management to the most detailed level of planning you need.

Planguage enables you to measure the quality of planning, and to set a release threshold for plans.

Planguage has tools to automate plan specification, and to integrate your updated decisions and knowledge.



About the Author

Tom Gilb

Tom Gilb has been consulting on management problems, for top management since 1962. As a result he has developed and refined his own powerful methods for management planning. He has worked for many of these years with his son Kai Gilb.

These methods are jointly called ‘Planguage’ – a Planning Language. They are unique in helping managers to think quantitatively about the qualitative aspects of their decisions. For example how to quantify ‘engineering productivity’, or general product quality? Most of the consultancy work is done at the CTO level. Most of it is for technical multinationals, and some financial groups. Most of the work is for planning organizational improvement in productivity and quality (for 10,000 engineers for example). The rest is about big projects (like 1,000 engineers, $100 million).

Tom does not profile himself as a management consultant. In fact he works at the grass roots of advanced engineering, systems, software, aircraft, IT, telecoms, electronics. This often leads to meeting top managers who appreciate his methods, and become clients. There is a well-documented successful spread of his methods at HP, IBM (CMM 4) and Intel (20,000 engineers trained there in his methods). Other interesting famous method-user organizations are Boeing, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Philips, Ericsson, Nokia, Tata Consultancy, Microsoft, Statoil and many others, smaller and less famous. Tom has been invited to lecture at dozens of universities worldwide (including Berkeley, Stanford, London School of Economics, Imperial College).

He has previously published nine books. The 2005 book is ‘Competitive Engineering’. He has spent 2 years (2014-2015) working on his new book ‘Value Planning’, especially for top managers. In 2012 he was made Honorary Fellow of the British Computer Society. More information, and many publications, at He lives in Norway and London, and is both Norwegian (as of December 2015) and US Citizen (1940).



Value Planning
The Table of Contents

The One-Page ‘Value Planning’ Book.2
Introduction to the Book Structure and Intent.4
Part 1. Our ‘Vision Engineering’ Objectives.22
Part 2. Quality Control of Objectives40
Part 3. Strategies.53
Part 4. Quality Control of Strategies64
Part 5. Evolutionary Deployment of Strategies72

Value Planning Appendix:
Chapters 1 to 1078
Chapter 1. Objectives.79
Section 1.1 Quantification of All Critical Performance Objectives, Especially Qualities..80
Section 1.2: On Limiting Your Project to 10 Critical Objectives, Initially. 91
Section 1.3 Clearly connecting the level of responsibility with objectives.101
Section 1.4 Making the degree of supporting planning for your objectives visible106
Section 1.5 Alignment. Every plan, including your own, has to be clear about what other objectives it is supporting. The 12 Tough Questions tool. The 13th Question the ‘Record’ statement.109
Section 1.7 Some Objectives are ‘Compound’: they consist of a ‘set’ of scalar variables.123
Section 1.8 Object-Oriented Planning: Extracting Presentations from the Plan database130
Section 1.9 Multidimensional Targets: ‘decomposition’ and ‘prioritization’ tools using ‘qualifiers’. Down-sizing plans for experiments and short high-value delivery cycles.138
Section 1.10 Benchmarks: warning signals for planners.149
Chapter 2. Strategies.154
Section 2.1 How to know if a strategy will really work156
Section 2.2 Why we have to worry about strategy side-effects, and how to worry. Responsibility for the whole effect picture.165
Section 2.3 Looking at Multiple Impacts of A Strategy; And doing so ‘after the battle has begun’: Dynamic strategy selection.180
Section 2.4. Evaluating the multiple cost aspects of strategies, in relation to project resource budgets. The simple 0 to 9 method.190
Section 2.5 Strategy choice depends on residual resources. Dynamic Design to Cost.197
Section 2.6 You cannot use a strategy that violates serious constraints.204
Section 2.7. Divide big ideas into much smaller value-delivery increments.207
Section 2.8 Delivering A Stream of Value Improvements to your ‘bad old system’, is likely to be more successful than building a big new system.214
Section 2.9 Strategy Risks: what can go wrong with those great ideas?218
Section 2.10 Ends and Means distinction.226
Chapter 3. Levels of Interest and Levels of Control.233
Section 3.1 The Plan Relationships: your links to others.234
Section 3.2 ‘Who’ decides , or ‘how’ do we decide, on which strategies to use?240
Section 3.3 Focus on Improvements.245
Section 3.4 Aligning Levels of Responsibility Numerically for Values and Costs.252
Section 3.5 How many strategies do you need to reach your objectives?261
Section 3.7 The problem of your Stakeholders’ unclear communication about their objectives.272
Section 3.8 Getting 100 times clearer objectives.279
Section 3.9 Dealing with your many stakeholders288
Section 3.10 It is not just about primary stakeholders, we need to include stakeholders with less power, but valid needs.291
Chapter 4. Value Delivery.294
Section 4.1 Value is Subjective.295
Section 4.2 Tailoring Value Planning for Better alignment with the Stakeholder and Strategy Environment.301
Section 4.3 Conflicts of Interest.308
Section 4.4 Estimations of Strategy Impact: Uncertainty.313
Section 4.5. Dynamic Strategy Planning, to Fit Costs.319
Section 4.6 When the map differs from the terrain, believe the terrain.333
Section 4.7 Focusing on real value-for-investment has rewards.340
Section 4.8. How to protect the long-term values.344
Section 4.9 Values conflict with each other because of the ‘common purse’.351
Section 4.10 The Never-Ending Quest for Value Improvement358
Chapter 5. Decomposition (by value, by responsibility)363
Section 5.1 Strategy decomposition for early value delivery.365
Section 5.2 Decomposing strategies into independent implementations.370
Section 5.3 The Impact Estimation Table as a value decomposition tool.377
Section 5.4 The ‘Scale’ parameters as a tool for decomposition of strategies382
Section 5.5 The value of the ‘bad old system’ as a starting point.385
Section 5.6 Specific tactics to enable you to decompose strategies391
Section 5.7 A simple checklist for practical strategy decomposition.395
Section 5.8 The ‘Project Startup Week’ Process.399
Section 5.9 Value delivery steps are also a ‘hypothesis’ we need to verify.406
Section 5.10 Proving you can really deliver value: one step at a time.411
Chapter 6. Prioritization, Evaluation 416
Section 6.1 A Better Way to Prioritize, and make decisions.417
Section 6.2 Priority is dependent on many changing factors424
Section 6.3 Articulate your priority policy, and adapt it.430
Section 6.4 Quantify All Your Critical Objectives AS A BASIS FOR DECISION MAKING.435
Section 6.5 Value Management Information for Prioritization.440
Section 6.6 How to Prioritize in Both Long and Short Term450
Section 6.7 Using the IE Table for Measurement and Feedback: The Meter.454
Section 6.8 Our Priority Decisions Can be Computed461
Section 6.9 The Five Levels of Priority469
Section 6.10 Accepting a stakeholder Wish as a committed Goal.474
Chapter 7. Risk Management478
Section 7.1 Risk Management is universal and continuous.480
Section 7.2 Reducing Risk486
Section 7.3 Continuous learning, improving and grass roots power to change.491
Section 7.4 Navigating projects over troubled waters500
Section 7.5 Asking powerful questions about risk.509
Section 7.6 The holistic systems view of risk planning.518
Section 7.7 Spec Quality Control to Reduce Specification Defect Threats: ‘very upstream’ risk management524
Section 7.8 Fighting the root causes of risks is good economics.532
Section 7.9 The value of overwhelming value540
Section 7.10 Focussing on overall value progress.547
Chapter 8. Delegation, Outsourcing, Contracting554
Section 8.1 Delegating Decisions555
Section 8.2 Supporting People who you delegate decisions to.562
Section 8.3 Smart ‘Value Contracting’.569
Section 8.4 Managing by Results573
Section 8.5 Removing barriers to delivering value580
Section 8.6 Getting early short-term feedback.586
Section 8.7 Crediting ideas and motivating responsibility.593
Section 8.8 Delegation of planning activity and responsibility.600
Section 8.9 Managing Stakeholder Awareness606
Section 8.10 Making sure you get ‘value for money’612
Chapter 9. Communication620
Section 9.1 Written Communication622 Section 9.2 Capturing Background Information in your Plan629
Section 9.3 Traceability: Document Relationships636
Section 9.4 Manage the Degree of Value Improvement 643
Section 9.5 I’m from Missouri, you gotta show me! 653
Section 9.6 Dealing with the range of uncertainty pessimistically.663
Section 9.7 Connecting Stakeholder Levels673
Section 9.8 The incremental value delivery of a series of strategies; stepwise learning.678
Section 9.9 How to play safe, with a Safety Factor.686
Section 9.10 The ‘Project Startup Week’: Necessary Minimum Planning, then into battle.695
Chapter 10. Quality Management.709
Section 10.1 Defining which qualities any plan should have; the ‘rule of rules’.711
Section 10.2 Spec QC: Measure how bad your planning communication quality is.718
Section 10.3. Prevent Planning Viruses Going Downstream Contagiously 728
Section 10.5 Simple Quantified Plan Quality- Control Process: ‘Spec QC’.745
Section 10.6: ‘Quality’ and other related fundamental concepts. 753
Section 10.7 Enriching the planning specification of quality values.770
Section 10.8 The attributes of a planning language.782
Section 10.9 WHAT PROFESSORS SHOULD REALLY TEACH: Lasting Wisdom.791
Section 10.10
WHAT PROFESSORS SHOULD REALLY TEACH: Clear, deep, useful sets of professional concepts.799
Literature References:814
URL Download References820
Fx Footnotes846


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