Startup Planning

Monday 8 June - Tuesday 9 June 2015 (2 day course)

8.45am for 9.00am - Finishing around 4.30pm on both days

Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College, Hammersmith Campus, Gliddon Road, Barons Court London, W14 9BL | Directions

Free to both BCS Members and Non Members

To book, please email

If you book, and are unable to attend, please cancel your booking and contact Soheir Ghallab, who is our BCS Quality SG committee member looking after Tom’s courses. There is normally a waiting list for Tom’s courses.

Organised by the BCS Quality SG, BCS Entrepreneurs SG, Entrepreneurs Succeed With Us, and the Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College

Please bring if possible, a laptop or tablet etc. so you can access fully the presentation.


Start-up Company founders love their cause. But in order to succeed quickly they might like to get some help in presenting and articulating their ideas. Both to others, to investors, and to themselves.

The central idea of this course is to teach how to quantify you top few critical objectives, for your start-up project, and for your start-up product. Most people do not know how to do that. We will show you how.

Based on these quantitatively clear objectives, we will show you how to estimate, then measure and track, the multiple impacts of your critical few strategies and design ideas. 

These tactics will result in the following:

  1. Much better ability to communicate with your partners and start-up team about what you are trying to achieve. The team gets an unambiguous common understanding.
  2. Much better ability to communicate to all external parties: suppliers, potential employees, investors, about the start-up, and its current state of accomplishment.
  3. Better ability to motivate investors to fund you.
  4. Better ability to learn rapidly and pivot when necessary
  5. Better ability to manage the product and service development, however complicated it may get.

The subjects:

Day 1: The Start-up Objectives, and its Project Requirements

Purpose: to give you the ability to quantify and clarify your critical objectives and requirements. Much better than you normally would.


  1. Company Goals: the accomplishments that set you apart.
  2. Stakeholder levels, critical needs.
  3. Product and Service requirements: making them measurable, and ambitious, and avoiding premature commitment to bad technology.
  4. How to quantify, and clarify, any quality concept
  5. A planning language for presenting and discussing your ideas.

Result of 1st day: a good beginners understanding of how to clarify and quantify all your business and technical objectives competitively, independently of the strategies and technologies necessary to reach them.

Coaching, self-study, team study, practical experience or follow-up will be needed to develop these skills.

Day 2: How to evaluate strategies and designs quantitatively.

Purpose: to help you evaluate the stream of ideas for reaching your objectives in a logical, balanced, and clear way.


  1. How to estimate the power of all ‘means’ in relation to all ‘ends’.
  2. How to relate product requirements to your start-up objectives quantitatively
  3. How to use an Impact Estimation Table to
  • choose between major strategies and architectures
  • prioritize the sequence of implementation of ideas
  • track incremental progress towards success
  • the learn what works and what does not, quickly
  • to understand the level of risk in your choices
  • to communicate externally, for example to investors

Result of 2nd Day:

You will have a basic ability to evaluate any ideas, designs, strategies, architectures, and suggestions from any sources: logically, quantitatively and with regard to risk.

Coaching, self-study, team study, practical experience or follow-up will be needed to develop these skills.


You and your team might, depending on local circumstances and availability, to get help after the course in making initial plans tailored to your start-up. Some people, however, can do a great job without such follow-up, just based on the course alone.


A digital library with voluminous papers, course slides, case studies, will be made available during and after the course, in a drop box. This includes two textbooks by the instructors.

Course Instructors:

  • Detailed overview:
  • Tom and Kai Gilb have been assisting projects and start-ups in a wide variety of industries, in many countries, for decades.
  • They have developed their own methods: as a result of this practice, and because they believe that most other popular methods are seriously lacking in the ability to deal with qualities and costs in an ‘engineering’ fashion.
  • These methods are adopted by large corporations for their projects, many of which are essentially small team start-ups. These include Intel, HP, IBM, Philips Medical Systems and Boeing.
  • A recent example of a small start-up is out of an Imperial College Incubator. They were told by their advisors that they should use our methods to be sure to get a $1 million funding from Bill and Melinda Gates. They did (Sept 2013) and also won numerous awards for start-ups.
  • Our methods are very close to the principles of ‘Lean Start-up’ and give a good (quantified) basis for practicing it.

About: Tom Gilb and Kai Gilb

Tom Gilb and Kai Gilb have, together with many professional friends and clients, personally developed the Agile methods they teach. The methods have been developed over five decades of practice all over the world in both small companies and projects, as well as in the largest companies and projects. Their website offers free papers, slides, and cases about Agile and other subjects.

There are many organisations, and individuals, who use some or all of their methods. IBM and HP were two early corporate-wide adopters (1980, 1988). Recently (2012) over 15,000 engineers at Intel have voluntarily adopted the Planguage requirements specification methods; in addition to practicing to a lesser extent Evo, Spec QC and other Gilb methods. Many other multinationals are in various phases of adopting and practicing the Gilb methods. Many smaller companies also use the methods. They have advised top management at UK Companies on Business Agile in 2013 and earlier.

Tom Gilb

Tom is the author of nine published books, and hundreds of papers on Agile and related subjects. His latest book ‘Competitive Engineering’ (CE) is a detailed handbook on the standards for the 'Evo' (Evolutionary) Agile Method, and also for Agile Spec QC. The CE book also, uniquely in the Agile community, defines an Agile Planning Language, called 'Planguage' for Quality Value Delivery Management. His 1988 book, Principles of Software Engineering Management (now in 20th Printing) is the publicly acknowledged source of inspiration from leaders in the Agile community (Beck, Highsmith, and many more), regarding iterative and incremental development methods. Research (Larman, Southampton University) has determined that Tom was the earliest published source campaigning for Agile methods (Evo) for IT and Software. His first 20-sprint agile (Evo) incremental value delivery project was done in 1960, in Oslo.

Tom has guest lectured at universities all over UK, Europe, China, India, USA, Korea - and has been a keynote speaker at dozens of technical conferences internationally. He did his first TEDx talk in Trondheim in 2013.

Tom is an Honorary Fellow of the BCS.