Architecture Engineering: with Emphasis on Quality

When: 31st Aug 2017, 08:45 - 31st Aug 2017, 17:00
Where: BCS, 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA
Town/City: London
Organiser: Joint BCS Quality Specialist Group and YPG
Price: BCS Members: Free of charge Non-Members: £40.00 (including VAT @ 20%)
Further Information: Further Information

This is a joint BCS Quality Specialist Group and YPG event.

Duration: 1 day

Please bring, if possible, a laptop or tablet etc. as we expect to do mainly Workshop Mode (in small groups) using automated tool (, and so you can access fully the other presentation materials.

If you book, and are unable to attend, please cancel your booking via the BCS site and contact "Soheir Ghallab" <>, who is our committee member looking after Tom’s courses. There is normally a waiting list for Tom’s courses, Please note that no lunch will be provided


This workshop will focus on learning to estimate the potential future impact of an architecture suggestion, on all variable requirements: quality requirements, value requirements, performance requirements and resource requirements.

You will be introduced to the skills to make decisions based on finding and prioritizing a set of Solutions (designs, architecture components) that optimally satisfy a set of quantified Stakeholder Values or Product Values, numerically, with evidence, risks and uncertainties. Using a Value Decision Table (aka Impact Estimation Table, or ‘Value Tables’).

Value Tables can facilitate a process between managers and engineers to solicit, prioritize, communicate and reason about the decisions being taken.

This skill set can add tremendous value to any decision-taking process. A Scrum product owner, or a project manager, can logically and dynamically (in agile steps) prioritize and optimize a product backlog, or any set of Solutions to be implemented.

Workshop mode:

You might be in a team of about 2 or 3 people who will pick a project component (requirement and architecture). Your team will find, specify quantify and prioritize solutions to meet the requirement in a customized tool. The class will work on a single project, of their choice, together and in real time

You will be asked to estimate the effectiveness and costs of your architecture on all other requirements. With regard to uncertainty and credibility.

Syllabus: (content, taught mainly through team problem solving)

First Hour Introductory Lecture:

  • What is wrong with Conventional IT Architecture Practice
  • Quantified Top Level Requirements. How to articulate critical ‘quality and value’ requirements in a Planning Language: quantifiably.
  • The Value Table: Impact Estimation The VDT/IET Rules
  • The Value Table Process: Initial Static, then project dynamic (Evo method, Dynamic Design to Cost)
  • Presentation of a ready-made generic set of quantified requirements (quality and values) suitable for finding designs to meet them
  • Pointers to take away documentation: Competitive Engineering book and Value Planning book

Architecture Specification: (exercise)

  • Decomposition of a major architecture idea, into independently implementable, value-delivery designs (architecture components)
  • why do we want this independence, and this value delivery? /(hint this is Agile)

Practical team Exercises in estimation of architecture ideas:

  • Estimating degree of change towards a required quality/value level on time
  • Estimating the ± uncertainty
  • Giving evidence and the source of your estimate
  • Determining a numeric Credibility of your estimate
  • Calculating overall numeric impact of a design/architecture on all values and quality requirements at one
  • Calculating overall impact on all limited budgeted resources
  • Calculating Architecture Value for money, wrt risks (worst case, credibility)

To Get a feel for the advanced nature of this course compared to the waffly currently widespread IT ‘architecture' ideas:

A 1 hour video conference talk and/or (for considerable depth)

‘What is wrong with current Software Architecture Methods: 10 Principles for Improvement’ Slides

Prerequisites: none, but it would be an advantage if you have attended our Requirements courses, or can read up on the ideas of quantified quality and value requirements. A suitable requirements course is offered 29-30 August, just previously. Or study the slides referenced above.

About the Teacher: Tom Gilb

Tom GilbTom Gilb and Kai Gilb have, together with many professional friends and clients, personally developed the IT 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 blogs, videos, books, papers, slides, and cases about IT 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 (2001- 2016) over 20,000 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. Reported Intel results are 200-300% productivity improvement (Terzakis)

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.

Tom is the author of ten published books, and hundreds of papers on IT and related subjects. His 2005 book ‘Competitive Engineering’ (CE) is a detailed handbook The CE book defines an Agile Planning Language, called 'Planguage' for Quality Value Delivery Management.

His new (digital only) book ‘Value Planning’ 2016 is available digitally (, and (discount for participants).

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 a TEDx talk in Trondheim in 2013 and is an Honorary Fellow of the BCS.