The WaGI Diagram is an awesome tool and a straightforward simple process
to guide you through the development of the first version of your Backlog,
allowing powerful conversations between your team members and the key stakeholders.

The Techniques

Discover and understand the techniques behind The WaGI Diagram.

5 Whys

Establish your goals.

This technique will allow you to determine the root cause for the launch of your new project or product development effort.

The technique was originally developed by Sakichi Toyoda as a critical component of problem-solving training for the Toyota Production System. Later, other companies have expanded the practice to cover goal setting and decision making.

The technique consist on repeating the question "Why?" several times, using each answer to form the basis of the next question. (Note: 5 should not be considered as the mandatory number of repetitions).

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Discover how to measure your advance.

"Goal, Question, Metric" (or GQM), an approach to software metrics promoted by Victor Basili after supervising a Ph.D. thesis by Dr. David M. Weiss, defines a measurement model on three levels:

Conceptual level (Goal)
A goal is defined for an object, for a variety of reasons, with respect to various models of quality, from various points of view and relative to a particular environment.
Operational level (Question)
A set of questions is used to define models of the object of study and then focuses on that object to characterize the assessment or achievement of a specific goal.
Quantitative level (Metric)
A set of metrics, based on the models, is associated with every question in order to answer it in a measurable way.

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Impact Mapping

Find what to do
(and who has to do it/be impacted by).

An Impact Map is a visualisation of the scope and the underlying assumptions, created collaboratively during a discussion facilitated by considering the following four aspects:

The centre of an impact map marks the goal we are trying to achieve.
The first branch level identifies the actors who can influence the outcome.
The second branch level sets the impacts that we’re going to provoke in the actors, or the way the actor are going to impact us.
The third branch level shows the actual scope in the form of Deliverables, that are the features of your product or activities of your project.

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The Creation Process

It's not just a Diagram, but also a guided process to help you reach your goals.

We call Seed to the primary need, the reason or goal to start your project or product development.

So, this first step is the the simplest one: just write down your primary need.

It's always a great idea to start your new project or product development just asking: "Why Are We Here?" (that's, by example, the first question proposed in The Agile Inception Deck).

But asking "Why" just once is not enough, as most of the times there are underlying objectives behind the primary need. That's the reason the "5 Whys" technique is used at this stage.

So, start asking "Why?" to your primary need or goal, write down your response and, subsecuentaly, repeat this action using the discovered goal until you'll have discovered all the underlying goals to your project or product development.

A set of questions should be defined to support data interpretation towards every goal: the primary need and the underlying goals.

This is a difficult part, as the questions should be defined at an intermediate level of abstraction between the expected metrics and the discovered goals.

The recommendation is performing a brainstorming to gather as questions per goal as possible, and then perform an analysis of them: you may find that most of them would be or too abstract or too detailed, so you should have to group similar questions together, to be able to find the correct level of abstraction.

Don't forget that, before finishing this step of the process, you must be sure that the questions have the ability to support conclusion of the goal in a satisfactory way.

Once you have defined the list of questions, it's time to work on finding the associated metrics to provide all the quantitative information to answer the questions in a satisfactory way.

Measuring all these metrics, you will have enough information to be able to answer the questions and, therefore, to be able to know if you have achieved your objectives.

As in The Agile Inception Deck, it's time to the "Meet Your Neighbors".

A good exercise at this stage is to think the answer to these 2 questions:

  1. Who can impact your project/product development?
  2. Who is going to be impacted by your project/product development?

Discuss the different stakholders identified using this technique, and write down the agreed upon Actors.

Once you have the Actors, it's time to identify the way they are going to impact/be impacted by the project/product development. Every Actor must, at least, have one "impact" associated. If you can't identify the Impact for an Actor, then it's time to remove the Actor from The WaGI Diagram.

The Deliverables will become the scope (at least at a high level) of your project/product development. Those are the product features or the activities to be performed in your project, described in the way of the things you'll do, as an organisation or a delivery team, to support the required impacts.

As the result of the application of the Impact Mapping technique, you will have a complete set of Deliverables in the context of the Impacts from/to the Actors that they are supposed to support, and that are aligned to your Goals... but thanks to The WaGI Diagram, you will also have discovered the underlying Goals, and a way to Measure your goals achievements' degree.

Frequently Asked Questions

Because these explanations may not be enough, here you have a set of frequently asked questions.

For what kind of project or product can I use The WaGI Diagram to create its backlog?
Even when The WaGI Diagram was first designed to help launch Agile Transformation Projects, it can be used for any kind of projects or product development.
Has The WaGI Diagram being used in The Real World?
Yes, of course! By example, Raúl Herranz (the creator of The WaGI Diagram) has being using it in Agile Transformation Projects, creating the backlog for the Transformation Teams. A case study is on his way, so stay tuned!
Do I have to pay for the use The WaGI Diagram?
No, the use of The WaGI Diagram is for free.
Must I receive a training to facilitate The WaGI Diagram sessions?
No, but if you are interested, just contact us and we will do our best to help you receive the best WaGI training.
I still have more questions, how can I contact you?
Just writing an email to And please, don't forget to write your email in english or spanish!