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Delivery Management

Jellyfish Scenario Planning | Mitigate Delivery Risk & Communicate Engineering Trade-Offs

Aston Whiteling | May 17, 2023

Scenario Planning

In times of economic uncertainty, engineering budgets begin to tighten and leaders within the space are expected to deliver more with less. 


It becomes crucial to make effective decisions around the prioritization of every engineer’s time. 

It isn’t always easy to communicate with business executives around the need to make such decisions though;  they can lack the technical nous required to fully grasp the necessary trade-offs to effectively deliver, which can lead to unrealistic expectations becoming the norm. 


What’s worse, technical leaders have traditionally relied on anecdotal gut-checks when deciding on such trade-offs. The nature of software development means that delivery scope and timelines can change, but when the business is forced into relying on anecdotal models and vague communication on decisions, tempers can flare and friction begins to build across the organization.


Software development teams and leaders need a better way to model, forecast, and communicate the tradeoffs being made and the impact it has on the entire system when engineers are allocated to one project over another, or even re-assigned to higher priority projects. 


It’s this necessity that informed the latest addition to Jellyfish’s Engineering Management Platform: Scenario Planning. 


Introducing Jellyfish Scenario Planning

With Jellyfish Scenario Planning, technical leaders have a dedicated resource allocation modeling tool for their organization which can accurately plan and predict the engineers required to deliver software consistently. It arms them in the language of business – hours and days – to effectively communicate the impact of making trade offs when prioritizing one deliverable over another. Scenario planning enables managers and teams to develop a business case for more engineers in order to help deliver when expectations are more intense in scope, and provides the ability to say “no” if there is a large risk profile involved when shifting engineers across deliverables. 


With this understanding you’re better able to optimize your team’s resources across projects and deliverables to ensure highest priority initiatives meet delivery goals and deadlines.

Take our Scenario Planning product tour (in-browser)


Use Scenario Planning to:


  • Mitigate Delivery Risk when Re-Prioritizing: save your project timeline by understanding the risk profile involved when juggling engineering resources across deliverables.


  • Communicate Engineering Delivery Trade-Offs to the Business: Communicate resource trade-off decisions in language that senior leadership understands –  hours and days, not story points and commits..


  • Set Better Expectations when Planning Deliverables: Make your planning more consistent and set more realistic expectations with your stakeholders to build trust. 


  • Map your Engineering Resources and Model Potential Scenarios: Gain a better understanding of the delivery capabilities of your engineering team by modeling hypothetical  delivery scenarios. 


Defeat Scope Creep


The impact of a scope change decision, whether positive or negative, is hard to parse and communicate effectively; there simply hasn’t been a viable tool that understands engineering allocation data in a complex enough way to be able to accurately model resource allocation trade-off decisions.


Consequently, technical leaders have struggled to make a compelling business case for more resources to be allocated. This has led to their business counterparts setting unrealistic expectations on delivery without being able to comprehend that, without additional resources, there is an opportunity cost and risk profile associated with prioritizing one deliverable over another. 


When setting delivery expectations, the entire executive team needs to be held accountable – Jellyfish Scenario Planning addresses this, by representing this opportunity cost in days/hours – the kind of data that business leaders can actually understand. technical leaders can now  articulate the impact of any trade-off decisions in a more clinical fashion in order to navigate a landscape of ever-changing priorities within engineering. 


We want Engineer leaders to speak with confidence when forecasting delivery output. When requirements change and priorities shift, Scenario Planning enables teams to better communicate the trade-offs required to facilitate that change. Ultimately this helps establish expectations that are realistic, manageable and, importantly, understood across the business.

Aston Whiteling