What constraints do APs need to operate within

Updated constraints for Advice Process - applicable from 30th March 2020 and until further notice

The Advice process is still very much valid and we ask people to keep using it for all relevant decisions they are making at Equal Experts. The AP remains our approach for decision making at EE. However we need to cut costs during the crisis and we will consider investing only in aligned* initiatives that help with demand generation (marketing and sales).
* Aligned means those initiatives are reinforcing/complementing current initiatives.

What does this means for the AP process?

The following overrides the constraints stated below on this page.
Any AP with the following characteristics will require the decision maker to be confirmed by the Execs and BU lead (together while we agree on what is aligned and what isn’t):
  • Any AP that requires any cash to be spent (for instance this cost threshold used to be £6000 in the UK and is now £0 in all BUs)
  • Any AP that impacts billable time
This means that APs that only require time from unbillable people can still go through without requiring the decision maker to be approved (with same constraints as before).
This also means that people should not stop producing APs that require investments - we are not going to stop everything and hunker down. We just can not take as many bets as before about what we do and we don’t do.

Our intent

The Advice process is used for many kind of decisions at EE - from BAU decisions to process improvements to speculative investments. We want to keep APs as focussed as possible while providing enough information about the global and local context of EE for people to make informed decisions.

Our approach

We started the AP process with cost thresholds that determine whether the decision maker needs to be confirmed or not. We decided to add a set of constraints that we think will help keep the APs focussed (WIP limit, short duration), as well as give some global context (Global investment pot).


WIP Limit: 2 on-going APs

One person can only be the decision maker for 2 on-going AP at any given time. If you want to open another AP and already have 2 APs in flight, you will have to abandon or complete existing ones, before opening another. To complete an existing AP you must publish a blogin post that documents the result and learnings of the AP. Until this is done AP will be considered ongoing and contribute to your WIP limit.

Duration: 3 months max

We want APs to be as short as possible - both to encourage small steps, accelerated learning and a short payback period 1-3 months. Three months currently the maximum duration of an AP.

Global investments

Some APs cover speculative investments - whether they are intended to contribute directly to the bottom line or help improve other aspects of the network. Those investments are tracked as part of a global investment portfolio. This helps everyone to understand what is the impact of their APs on the profitability of EE globally.
Once the global investment 'pot' is fully allocated, no further APs can be created - until existing APs are abandoned, or completed below forecast. We haven't set a pot size for the current 2019/20 financial year.

Cost thresholds

The decision maker is confirmed by different people depending on the forecast value of the AP. The decision maker must be confirmed before an AP can proceed. As of 31st October, these thresholds are:
  1. 1.
    When the AP is up to the levels set in the table below, then any employee can appoint themselves as decision maker.
  2. 2.
    When the AP is above these levels but below £20,000 (GBP), and the impact is within a single BU, then the Business Unit Lead must confirm the decision maker (BULs are registered in our Global Reference Data).
  3. 3.
    When the AP spans multiple business units, or is not covered by the points above, then the Exec team must confirm the decision maker.
The local thresholds for employees in each business unit are listed below:
Business Units
Threshold (local currency)
UK London
UK North
0 lakhs
0 lakhs
South Africa