Impact Mapping in Under 200 words
Step 1. Identify a User Goal. Write a User Goal on a white board or note card/post-it note.
Step 2. Identify Actors. Write the Actors (Personas/types of users) who would need to achieve the User Goal.
Step 3. Identify the Impact(s). Write the Impact(s) of achieving the User Goal (think in terms of “Why are we doing this now? / What problem does it help a user solve? / What business need does it address?).
Step 4. Identify Deliverables. Write the Deliverables (analogous to epics or features) that would need to be completed to make achievement of the User Goal possible.
Step 5. Repeat as necessary for additional User Goals. Add nodes to the impact map until each goal has been included.
Note: Impact Mapping works nicely as a complement to story mapping.
Author = Philip Rogers (Medium)
Using impact mapping to help your team experiment
This simple technique helps teams map the effects of their work to an organization’s broader processes and outcomes.
What is impact mapping?
The simplest way to understand impact mapping is to unpack the phrase itself.
The term “impact” in this context refers to a human behavioral change, something affected by the delivery of a product feature or a process change. Impact mapping defines the value of any work effort in terms of its “impact” (not merely its “completion”). This idea comes to us from the design thinking community, and has significant implications for the ways leaders incentivize risk-taking and therefore innovation (as I’ll discuss in the next section).
The term “mapping” is derived from the concept of the “mind map,” which participants build as part of the workshop. This special kind of mind map—also known as an “impact map”—is carefully constructed to surface the assumptions underlying a work effort. Specifically, impact mapping seeks to highlight all assumptions that:
a specific deliverable will lead to a specific behavioral change, and
a particular behavioral change will help the organization achieve its goal
Making experimentation expected behavior
In the context of an organization’s IT culture specifically, the application of economic decision rules derived from impact mapping has two significant implications:
Project teams have incentive to experiment with low cost prototypes to validate that their approach will deliver the required outcomes early in the delivery process. This is opposed to the traditional IT project delivery model that focuses on delivering a negotiated list of requirements at all costs.
Managers have incentive to ensure their desired outcomes have well defined measurements to enable the team to be confident in the results of their experiments. This is opposed to the traditional approach, where managers focus on ensuring requirements have been properly defined and successfully handed over to the project team.
Author = Justin Holmes (Red Hat, via opensource.com)
What is impact mapping?
Impact mapping is a strategic planning technique. It prevents organisations from getting lost while building products and delivering projects, by clearly communicating assumptions, helping teams align their activities with overall business objectives and make better roadmap decisions.
Author = Impactmapping.org
Impact Mapping is a collaborative approach to Agile requirements gathering and planning created by Gojko Azdic.
It helps us uncover the areas we are likely to create the greatest impact for a particular objective or goal.
Impact Mapping asks four questions:
- WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
This is the business goal or objective we’re hoping to achieve for our next phase of our product’s development, e.g. increase the number of visitors to this blog.
The goal should be SMART – an acronym which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based.
- WHO WILL HELP US?
The people that will help us achieve this, e.g. the readers of this blog. Gojko uses the term “actors” to describe the people who interact with our system and categorises them as primary, secondary and off-stage actors. This equates to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd-degree users of your service.
- HOW WILL THEY HELP US?
The way the actor will help us achieve this – e.g. share this blog’s posts on social media. In essence, this describes the outcomes that we believe will help us reach our goal.
- WHAT WILL WE DO?
The things we’ll create or change to encourage this behaviour – e.g. make blog posts easily shareable. These are the changes we’ll undertake to our product in order to create the behaviour we desire.
In this step, we’ll write down as many actions as we can think of, for each of the outcomes we identified in step 3.
Author = Paul Flewelling
Impactmapping.org | Official Website