Impact Mapping Template
Set business goals and outline how to achieve them.
About the Impact Mapping template
What is Impact Mapping?
Impact mapping is a strategic planning technique. It that allows organizations to stay on track while building products and shipping goods and services. An impact map is a graphical representation of your goals and the steps you must take to deliver on them. By creating an impact map, you can clearly communicate with your teammates, align on business objectives, and build better roadmaps.
When building products or working on projects, it can be easy to lose sight of your role within the broader organization. But your projects have a dynamic relationship with everything else in the organization, including other projects, teams, products, and functions. Many planning techniques lack this big-picture view. Impact maps, by contrast, help you visualize the relationship between your project roadmaps and the rest of your organization. You can therefore capture key assumptions and scope so you can deliver solutions without waste or over-engineering.
When should you use Impact Mapping?
You can use Impact Mapping to help you decide what should be in a product, to prove to a client that it’s not worth investing in a particular feature, and to plan your next sprint or release. You can also use Impact Mapping for any type of project planning.
What are the key steps of Impact Mapping?
Impact Mapping is generally broken into 4 key steps: setting and describing business goals, identifying the personas, defining the actions these personas will take, and brainstorming the deliverables that will prompt these actions to take place.
How do you draw an Impact Map?
Start by drawing a box that contains your goal. Why are we doing this project? What do we hope to achieve?
Draw a branch that links your goal to your next box: the actors. Who can produce the effect we’re looking for? Who can obstruct who? Who are our customers or users? Who will be impacted by our goal? Many people choose to have a box for each actor. Connect each box to your goal.
The second branch brings the impact of your goal into sharper focus. How should our actors’ behavior change as a result of this goal? How can they help us achieve our goal? How might they prevent us from achieving our goal? Draw a box for each potential impact and connect them to your actors.
Once you have answered those questions, you can start thinking about the scope of your project. The third branch of the map deals with deliverables. What can we do to increase the likelihood that this goal will be achieved? How do we support the desired impact? These are your deliverables -- what you can hope to achieve within the scope of this project.
Project Organizational Chart
When you’re embarking on a long, complex project, you will inevitably hit roadblocks and obstacles. It’s important to have your project organizational chart on hand to overcome those challenges. A project organizational chart is a visual diagram that illustrates who is on your team and the role they play in a given project. It documents the structure of the project organization, the hierarchy between team members, and the relationships between employees. Project organizational charts are useful tools for clarifying who does what, securing buy-in, and setting expectations for the group.
A timeline displays a chronological order of important dates, and scheduled events. Timelines help product managers, project managers, and team members tell visual stories about progress and obstacles. Timelines enable teams to see at a glance what happened before, what progress is happening now, and what needs tackling in the future. Projects or products with specific purpose or deliverables should be based on a timeline to be successful. Use the timeline as a shared reference for start dates, end dates, and milestones.
Work Breakdown Structure
A work breakdown is a project management tool that lays out everything you must accomplish to complete a project. It organizes these tasks into multiple levels and displays each element graphically. Creating a work breakdown is a deliverable-based approach, meaning you’ll end up with a detailed project plan of the deliverables you must create to finish the job. Create a Work Breakdown Structure when you need to deconstruct your team's work into smaller, well-defined elements to make it more manageable.
Card sorting is a brainstorming technique typically used by design teams but applicable to any brainstorm or team. The method is designed to facilitate more efficient and creative brainstorms. In a card sorting exercise, you and your team create groups out of content, objects, or ideas. You begin by labeling a deck of cards with information related to the topic of the brainstorm. Working as a group or individuals, you then sort the cards in a way that makes sense to you, then label each group with a short description. Card sorting allows you to form unexpected but meaningful connections between ideas.
Understanding — it’s the key to trusting others better and yourself better as well. Built on that idea, a Johari Window is a framework designed to enhance team understanding by getting participants to fill in four quadrants, each of which reveals something they might not know about themselves or about others. Use this template to conduct a Johari Window exercise when you’re experiencing organizational growth, to deepen cross-functional or intra-team connections, help employees communicate better, and cultivate empathy.
You can use an affinity diagram to generate, organize, and consolidate information that comes out of a brainstorming session. Whether you’re building a product, working through a complex problem, establishing a process, or piecing apart an issue, an affinity diagram is a useful and simple framework that gives each team member the opportunity to pitch in and share their thoughts. But it’s not just ideal for brainstorms—this is a great template and tool when you need to reach consensus or analyze data such as survey results.