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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?

Step 1

Start by drawing a box that contains your goal. Why are we doing this project? What do we hope to achieve?

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Impact Mapping Template

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