4 Steps to Build An Impact Map

Impact Mapping

The ideal way to approach product development is to avoid pursuing every feature someone suggests just because it sounds good. 

Instead, concentrate on the qualities that will most influence your objectives.

Working outward from an overall goal and then determining the actions, big or small, would accomplish those goals. This is how product development teams use impact mapping to prioritize features. 

By incorporating it into the development process, you can ensure that your product roadmap is based on your long-term goals.

What Is Impact Mapping?

Impact Mapping has its basis on the same underlying principles as narrative mapping and mind mapping. 

The Agile team can use impact mapping to visualize how a feature for a product can be valuable and then prioritize it accordingly. 

By looking for relevant aspects, impact mapping allows the team to trace the product’s progress from its primary purpose to a single feature. 

This notion also aids the team in identifying aspects that will assist them in achieving their intended goal. It also helps them discover functionality that will enable them to carry out the needed tasks. 

The purpose is the focal point of impact mapping, which spends more effort identifying and defining the goal.

It prioritizes the aim above all other considerations. The objective will be on the right track if the team can answer the SMART goal questions below. 

Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Timely is the abbreviation for SMART. 

Bonus: Learn what smart goals are and how you can write them down. 

When the team does numerous impact mapping activities with different groups, they can determine where the effect deliverables diverge and overlap due to distinct cohort biases.

Impact mapping combines multiple perspectives, experiences, and opinions. 

You can identify where there is overlapping and divergence of impact deliverables. 

To do so, you will have to execute numerous impact mapping activities with distinct groups based on the assumptions of the various cohorts.

How to Build an Impact Map?

Making an impact map is a pretty straightforward process. Here’s how to begin with impact mapping to help you prioritize features:

1. Establish Your Objectives (Why?)

Defining the results you wish to attain is the first stage in impact mapping. The following are some examples of outcomes:

Customer churn reduction

Increasing the number of people who know about a new product that is about to be released

Increasing the lifetime value of your customers (CLV)

Setting goals helps you figure out why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’ll be easier to outline the steps necessary to get where you want to go.

2. Determine the Main Players (Who Are They?)

The next stage is to determine the major stakeholder groups that will impact the result of your product goal. 

Bonus: Know everything about stakeholder management.

You must be capable of answering questions during this stage, as per the official page on impact mapping:

  • Who can bring about the desired outcome?
  • Is there anyone who can stop it?
  • Who are our product’s customers and users?
  • Who is it going to have an impact on?

It’s crucial to remember that your actors don’t have to be your customers to be effective. 

People on your team, for instance, may play a part in engaging users and attaining your goals (such as salesmen and marketers).

Consider the players who may stand in the way of your objectives. 

As you’re establishing your impact map approach, you’ll be able to find solutions to overcome them.

3. Define the Effect (In What Way?)

Please determine what you want from each actor throughout this stage so that they can assist you in achieving your objectives. 

What actions will they take to help you meet your deadlines?

For instance, if you’re in charge of a project management platform and aim to reduce churn during user acquisition. 

Enabling users to create and assign their first job on your platform has the potential to have the most significant impact.

Let’s imagine you’re seeking to promote your trading app. Users spreading the word about your software to their friends through your referral program would have the best impact.

4. Make a List of Your Deliverables (What?)

The final phase in the impact mapping process is determining what characteristics actors will use to achieve the desired result. Also, note down what you can do as an organization to assist them.

Assume you’re in charge of a fitness app that helps people lose weight through individualized programming. Your goal is to increase user activity and retention in your app.

The goal is to increase the number of times consumers launch your app. You’ll be able to increase your everyday and monthly active users while lowering churn.

Push alerts to remind them of their weight loss goal could be one feature that can assist them in achieving this objective.

Purpose of Impact Mapping

Depending on the goal the company wants to achieve, you can employ impact mapping for various reasons. 

There are several stages in impact mapping agile or impact mapping scrum. We will discuss them below. 

Creating a Vision

Since the list of the solutions is for the product instead of the objectives, teams can use impact maps to define new product milestones. 

Impact maps are most helpful when an external client provides a list of features or equivalent replacements. 

It is also more effective when organizations deal with third-party delivery agencies, request proposals, or write statements of work. 

The facilitator should set up a workshop by producing a business goal drought and involving all major stakeholders when creating an impact map.

When crafting the aim, the facilitator must remember that it should be comprehensive enough to focus the debate but not too tightly planned. 

It should leave some room for stakeholders‘ ideas and suggestions, which will help define the goal during the workshop.

Delivering With Purpose

The organization is clear about the project’s goals, although there may be several goals and multiple stakeholders with different priorities. 

Impact maps help resolve prioritizing issues by providing a visual structure for the project’s purpose. This aids stakeholders in identifying shared priorities and assisting the development team in addressing them. 

This could also be employed when businesses deal with vast chunks of various goals. You can also use it when the team has trouble figuring out which feature isn’t working well for the product. 

As a result, teams must prioritize the product’s delivery, and stakeholders and the delivery team should contribute equally to creating the impact map.

Both of these teams might do a separate workshop to determine their product priorities and make a list of those they agree on. 

The delivery team can haggle over the features and decide on those they believe can be completed in the allotted time. 

It is always better when the delivery team underpromises and over-delivers on functionalities because it builds trust with stakeholders and clients. 

This way, you can ensure client satisfaction, and the delivery staff would be able to work under less stress and put in their best effort.

Reevaluating a Problem

When a company or team is unsure of the project’s goal, they might utilize impact mapping to determine their product’s purpose. 

Common instances in organizations:

  • When a single person has a more detailed understanding of the product than the rest of the team
  • When a project pauses or fails to deliver the value that everyone expected
  • When you launch a considerable endeavor without specified or explicit goals

As a result, a single person can gather data for several impact maps by speaking with various stakeholders.

An individual can utilize Impact Mapping Agile to collect the stakeholders’ ideas, goals, and needs, which you can then communicate using maps. This includes setting appropriate goals, rephrasing a problem, and taking appropriate action.

Impact Mapping Agile

When companies are developing goods and completing projects, they frequently become lost in the process and lose sight of their original vision for the company. 

Impact mapping is a technique that allows an organization to focus on its primary goal and make all of its actions to achieve that goal. 

The methodology keeps businesses avoid becoming lost in developing products and delivering projects using multiple tools and methods. 

Impact mapping assists the organization in coordinating and communicating assumptions, as well as helping the team in planning their responsibilities.

Keeping the business goals and priorities helps teams make better roadmap choices. 

While working on a great product or project, explaining the vision to the entire team is critical. It is necessary because team members can become lost in the process and believe their efforts are in vain.

Impact mapping assists the team in visualizing the process they are working on and establishing familiarity with the project, the organization, and the larger community.

It also helps the delivery team build a plan for product delivery by bridging the gap between the business operations and the delivery team. 

You can easily capture the product and project’s delivery scope using impact mapping. 

The teams can swiftly adopt effective strategies and adjust to changes. It is possible because the map generates a concept about the project while maintaining a big-picture perspective for the business sponsors. 

Impact mapping may considerably decrease project management and product development resistance and hurdles.

Sponsors and team collaboration grows, allowing the team to develop what the sponsors want. 

Teams can also prioritize progress reporting systems based on characteristics beneficial to consumers and pertinent to the market. 

As a result, the key advantage of adopting impact mapping is that it assures you to achieve the desired business outcome. You can also abandon business ideas that are too costly or impossible to finish immediately.

Benefits of Impact Mapping

The strategy of impact mapping helps develop a team, which improves collaboration and interaction between team members. 

Compared to other options, Impact Mapping is substantially less bureaucratic and requires significantly less effort.

It allows team members from diverse backgrounds to join in developing the product and contribute. These individuals come from various locations, including technical delivery masters, business users, and other company members.

Impact mapping made the project’s assumptions visible, which would not have been achievable in other models. 

It can be helpful in situations when decisions must be made quickly, such as in the field of information technology.

Impact mapping allows for productive meetings and big-picture thinking, which helps the business align with its objectives.

What are the objectives? Learn more about them. 

Numerous clients have indicated that making changes to the product would take months but could be done in days using iterative approaches. 

As a result, impact mapping is quickly becoming one of the most popular software development methodologies.

Why Is Impact Mapping Important for Product Managers?

Companies frequently become so engrossed in developing a solution that they lose sight of the problem they were attempting to address in the first place. 

Goods evolve with time, and the end outcome may or may not correspond to the original intent. 

This results in product-market fit concerns or bloated products with unneeded features for their fundamental purpose.

By tying everything back to the initiative’s primary goal, impact mapping allows product teams to stay focused on the initiative’s central objective. 

If a feature does not emerge through the impact mapping process, it is unlikely to be included in the product.

It’s also a great way to describe why you prioritize some features over others to other stakeholders. 

It’s straightforward to understand because impact mapping is visual and challenging to dispute because its sole focus is on achieving goals.

The primary purpose of assumptions is to create impact mapping. The firm believes that a specific type of actor will affect the goal. 

As a result, you will require further testing to ensure that the use cases are legitimate and that the prioritizing is justified.

However, impact mapping is particularly effective at weeding out elements that aren’t directly related to the agreed-upon purpose.

You can also use impact mapping early to investigate several approaches to achieving the core goal. 

Product teams can envision the many alternative ways to get through their intended destination by examining all potential players, effects, and deliverables. 

Later on, investigate and pick the paths with the best likelihood of success.


Impact mapping assists the company in placing all deliverables in context so that the delivery team can effectively support them. This allows businesses to avoid over-investing in less successful areas and is crucial to the overall system.

Additionally, teams might compare deliverables by applying the most profitable one on a broader scale in the product. 

You can eliminate the deliverables that do not promote or influence the goal-setting. 

Ultimately, you might fulfill the specific aim, and the product would grow in the market if the players, impacts, and deliverables are appropriately connected.

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