A great number of projects result in products that are rather far from their initial concept. Unfortunately, this is usually accompanied by inadequate functionality and a cost of development going beyond the planned budget. One of the effective ways to keep a product aligned with your plan is to use impact mapping.
Idea of Impact Mapping
Impact mapping is a term introduced by Gojko Adzic in 2012 for a planning method based on graphic visualization. Its major aim is making sure the features added to the product are indeed serving its goal.
Thus, the central part of impact mapping is the project target, which has to be clearly stated and understood. Moreover, understanding of the aim cannot be subjective and it should have clear specification such as being realistic with measurable outcome and a possibility to be achieved within a certain period with particular actions.
The goal is then connected to actors or anyone who can affect it in anyway with one’s impact. This impact is also clarified and assigned to deliverables, or the actions that can be taken to receive the desirable impact or to avoid the unwanted one.
Impact Mapping as Your Project Assistant
Impact mapping is a highly useful way to understand the requirements of a project for literally everyone engaged into it. Developers can easily see whether certain features are necessary for the product and, at the same time, the visualization of impact mapping will make the team’s choices clear and logical to stakeholders. It is an excellent way to prioritize what is really crucial for the product and avoid excessive expenses.
Furthermore, in case of any confusion, impact mapping makes it possible to easily track actions to the goal making it clear whether they are required or not.
Impact Mapping at Work
Impact mapping can be applied to projects of various scope. For example, you can use it for improving a particular type of marketing or you can facilitate it for creating an entire startup. Impact mapping will work in any of these cases as long as you are clear with the goal.
While using impact mapping in practice, you will need to answer four crucial questions.
The first one is “why?” and it is needed for understanding what the project is aiming to achieve. Usually, this step takes the greatest amount of time for completing as it will set the course for the work of your team.
The next question is “who?” and it is goes for the people or groups of people referred to as actors. Note, actors are not only the ones who can help you bring your project to success. These can also be the people with a potential for ruining it.
Impact is specified by the “How?” question which stays for the roles of your actors. Impact is strictly oriented towards the goal of your project and it can also include hypothetical actions performed by the actors and affecting your goal.
Finally, with “what?”, you will be able to find deliverables or any steps that can incentivize the actions you would like your actors to take.
Acknowledgments going to Desmart.com for helping us to create this article. More about impact mapping you can read at Impact Mapping – How Can You Use it to Build An App? Complete Guide