Impact Mapping Notation
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes.
Impact Mapping is a nice quick way to identify the best approach to achieve a goal.
The basic structure of impact mapping is very simple. You start with a goal, identify all the potential actors, analyse how they can help or hinder you, and then identify the solutions that might help or prevent your actors to achieve the goal.
The very short version is that you alone or in a team look for the most effective way to achieve your goal. The approach is that you first brainstorm potential actors (who), analyse how they can impact your goal and then think about what you can do to help the actors with your goal.
Why use Impact Mapping (IM)?
If you are alone or in a team looking for the most effective way to achieve your goal. The approach is that you first brainstorm potential actors (who), analyse how they can impact your goal and then think about what you can do to help the actors with your goal.
As such IM is helping you to choose to approach a goal. It is key that for IM the task is not already over-specified through a plan on how to achieve the goal. So, "Getting more customers by creating a mail-based marketing campaign on the topic of X" is not a good starting point. But "Getting more Customers" is a good starting point. It allows you to choose who to involve, how to involve them, and what will be useful for this involvement.
Keep the Impact Map updated when you get new ideas and especially when you learned something new.
IM Notation Description
One starts with the Goal, answering the "Why?" for the impact map. After that, brainstorming of the potential actors ("Who?") is needed. For each actor a brainstorm of potential ways how a specific actor can help with achieving the goal (Impact). During the brainstorming, the deliverables ("What?") can wait a bit longer.
|Node Type||Description||Starting Node Type||Successors|
|Goal||The one goal you are aiming at||Yes||Actor|
|Actor||Any system or person that could be helping to achieve the goal||No||Impact|
|Impact||How could the Actor impact your goal?||No||Deliverable|
|Deliverable||What could be done to support an actor to make the desired impact?||No||-|
Background on Impact Mapping
Another quick overview can be found here