What is Impact Mapping?
Impact Mapping is a way of planning. It is essentially a Mind-Map that is grown during a discussion of everybody involved. These 4 Questions are asked:
Goal! The Centre of the Impact Map, answers the most important/main question: Why are we doing this? This is the Goal of the mind-map, the thing you are trying to achieve. Because the answer to ‘Why’ is in the centre of the mind-map, it makes sure that everyone knows why they are doing something. Knowing why you are doing something is key to making good decisions about cost, scope and timelines, both at the start and later when things change.
Actors! The Actors are people whose Behavior would be Impacted by or would impact the Goal. In my Example below, my actors were a “Genre Freak”, “Gaming Newbie”, “Experienced Gamer” and “People who haven’t visited the site after 2 months”. I thought the people listed would be impacted or would be a great impact to Upping the Number of Visits to the site.
Impacts! This part of the Impact Map answers the following questions: “How should the behavior of the actors change?”, “How can they help us achieve the goal” and “How could they get in the way of us reaching the goal?”. The answers to these Questions are the Impacts. In my example, both my Impacts were “Make sure the Genre Freak returns when a new game is released” and “Make sure the Genre Freak looks through multiple pages on the site”. I thought these Impacts are pretty important to Upping the Number of visits to the site.
Deliverable! The Final part of Impact Mapping is when you ask: “What will I have to do to achieve this?”. The answer to this question.