Monthly Archives: August 2014

Impact Mapping


In a few weeks I am going to attend a hangout to discuss both: impact mapping and user story mapping tools. It will likely cover what these tools are, benefits, problems, how and when to use both tools. I have had some experience with impact mapping because stakeholders in last few projects I was involved in, hadn’t direct communication to the real user and thus, they had an imprecise idea about what the system should to. We used impact mapping to help stakeholders and team members align their vision, see the product as a whole focused on its business value and keep different assumptions / choices alive as we built the product. The map was an indispensable tool to center many discussions.

But first of all, let’s briefly describe what impact mapping is:

Impact Mapping:

Impact Mapping Template

IMPACT MAPPING IS A VISUAL TECHNIQUE THAT ALLOWS YOU TO MAP, DISPLAY AND organize hierarchically your ideas. First node is the central one and describes the goals, reason or purpose for the impact. “Why” you want to achieve something. From the blog point of view, I want to visualize and organize my ideas in a procedural way to reduce the amount of time I invest in setting up the content of this blog.

Second level, is a set of child nodes in which we describe Who? may help or prevent from achieving our goals. This article is focused on writers and readers: agile coaches, product owners, software developers, testers and scrum masters. Such roles will benefit in some way from the impact. Third level describes “how” role’s behavior contributes to facilitate the effect or prevent it from happening. This branch is focused on how to create these impacts. Last level is called “what” or scope and is intended to detail a list of actions or capabilities to support the required goals. Again, I intend to write these maps in advance and to provide a downloadable impact map for each blog entry delivered.

Impact Mapping 

An interesting side effect produced by following this tool is that my mindset shifted from free writing or writing content without any script to look for a more profound purpose or business goal for this blog entry only by asking these questions. Consequently, focusing on who will be affected by these ideas and how to impact them has addressed my chain of thought and has helped me approach writing content in a more structural and procedural way.


As a newbie writer, organizing my ideas is the activity that takes me longest so the experiment should help me shorter this set-up time and help me deliver content faster and more often. Yes, I know that that’s not a SMART goal so here it goes my redefinition:

S: Specific

  • I want to deliver content faster (less than 1 month) and to reduce set up costs needed to organize my ideas.

M: Measurable

  • Measuring set-up cost
  • Measuring lead time for writing the content of the blog

A: Actionable

  • Preparing impact mapping files for each blog entry
  • Measuring set up
  • Measuring lead time

R: Realistic

  • Despite the fact that my baby demands a lot of time and energy I think I will be able to do it.

T: Testable

  • 4 more blog posts in next 4 months


The purpose of this section is to address the learning obtained from collecting metrics feedback from you.


A web tool to create impact maps

For unknown reasons my zip file you can download here: Impact Mapping is not permitted so rename it from .doc to .zip and open it with: