Agile Business Analysis Technique Impact Mapping

Agile Business Analysis Impact mapping

What is Impact Mapping?

Impact Mapping is used to align stakeholders with organizational goals and the creation of customer value. 

Impact maps align initiatives and delivery activities with overall organizational goals. Impact maps help all stakeholders stay focused on value creation (the why) instead of feature development (the what). Impact Mapping enhances the feedback loops between the Strategy, Initiative, and Delivery Horizons by tying activities to organizational goals. Learn about Strategy, Initiative and Delivery Horizons in Agile Business Analysis by joining the Online Agile BA Practitioner Course.

Impact Mapping is a lightweight approach which shows a big picture view while identifying specific details. In order to ensure the discovery of information from all perspectives, business analysis practitioners generally facilitate a face-to-face brainstorming session. 

The impact map is a visual map that breaks down the organizational goals into specific deliverables.

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Components of an Impact Map

Goal: identifies the organizational goals the solution aims to achieve. It answers the question “why are we doing this?” 

Actor: identifies the stakeholders who can contribute to achieving the goals. It answers the question “who can influence goals?” 

Impact: identifies the actions actors can take to achieve goals. It answers the question “how will actors influence goals?” 

Deliverable: identifies which deliverables and functions will help actors achieve the organizational goals. It answers the question “what activities help actors complete goals?” 

Steps to create an Impact Map

Creating an impact map is best done as a face-to-face facilitated exercise to capitalize on the interaction between people of various expertise and knowledge areas. The steps to create an impact map include: 

STEP 1: Gather all key stakeholders and team members in one space to collaborate. 

STEP 2: Have space to create the visual impact map. Perhaps you could prepare some large flip charts on the wall with marker pens. You might want to consider using Post-It notes so that you can easily move items around the map if the group wants to make changes as they develop the map. To create online virtual impact maps, use online templates and share it easily online with colleagues using:

STEP 3: Facilitate the identification of each component, starting with goals, then actors, then impact, and then deliverables. 

STEP 4: Once the impact map is created, keep it visible for later revision and refinement. 

Notice: As with all the bite-size videos we have created around the topic of Agile Analysis, the content covered here is quoted from the Agile Extension v2 to the BABOK Guide v3. In some parts we have summarised content and some parts we have added some new examples. For a comprehensive coverage of this topic, please refer to the Agile Extension v2 Chapter 7, Section 7.3.

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