Impact Map

Behavior carries change

Water drop and splash close up


Collaboratively build a shared understanding of the way we plan to achieve a goal and our assumptions that guide that plan. This creates a shared basis for testing our assumptions and prioritizing our activities.


For just about any goal you want to achieve in an organization, people have to change their behavior. You can set up a nice organizational structure, offer tools and facilities, but if people continue to do what they did, nothing structurally changes and you will not achieve your goal. With Impact Mapping, you collaboratively visualize who can help you achieve your goal, which behavioral changes (impact) are needed in the organization to achieve your goal and how you can support that behavior change.



Gojko Adzic, the author of the book Impact Mapping, briefly  explains the impact Impact Mapping has.

To Work

In Agile, you as a team are focused on continuously delivering customer value. For this, it is necessary to have a clear picture of the impact that the business expects from the product that you realize together. Impact Mapping is a visual technique for strategic planning. It gives the product owner, stakeholders, and the team a shared view of the purpose and assumptions that led to the requested solution to be developed. To create an Impact Map, follow these steps:
  1. Look for the real goal together (ask why five times). This goal is the core of your mind map. Put this target on a sticky-note to the left under “Why” in the impact map.
  2. Collaboratively name two or three obvious or known solutions. Put these on sticky-notes on the right, under “What” in the mind map.
  3. Map out which (groups of) people can help to achieve or hinder the goal. Put these actors on sticky-notes under “Who” in the impact map.
  4. Brainstorm on how each actor can help you get closer to the goal. What behavioral change does this involve? Put these behavior changes on sticky-notes under “How” in the impact map.
  5. Think about what your team (department or project) can do (deliver) to support this behavior change. Which tools or services make the desired behavior easier. Put these on sticky-notes under “What” in the impact map.
  6. Now you have a good overview of the possible paths to follow to your goal. Choose the most impactful paths from this overview. Prioritize the realization of the corresponding “What” notes accordingly.

We developed a dialogue sheet for creating an Impact Map together with your stakeholders.


Gojko Adzic describes this technique in his book: Impact Mapping.

You find a brief description of this technique in section 8.2 Impact Map of our book Connective Teamwork (EN, NL). The book helps you set your team in motion with a practical 5-step plan and 20 teamwork techniques.

You can learn more about and practice this technique in our Connective Team Coach Training Course.

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