Impact Mapping Strategic Planning Technique

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Impact mapping—introduced by Gojko Adzic—is a collaborative and visual strategic planning technique for business. This article provides a concise overview of the process, and it includes real-world examples. Four major steps follow. For simplicity, most examples are listed in the singular (such as one goal). However, multiples (such as several goals) may be used.

Step 1: Answer “Why?”

First the goal is established. The focus should be on important strategic objectives—which may include increasing revenue, decreasing costs, product development, or other categories. To ensure a clear shared understanding, it is suggested that the goal is SMART:
specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This example is not SMART: “Increase revenue.” But this version is SMART: “Increase revenue by 10% over the next 30 days.”

Step 2: Answer “Who?”

Next, the people who can help (or be a hinderance) in achieving the goal are identified. Such people may be referred to as actors or personas. Actors are someone or something that “acts” on or with the system—such as a customer. Personas are fictitious characters that represent user types—such as Developer Dave. It is suggested that the people are as specific as possible. For the goal of “Increase revenue by 10% over the next 30 days,” examples of Who include (a) Existing Customer and (b) Prospective Customer.

Step 3: Answer “How?”

In this step, the impacts that need to be had on the actors/personas—for them to help achieve the goal (or minimize/avoid them being a hinderance)—are identified. Continuing on the example from steps 1-2, an impact for the Existing Customer is to (a) refer more friends and (b) have a larger order dollar value.

Step 4: Answer “What?”

The deliverable which is hoped to create the impact on the actors/personas to achieve the goal is identified in this step. Said differently, What is the deliverable related to the How in the prior step. Continuing on the example from steps 1-3, deliverables for Refer More Friends include (a) discount code and (b) referral bounty.

Recap and Putting the Results to Use

The impact map is a visual artifact, developed collaboratively while answering the four questions: “Why (Goal)?,” “Who (Actor/Persona)?,” “How (Impact)?,” and “What (Deliverable)?” The exercise may reveal considerable items for consideration. Everything does not need to be implemented, however. It is suggested that the entries are prioritized (such as determining the shortest path) and that the most important work is done.

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The illustration above incorporates some of the examples from this article. As shown, the shortest path involves providing a discount code related to existing customers referring more friends. In this case, that’s the work that should be done (at least done first).


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Agile Transformation at an Entertainment Company: Based on a True Story | Part Eight

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Agile Transformation at an Entertainment Company: Based on a True Story


Scott M. Graffius, CEO of Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™, helps companies achieve their strategic objectives and business initiatives through project management leadership. A fantastic agile transformation outcome with a client organization in the entertainment industry was the inspiration for Scott's award-winning book,
Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions. This is the story behind the book—told by Scott. Identifying details have been changed and certain elements are not included.

This article is the final installment of the eight-part story. If you haven't already read the earlier parts, you can find them here:


Part Eight: The Success

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By adopting an agile mindset and providing improved engagement, collaboration, transparency, and adaptability via Scrum's values, roles, events, and artifacts, the results were excellent. After one sprint, satisfaction ratings for the Development Team and stakeholders were higher than the target. After three sprints, the output of the Scrum Team became consistent and predictable, satisfaction increased even further, and all of the
seven goals mentioned earlier were achieved. Here's an overview:

🎯 Goal 1
  • Source: This goal was identified by the EVP (executive vice president)
  • Desired outcome: Develop and deliver products and services faster than 6-12 months
  • Result: The goal was achieved (with the agile transformation, delivery occurred as often as every two weeks)

🎯 Goal 2
  • Source: This goal was identified by the EVP
  • Desired outcome: Improve the satisfaction of the Scrum Team
  • Result: The goal was achieved

🎯 Goal 3
  • Source: This goal was identified by the EVP
  • Desired outcome: Improve the satisfaction of the stakeholders
  • Result: The goal was achieved

🎯 Goal 4
  • Source: This goal was identified by the Scrum Team (Scrum Master, Product Owner, and the Development Team)
  • Desired outcome: Meet or exceed the expectations of management
  • Result: The goal was achieved

🎯 Goal 5
  • Source: This goal was identified by the Scrum Team
  • Desired outcome: Deliver valuable products/services
  • Result: The goal was achieved

🎯 Goal 6
  • Source: This goal was identified by the stakeholders
  • Desired outcome: For stakeholders or their representatives to be more involved in requirements
  • Result: The goal was achieved

🎯 Goal 7
  • Source: This goal was identified by the stakeholders
  • Desired outcome: Get useable products delivered more frequently than 6-12 months
  • Result: The goal was achieved (with the agile transformation, delivery occurred as often as every two weeks)

The EVP, Scrum Team, and stakeholders declared the pilot a success and they made this implementation of Scrum the preferred approach for the development and delivery of products and services going forward.

In addition to achieving the goals summarized above, the agile transformation also supported the organization's efforts to innovate and drive their competitive advantage. It became more successful. As the business grew, so has the number of Scrum teams. Originally numbering one, the division presently has six Scrum teams.

This concludes
Agile Transformation at an Entertainment Company: Based on a True Story. The agile transformation experience was the inspiration for Scott M. Graffius’ book, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions. The publication helps technical and non-technical teams develop and deliver products in short cycles with rapid adaptation to change, fast time-to-market, continuous improvement, and more. The book has garnered 17 first place awards and credit is shared with Chris Hare and Colin Giffen, the technical editors on the publication. Scott and Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions have been featured in Yahoo Finance, the Boston Herald, NBC WRAL, the Dallas Business Journal, the PM World Journal, Learning Solutions, Innovation Management, and additional media publications. A trailer, high-resolution images, reviews, and a detailed list of awards are in the digital media kit. The book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Strand Books, Harvard Book Store, Books-a-Million, The Booksmith, Hudson Booksellers, Savoy Bookshop & Café, Compass Books at SFO/Books Inc., Books & Books - Miami, University Press Books - Berkeley, and other retailers, distributors, and partners in the United States and around the world.


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