Impact Mapping, what is it good for? A quick review

If you’ve paid any attention to twitter lately you know that Gojko Adzic has publihsed a new book. The book is called Impact Mapping, and describes a method to describe a system in a way that:

helps the practitioner create better plans and roadmaps that ensure alignment of business and delivery, and are easily adaptable to change

As this is a quick review, let’s get straight into the meat. What I liked the most was the way that Gojko uses a simple mind-map approach to try to see the “whole” of the system.

If you have followed this blog you know that I consider myself what some people would call a Systems Thinker (although I like to call it “In search of the hidden connections”). What I see is that this practice of Impact Mapping has the potential to help many teams finally implement a systems thinking tool when describing the systems under development.

The book is also filled with suggestions on how to facilitate Impact Mapping in practice. This is a light-read section of the book, filled with detailed advice and some anecdotes that Gojko shares in the hope that it will help you get started with the method. But perhaps the key value I take out of this book is the neat way in which it fits between two tools that I’ve used in the past: The Business Model Canvas, and the Build-Measure-Learn cycle from #LeanStartup.

Impact Mapping fits nicely in between the Business Model Canvas and the Build-Mearsure-Learn cycle from #LeanStartup

In fact, I believe that Impact Mapping is a very interesting tool that can generate the insights from the Business Model Canvas and directly translate them into a product design and later into experiments. As I read the book, I felt intuitively more comfortable than when reading and practicing Story Mapping. However, this is only an assumption that I will have to test soon.

How about you? Have you read the book? Have you used the practice? Share your experiences with the technique in the comments. I’m interested in learning more about how the practice is used in real-life projects.

One thought on “Impact Mapping, what is it good for? A quick review

  1. Hi Vasco,
    I’ve been building impact maps for real products for 10 months so far (we even built a tool for that called

    I find impact maps very useful for focusing the customer on measurable business effects instead of his/her implementation ideas.

    Impact maps are also works extremely well for me if we are in “Learn” phase. They help us explicitly articulate our assumptions (e.g. Login via Facebook will lead to Higher convertion rates from visitors to users) and test them.

    But in my experience the connection from canvas to impact map is not so straith. For impact map I need a business goal or a milestone, which I won’t have directly from canvas. For that I nead a kind of roadmap after canvas and before the impact map.

    Best regards,

    PS You can find impact mapping google group here:!forum/impact-mapping

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