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Implementing Impact Mapping for Product Planning

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Introducing new products is critical for companies to stay competitive and continue growing revenue. New products allow companies to expand into new markets and reach more customers. Developing new products also lets companies respond to changing consumer demands and preferences. New products can help retain existing customers by giving them more options to choose from. Staying stagnant with the same old products can actually lose customers to innovative competitors. Releasing updated products with new features can also incentivize existing customers to upgrade and spend more.

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New products generate excitement and buzz around a brand. They are essential for fueling growth, gaining market share, and driving profits over the long term, but before you get started, it is important to make sure any new products you have planned are going to be useful for your end users.

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Impact Mapping for Product Planning

Impact mapping is a strategic planning technique used in product management and agile development to ensure products deliver maximum value and impact to end users and stakeholders. If you use Miro’s product management templates, it can greatly improve product planning.

What is Impact Mapping?

Impact mapping is a collaborative strategic planning technique. It involves creating a visual map that connects project goals and activities to the desired business objectives and impacts.

The impact map shows the relationship between:

  • Goals: The overall vision, strategic objectives, and desired outcomes for the product.
  • Impacts: The measurable effects and results you want the product to have.
  • Deliverables: The functionality and features that will be built and delivered.
  • Activities: The tasks and actions needed to develop the deliverables.

Impact mapping helps teams align on the “why” behind a product and focus their efforts on the activities that will have the greatest impact given limited resources.

Steps for Impact Mapping

  • Define Goals: Start by clearly defining the overall goals for the product. Goals should be tied to business objectives and strategy.
  • Identify Desired Impacts: Brainstorm the concrete impacts you want users or the business to experience as a result of the product.
  • Map Deliverables: Determine the smallest possible features or deliverables that could create those impacts.
  • Outline Activities: Break down the work necessary to deliver each feature and impact.
  • Prioritize: Based on available time and resources, prioritize which goals, impacts, deliverables, and activities to focus on first.

Templates for Impact Mapping

There are several templates that can help with impact mapping:

  • Impact map canvas: A one-page printable template with sections for each component of an impact map.
  • Impact mapping board: A digital board for collaboratively building an impact map with sticky notes.
  • Goal tree diagram: Shows a branching diagram of high-level goals down to specific impacts.
  • Impact graph: Maps impacts over time for different users or scenarios.
  • Deliverables breakdown: Tracks detailed activities under each deliverable.

Leveraging impact maps and templates can lead to better product planning by aligning teams on strategic objectives, focusing efforts on high-value features, and structuring product development activities.

With practice, impact mapping becomes a valuable framework for agile product management and planning.

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