Impact Mapping is a strategic planning technique with roots in software development, designed to align teams around business objectives. It maps out the relationship between business goals, the actors who can influence these goals, the impact needed from these actors, and the deliverables that can create this impact. This technique prevents the creation of unnecessary features and ensures that every feature developed has a clear business purpose.

The process starts with a goal that is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound). The actors who can influence the achievement of this goal are then identified. These could be end users, system components, or even regulatory bodies. The next step is to determine what behaviour changes are needed from these actors to reach the goal. Finally, the deliverables that could facilitate these changes are outlined.

Impact Mapping can be used at different levels of detail, from high-level strategic planning to specific feature development. It encourages collaboration, facilitates shared understanding, and creates a visual representation of the strategy. It’s a tool that can help businesses ensure their software development efforts are directly contributing to their strategic objectives.

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