Planning

Create a plan for better impact management

This page contains three downloadable templates, each with a series of questions to help you create a plan for better impact management. It is best to download all three planning templates and answer the questions in the order outlined, but you don't have to do it all in one go.

What is impact management

Step one: Define target audience

Who is your programme or service for and why?

An important first step is to consider the issue your service or programme is trying to address, followed by the particular group of people you work with. Answer the questions below or download our template, which contains additional guidance:

  • What is the scale and scope of the issue?
  • What is the cause of the issue?
  • What are the consequences of the issue?
  • Who are the target group you will work with?
  • Are you planning on working with those directly affected or other people that can influence the situation?
  • What are their characteristics, strengths and needs of your target group?
  • What are the inclusion and exclusion criteria for those you are going to work with?

Download ‘Define target audience’ - planning template one
Older lady

Step two: Agree goals

What difference do you want your programme or service to make?

Agreeing the changes you want your programme or service to make will help you measure and achieve them. Answer the questions below or download our template, which contains additional guidance:

  • What is the long term change (or impact) are you are aiming for?
  • What shorter term changes (or outcomes) are you aiming for to create that long-term change?
  • What does existing research say about how to achieve the change you want to see?
  • What best practice can you draw on?
Download ‘Agree goals’ – planning template two
Man with folded arms

Step three: Plan for change

How will the changes take place?

Articulating how you expect your programme or service to bring about change will help you figure out what to measure. Answer the questions below or download our template, which contains additional guidance:

  • What's the type of service are you providing? How much? How often? Where? Delivered by whom?
  • How would you like the users to experience and engage in the programme for it to be successful?
  • What is unique, distinctive or special about your project or organisation?
  • What quality standards will you work towards and measure?
  • What existing research and good practice is there about how to engage and work with your target group?
Download ‘Plan for change’ – planning template three

Further guidance

If you would like more information about planning for impact, here are a few of our favourites.

Similar frameworks

‘Theory of change’, ‘logic model’ or ‘planning triangle’ centre on questions similar to those we’ve used here. If you already have a framework like this in place, use our prompts to help you update or refine it.