Improvement tools: Impact and influence

Page last updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2017 - 11:56am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

The Impact and influence tool is used to help to decide which options to choose to achieve a goal. This tool uses two criteria:

1. how much impact an option will have on the goal
2. how much influence you have over whether the option will be successful.

The aim is to choose options that have high impact and you have a big influence over. The Impact and influence tool is used to quickly identify higher priority options. These can then have more detailed assessment done on them using additional criteria.

Steps for using the tool

  1. In a table like the one in the example below, write your goal and the options you have for achieving it.
  2. For each option, ask yourself what level of impact the option will have on the goal. An option has high impact if it will fully achieve the goal. An option will have medium impact if it will definitely help to achieve the goal, but will not achieve it fully. An option will have low impact if it only makes a small contribution to achieving the goal. Score the level of impact from 0 to 10. For example, 0 = no impact, 5 = medium impact, 10 = very high impact.
  3. Write your scores in the impact column.
  4. For each option ask yourself what level of influence you have over the option being successful. High influence could mean having all the knowledge, skills, resources, equipment and staff that are needed. Lower influence could mean relying on someone else to implement part of the option.
  5. Write your scores in the influence column.
  6. Look for options that have high scores for both impact and influence. These are the highest priority options.

Example: Beef business

Goal: Increase profit by 5% per year within two years.

Options Impact Influence
Increase calving percentage 9 9
Increase average annual growth rate 8 8
Increase price through vertical integration 7 5
Decrease variable costs 6 9
Reduce impacts of regulation on business performance 7 1

In this example the highest priority options are increasing calving percentage and increasing growth rate because they have high scores for both impact and influence. While the business manager felt he had a lot of control over reducing variable costs, he felt the impact of reducing costs was less than from some of the other options. Increasing price through vertical integration requires the involvement of other people in the value chain and this reduces the influence score. And, while reducing the impact of regulation was considered to have a moderately high impact, it had a very low score for influence because one person is unlikely to be able to achieve it by themselves.

Other tools to use with Impact and influence

The Impact and influence tool can be used in step 3 of the CI&I - Continuous improvement and innovation process.

Gross margin analysis can be used to provide information about the financial impact of different options.

Once you have used the Impact and influence tool to highlight the higher priority options, you can use the Eight criteria technique to compare those options and identify the best ones.

Support to use the tool

Please contact us if you would like help to use the Impact and influence tool.

A worksheet to help you use the tool can be found in the 'Documents' section on the far right.