Impact/Value Framework

What is Impact/Value Framework?

The Impact/Value Framework (IVF) is a strategic tool used in business and project management to prioritize initiatives, projects, or investments based on their potential impact and value to the organization. This framework helps decision-makers to visually categorize and evaluate where to allocate resources more effectively by assessing the relative importance and potential return of different options. By plotting initiatives on a matrix with axes representing impact and value, organizations can identify which projects are high-priority and align with their strategic objectives - identify, measure and communicate the value of their initiatives in terms of the results they achieve and the benefits they deliver.

Components of the Impact/Value Framework

The framework consists of five elements:

  1. Outcomes: The intended results of the project or program, such as increased sales or improved customer satisfaction.
  2. Impact: The positive changes due to the project or program, such as increased revenue or reduced costs.
  3. Value: The monetary or non-monetary benefits the project or program delivers to the organization, such as increased profitability or improved employee engagement.
  4. Stakeholders: The individuals, groups, or organizations affected by the project or program, such as customers, employees, or shareholders.
  5. Metrics: The means by which the outcomes, impact, and value are measured and communicated, such as revenue growth, customer satisfaction rates, or return on investment (ROI).

The IVF is used to evaluate the overall impact and value of a project by considering the results achieved, the benefits delivered, and the stakeholders affected. By using this framework, organizations can make better-informed decisions about allocating resources and focus on initiatives most likely to deliver the greatest value. Additionally, it also helps in communicating the value and impact of the project internally and externally to the stakeholders and other stakeholders.

The Impact/Value Matrix

The matrix is divided into four quadrants based on low to high impact and low to high value:

  • High Impact, High Value (Strategic Initiatives): Projects in this quadrant are top priorities as they are expected to deliver significant benefits and align closely with the organization's strategic goals.
  • High Impact, Low Value (Operational Efficiencies): These initiatives have the potential to significantly affect operations or processes but may not directly contribute to the bottom line. They are important but might be secondary to high-value projects.
  • Low Impact, High Value (Quick Wins): Projects that offer substantial value with relatively little effort or impact on the organization. These are often pursued for immediate benefits or as low-risk opportunities to gain momentum.
  • Low Impact, Low Value (Fill-Ins or Avoid): Initiatives that offer minimal benefits and have little effect on achieving strategic goals. These projects are generally low priority and might be undertaken only if there are sufficient resources after more critical projects are addressed.

Using the Impact/Value Framework for Decision Making

  • Identify and List Initiatives: Gather a comprehensive list of potential projects, investments, or initiatives.
  • Assess Impact and Value: Evaluate each initiative for its potential impact on the organization and the value it is expected to deliver. This may involve quantitative analysis, such as financial modeling, and qualitative judgment.
  • Plot Initiatives on the Matrix: Place each initiative within the appropriate quadrant of the matrix based on its assessed impact and value.
  • Prioritize Initiatives: Use the matrix to guide discussions and decisions about which initiatives to pursue, considering the organization's strategic goals, resource availability, and risk tolerance.
  • Review and Adjust: Regularly revisit the matrix to update the placement of initiatives as new information becomes available or as organizational priorities shift.

Challenges and Considerations

  • Subjectivity: Assessing impact and value can be subjective and may depend on the perspectives or biases of those involved in the evaluation process.
  • Dynamic Environment: The relative impact and value of initiatives can change over time as market conditions, organizational goals, or external factors evolve.
  • Resource Constraints: Even high-priority initiatives may face challenges in implementation due to limited resources, requiring careful planning and resource allocation.


The Impact/Value Framework is a valuable tool for organizations to systematically prioritize their projects and initiatives based on strategic alignment and potential returns. By categorizing initiatives according to their expected impact and value, decision-makers can make more informed choices about where to focus their efforts and resources to achieve the greatest benefit for the organization. Regularly applying and revisiting this framework helps ensure that priorities remain aligned with evolving strategic goals and market conditions.

See Also

The Impact/Value Framework is a strategic tool used to evaluate and prioritize projects, initiatives, or investments based on their potential impact and value to an organization. This framework helps decision-makers to visually compare and contrast different initiatives, considering both their strategic importance and their potential return on investment (ROI) or value contribution. Typically, initiatives are plotted on a two-dimensional grid, with one axis representing the potential impact (e.g., on strategic goals, operational efficiency, or customer satisfaction) and the other representing the value (e.g., financial return, cost savings, or market growth potential).

  • Strategic Planning: Discussing the organizational management activity used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, and ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working toward common goals.
  • Project Portfolio Management (PPM): Covering the centralized management of one or more project portfolios to achieve strategic objectives, where the Impact/Value Framework can be a key tool for project evaluation and selection.
  • Return on Investment (ROI): Explaining the performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency or profitability of an investment or compare the efficiency of several investments, relevant to the "Value" dimension of the framework.
  • Balanced Scorecard: Discussing a strategic planning and management system used to communicate what an organization is trying to accomplish, align day-to-day work with strategy, prioritize projects, products, and services, and measure and monitor progress toward strategic targets.
  • Risk Management: Covering the forecasting and evaluation of financial risks together with the identification of procedures to avoid or minimize their impact, which should be considered alongside impact and value assessments.
  • Change Management: Explaining the methods and manners in which a company describes and implements change within both its internal and external processes, often influenced by projects selected through the Impact/Value Framework.
  • Stakeholder Analysis: Discussing the process of identifying and analyzing stakeholders, assessing their needs and interests, crucial for understanding which initiatives may have the highest impact and value from various perspectives.
  • Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA): Covering a systematic approach to estimating the strengths and weaknesses of alternatives used to determine options that provide the best approach to achieving benefits while preserving savings, relevant to the "Value" dimension.
  • SWOT Analysis: Explaining a strategic planning technique used to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to business competition or project planning, which can inform both impact and value assessments.
  • Business Case Development: Discussing the process of creating a decision-making tool and planning resource, which provides the rationale for undertaking a project or program, based on its expected benefits (value) and its strategic alignment (impact).