Impact chain:The guide for a successful project

The impact chain rounds off the preparation so far for your project. It provides hints as to whether you have thought of everything. Later on, it serves as a guide that allows you to measure the impact of your project and improve it continuously. Focus is now placed on the following questions: what process does your offer provoke and will this ultimately lead to the desired change in behaviour among your key target group? What assumptions have to be met for this process to actually occur? Only if you actively address these assumptions will you create the basis for a successful project.

Example VillageOffice

The impact for the target group comprising employees in rural regions: In the VillageOffice example, the impact chain includes four assumptions. Jenny and Dave have asked themselves whether they are possible. There are also two important assumptions for the target group of companies.

Target group of commuters

  • Assumption 1

    Employees take note of the project due to communicative offerings as part of the VillageOffice project, including information events.

  • Assumption 2

    This gives them a better understanding of what exactly co-working is.

  • Assumption 3

    As the target group knows more about co-working, its motivation to work in co-working spaces increases.

  • Assumption 4

    This increase in motivation actually leads to co-working spaces being used.

Target group

  • Assumption 1

    The companies are made aware of the benefits of co-working by an information campaign.

  • Assumption 2

    On the basis of this knowledge, companies allow their employees to work on a decentralised basis.

Once your assumptions have been established, the following question arises: do the specific offers (section 1.3) support these assumptions? An example: if the co-working spaces are comfortably furnished, the motivation of the target group to use them will increase (assumption 4). In the support offer for co-working spaces (offer B), Jenny and Dave have therefore consciously included the aspect of attractive furnishings.

My 0 to 100 moment:

The prospect of making a real difference soon.

How it works

Do you have any further questions? Here are a few answers:

What role do assumptions play? At the outset, you have the project offer, while the end is marked by the desired change in behaviour within the key target group. In between are your assumptions. Once your assumptions have been established, the following question arises: are they plausible? Do the specific offers support these assumptions? Or can the offer still be added to somewhere, in order to better support the assumptions being met?

How many assumptions does a project have? The number of assumptions varies from project to project and from target group to target group.

What assumptions are there at the outset? In most cases, there is the assumption that an offer will actually be attended and/or taken note of by the most important target group.

How important is the order of the assumptions? The important thing is that the assumptions build on one another and are logically connected. Ultimately, however, their sequence is not sacrosanct. There also isn?t necessarily a single right solution.

How justifiable do your assumptions need to be? The better you are able to justify or even prove an assumption, the safer in the knowledge you can be that your impact chain will actually work. In addition, think about whether and how you can monitor and therefore examine each assumption later on, for example with statistics, surveys or interviews.

How many other target groups are there? The number of groups that need to modify their behaviour in order for the key target group to actually be able to change its behaviour varies from project to project. Generally speaking, the higher the number, the more complex the project. In the event of several relevant target groups, there are parallel and thus complementary steps in an impact chain (see VillageOffice impact chain).


Focus on impact to begin with, before later turning your attention to efficiency and speed.

Careful preparation will enable you to lay the most solid foundations for ensuring your effort ultimately also really pays off. This process therefore doesn't necessitate speed, but rather time, energy and the right mindset.

Impact chain:

what does your impact chain look like? You can make a start with this exercise.