Planning for impact measurement and how to capture data – with Heidi Fisher

Podcast - Heidi Fisher - Impact Diaries interview

Stage two of the LEAN social impact approach is planning. If you miss this stage you risk measuring the wrong things in the wrong way, a mistake many social enterprises make.

Heidi explains how an organisation which works with young people with Special Educational Needs planned what to measure – and how to do so effectively.

Many organisations fall back on the easy option of questionnaires to capture data, instead of adopting a flexible approach. Surveys and questionnaires aren’t always fit for purpose and would not have worked in this case.

Here’s the podcast. Click the large arrow to play, or hover over the media player and click on the icon on the bottom right corner to download it. Or listen through SpotifyApple Podcasts or Google Podcasts if you prefer.


    • 0 – 1:15 Introduction
    • 1:15 The organisation featured in this episode works with young people with special educational needs to provide them with employability skills and work experience
    • 1:55 Why surveys would not be appropriate or effective in this situation
    • 2:30 Heidi explains several ways to capture data at workshops and events (physical and virtual)
    • 9:11 Are people ever self-conscious about participating in these activities?
    • 11:40 Planning helps to capture evidence – what happened next with Heidi’s client working with young people?
    • 15:45 Heidi explains how planning is fundamental to effective impact measurement and is distinct from the measurement stage
    • 17:20 Other crucial elements of the planning stage of the LEAN social impact approach and why it’s important to focus tightly

Divider BarHeidi describes several flexible and interactive ways to capture data. These powerful and effective ideas could work for your social enterprise too.

She explains what this client planned to measure and how they did it – plus why it is vital to focus on measuring a small number of key outcomes.

In The Impact Diaries Heidi gives real-life examples of the five stage LEAN social impact approach in action.

“Once you’ve defined your ultimate goal it’s crucial NOT to jump straight to stage three, when you start measuring.” Find out how to plan most effectively in this episode.

What next?

  • The five stages of Heidi’s LEAN social impact approach are Define, Plan, Measure, Analyse and Learn.
  • Heidi’s new book, out in Autumn 2020, shares everything she knows about impact measurement and management – and how to implement it in your organisation.
  • Get your copy first! Pre-order one of the limited number of hardback versions of
    Impact First – The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Measuring, Managing and Growing Your Impact. Please click here
  • Enjoyed the podcast? Listen to other episodes here
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  • And if you are interested in being interviewed and are from an existing social enterprise creating a proven impact, please contact presenter Heidi Fisher at Make An Impact CIC