How to measure impact and outcomes with 3 common mistakes to avoid – with Heidi Fisher

Podcast - Heidi Fisher - Impact Diaries interview

When are your prime opportunities to capture data? In part three of The Impact Diaries, Heidi Fisher describes her approach to measuring your impact – the central stage of the LEAN social impact approach.

If you’ve planned effectively then measuring your impact is easy, she says – but if you haven’t this is where everything goes wrong.

Heidi describes how a client sought to measure six key outcomes – having both defined and planned well. This organisation provides multiple services for adults with physical or learning difficulties.

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.


    • 1:00 Quick recap: why you must complete stages one and two before you start measuring
    • 1:40 Heidi worked with a client running adult day care centres and home help for adults with physical or learning difficulties and providing a range of diverse services
    • 2:15 What was the biggest issue for this client in terms of measurement? How did the organisation address this?
    • 3:00 This client’s stakeholders and key outcomes
    • 5:04 Heidi’s approach to physical measurement
    • 5:50 The Brick Wall Philosophy, how it applies to this specific organisation, and enables staff members to measure the right things
    • 8:00 What is the Impact Pitch?
    • 9:57 Aside from skipping the planning stage, what are the most common mistakes made in the ‘Measure’ stage? Heidi explains how to avoid these pitfalls
    • 12:04 How this process helped this particular organisation and its stakeholders
    • 13:50 The five stages of Heidi’s LEAN social impact approach are Define, Plan, Measure, Analyse and Learn

Divider BarHeidi explains how her ‘brick wall’ philosophy means impact measurement is embedded into everything an organisation does – and what that looks like in reality for this organisation.

She covers how using the ‘Impact Pitch’ makes you focus on the crucial questions to ask to capture your impact.

And she describes three common ways in which measuring and capturing your impact can go wrong and how to avoid them.

What next?

  • 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
  • If you use a podcast directory like Apple Podcasts, please leave a review or rating – it helps other people discover the wonderful work of my guests
  • 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