A stakeholder map helps make all the various people and organisations that form part of the ecosystem, visible to the team.
It is particularly useful when teams are planning research activities to help visualise and map all people and organisations that could be involved in research.
Why is stakeholder mapping important?
Having a shared knowledge of who exists in this ecosystem helps:
- Identify who you need to talk to in order to fully understand your service or situation from a range of perspectives - user, supplier, service delivery, legislative etc. This is good because a shared understanding of who your users really are, helps clarify and focus the team on the real needs you should be addressing.
- Show connections and dependencies - if you change one part of your ecosystem it is helpful for the team to know who it will impact and how, in advance - so that they can plan for change.
- Show were and who you can ask to enlist help to make changes to a service.
- Plan your coms strategy for any changes or new services you are introducing. Everyone who needs to know should be on your radar from the beginning.
You can use the stakeholder map in a number of ways - depending on what you need to know or do i.e it may be helpful in a care setting to identify all the people and organisations in the care circle around a particular individual (from family to neighbours to NHS and voluntary organisations) to ensure they are all informed of changes to systems or services and can adjust their care accordingly.
How to map stakeholders
- Start with a silent brainstorm and list all of the people and organisations who can impact on the success of the service
- Share the lists across your team, removing duplicates and adding where there are gaps
- Use the refined collated list and transfer each stakeholder onto a separate stickie
- Place the stickies on the chart and use the segments to gather stakeholders within a particular group e.g. service users, internal teams, partners, etc
- Show the level of influence of each stakeholder by placing them in order of priority, where the most important is in the centre
- Consider what motivates each stakeholder and how you will engage with them.
Hints and tips
- Be as specific as possible - name, role, department, organisation
- Identify the key stakeholders - sketch them and add a speech bubble that shares their top priority
- Colour code enablers and blockers to see where you need to do more work
- Who do we need to know more about?
- How can we gather support and motivate change? Who can help us?
- Which stakeholders are at the centre of the map can change across the duration of the project. It is helpful to review and update the stakeholder map at intervals throughout the service design process.