A stakeholder mapping template is a helpful tool for visualizing and prioritizing stakeholders’ needs. This template has been designed to help you identify how stakeholders' interests may be related to your project or business idea.
The information gathered from this mapping process will then allow you to put together a list of all relevant stakeholder needs for your project or business idea to be taken care of before starting any other work on the project. To find out who your key stakeholders are, you must create a stakeholder map template containing all the information required for this process.
Types of stakeholders
- Internal stakeholders- Internal stakeholders are those who work at the company and help to define its values. They also have a vested interest in ensuring that it succeeds. They need to be involved as they will be able to offer critical insights about what might or might not work about marketing efforts, products, and so on. They may be employees, executives, directors, managers, partners, advisers, and any other group with a stake in the business.
- External stakeholders- External stakeholders are people or organizations outside of your organization that is interested in the success of your project. These people may include investors, customers, suppliers, partners, and other interested parties. They can have a significant impact on how you do business and what your priorities are.
- Functional stakeholders- The concept of active stakeholders is crucial to understand when designing digital products. An available stakeholder is an interest in the success or failure of a product because it affects their work or life. The design should meet the needs and desires of each stakeholder while also meeting a company's objectives.
- Technical stakeholder- A technical stakeholder has a vested interest in the functionality of an organization's technology. Typically, they are not involved with day-to-day operations but are more closely tied to the solution architecture of systems. A tech stakeholder can be anyone from a vendor representative or consultant to an executive director, and their decisions have implications on the efficiency and effectiveness of any given system.
Why is stakeholder mapping critical?
- Product development- While creating a product from scratch, you need to consider the needs of stakeholders. The role of stakeholders may vary depending on the product you are building. The audience also plays a key role as stakeholders as you make a product that they will love. Build products that target and serve your audience. Brainstorm a list of potential competitors and write down market trends to stay updated.
- Focus on resources- A stakeholder map helps you identify the various people and departments that your decisions will impact to understand better how they all interact with each other. It can help you identify potential risks and assigns backup resources to deal with the impacts in the future. This will ensure projects stay on track while things are changing.
- Categorise stakeholders- You may have different types of stakeholders of various domains. With the help of stakeholder mapping, you can categorize stakeholders belonging to one entity. This will improve your communication by streamlining your channels and avoid any confusion in the future.
- Effective decision-making- Information gained from fresh minds will increase your understanding and help you make an informed decision. Taking suggestions from stakeholders will give a different approach to solving a problem, enhancing engagement and trust.
Prioritizing your project stakeholders
Categorize your stakeholders based on their power and interest in the project. Finally, there are stakeholders whose decisions may impact your project. Some may have massive interest, whereas others may not be bothered. People with high power need to be given the highest priority, while those with high interest need to be informed closely.
It would help if you had the following approaches for different stakeholders:
- High power- high interest: These stakeholders can have the most significant impact on your decision-making process. You need to match their expectations and provide regular updates by keeping them close.
- High power- low interest: These stakeholders can change the course of the project at any time. They need to be dealt with cautiously as they can misuse their power if unsatisfied.
- Low power- high interest: These people need to be regularly updated as they can provide you with helpful information. They can identify any imperfections that can have a significant impact in the future.
- Low power- low interest: Give them the least priority and don't spend more time and money on communication
Procedures for stakeholder mapping
- Brainstorming- Start identifying key stakeholders, organizations your product or service will impact, and those who influence it. Please make a list of them based on their position and interest. Use your previous data in stakeholder analysis to promote efficiency and build a better experience.
- Categorization- Once you complete the brainstorming, categorize stakeholders into different groups based on their importance and power. Use methods like the power interest matrix, salience model, and knowledge map to categorize stakeholders. The categorization of stakeholders can be done by using either the stakeholder's perspective or an organization's perspective.
- Prioritizations- Prioritize some stakeholders to create communication channels and inform the ones with the highest priority at the earliest and before the start of the project. Ask your team to cast a vote to select the best stakeholders based on their level of experience and other criteria.
- Stakeholder's communications- Once you decide your priorities come, up with communication strategies to increase engagement with stakeholders:
- Prefer face-to-face communication over virtual modes to develop trust at the initial phase of your project.
- Communicate any changes in advance before the beginning of the project because people need time to think before making a decision.
- Give stakeholders the information depending on their interest; some want an overview, whereas others want to dive deep.