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What is Stakeholder Mapping?

Stakeholder Mapping is just as it sounds. It is a visual aid or map produced when you analyze those who have a “stake” or some level of interest in your organization or project.  It gives you a bird’s eye-view of those who have influence over, interest in or are impacted by your project or business, while allowing you to quickly visually distinguish between the levels of importance these stakeholders possess.

Why use Stakeholder Mapping?

Know “what’s at stake”. In order to better understand and address the challenges or issues that may occur in your business or project, it is vital to identify the people, organizations or even aspects that are involved on any level with your business or project. This specific type of mapping allows you to do several things that can ultimately result in a better outcome for the customer and for your business/project:

  • Focus on the individual or type of group in order to determine what would benefit them. 
  • Prioritize what would assist those who are most invested in the project.
  • View the overall picture in order to identify others who should be included on the map and also any opportunities/risks that may have been overlooked.
  • Identify beneficial relationships or partnerships between the stakeholders that could resolve issues/challenges.
  • Communicate complex information to the stakeholders as well as your team. 


While there are various types of diagrams that can be used when creating a stakeholder map, they all involve the following steps:

  1. Determine the focus of your project
  2. Create a list of Stakeholders
    1. Leave out those that do not pertain to the focus of your project
  3. Prioritize Stakeholders
    1. Categorize the Stakeholders in categories of : Essential, Important and Interested
  4. Illustrate the Stakeholders with the map
    1. The more impacted or impactful the stakeholder, the closer to the middle they should be.
  5. Sketch the Value Exchange between the stakeholders
    1. Connect the stakeholders who have a “relationship” as well as the value that is exchanged between them. This can be anything, financial, service based, emotional, etc.
  6. Analyze the Map
    1. The map can be analyzed from the customer’s perspective or from the employee’s perspective but it still should be concerning the customer experience.

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Stakeholder Maps – the What & Why (2018)

Learn about the What & Why of Stakeholder maps: This video describes what a stakeholder map is, what value it provides and how it can be used in an organization in the Smaply methods video series.

Stakeholder Mapping – How to create a stakeholder map (2018)

Learn about the basics of stakeholder maps. What is a stakeholder map? What to use a stakeholder map for? How to create a stakeholder map? In this video you get to know the basics of this method.


  • Initiate Phase



Stakeholder: Any person, organization or aspect that is impacted by, has influence over or has interest in your project or business. E.g. an employee(person), the government(organization) or digital platform(aspect).