What is Stakeholder Mapping?

Summary: In Service Design and Inclusive Design, stakeholder mapping is pivotal in achieving internal collaboration and buy-in. With a clear understanding of stakeholders and their needs, businesses can enhance customer experiences, streamline communication, and mitigate risks effectively. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of stakeholder mapping and provide practical insights to ace this critical aspect of your service or product development process.

The foremost step in stakeholder mapping is identifying all individuals, groups, or organizations with vested interests in your service. To begin with, you want to identify internal stakeholders, such as senior managers, employees, and channel partners. Next, you can include external ones, like customers, suppliers, and regulatory bodies. Note: This can be done in conjunction with Ecosystem mapping.

Identifying Stakeholders: The First Step Towards Success

As you identify stakeholders, pausing and conducting a Stakeholder Analysis to assess their power level is useful. Keep reading below… After you have this, you can finish plotting them on your stakeholder map.

The point of the stakeholder map is to plot your internal Influencers and Key Players. Bear in mind, as Giordano and colleagues (PDF) Milano Politecnico suggest, the stakeholder map is a tool for conversation.

Having identified your stakeholders, the next logical step is to analyze their power level as defined by influence and interest. You can prioritize your efforts by understanding these dynamics of high-influence stakeholders and their investment in project outcomes.

Strategies for Identify Stakeholders

First, start with a Stakeholder Analysis template (Miro example).

miro stakeholder analysis template

On your Stakeholder Analysis, you will plot the following power dynamics variables: (feel free to edit the templates you get from Miro or Mural). Note: After you map the Influence dynamics, you can assemble your Stakeholder map.

High Power, High Interest: Collaborative Involvement

Stakeholders with high power and interest demand close involvement and collaboration. Regular updates and two-way communication are essential to keep these key players informed and engaged throughout the service design process.

High Power, Low Interest: Strategic Communication

On the other hand, high-power, low-interest stakeholders require strategic communication. Periodic updates and minimal involvement ensure they remain informed without overwhelming them.

Low Power, High Interest: Keeping them Informed

For stakeholders with low power but high interest, regular newsletters or periodic communications will suffice. Keeping them in the loop is essential to maintain their interest and support.

Low Power, Low Interest: Minimal Engagement

Stakeholders with low power and low interest need minimal engagement unless their situation changes. Effective stakeholder mapping allows you to identify this category and avoid unnecessary efforts.

The Importance of Ongoing Monitoring and Adaptation

Service design is dynamic, and so are your stakeholders. Continuously monitoring and reassessing your stakeholder map is crucial to ensure your service remains aligned with their evolving influence.

Crafting the Stakeholder Map

With your Influencers and Key Players identified, now create a stakeholder map visually representing relationships between the project and stakeholders. Utilizing a matrix with influence on one axis and interest on the other, stakeholders fall into distinct categories, guiding your engagement strategies.

Miro stakeholder map example

>Looking for a template? Try searching Miro or Mural (there are plenty more out there)

Conclusion

Stakeholder mapping is a fundamental aspect of effective service design. By understanding the interests and influence of your stakeholders, you can create more productive workshop sessions, streamline decision-making, and mitigate potential risks of stakeholder sabotage. Embrace stakeholder mapping to identify key players and tailor your workshop strategies to improve success in collaboration.

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