20 Free Stakeholder Map Templates (Excel, Word, PDF)

free stakeholder mapping template

A stakeholder map template is an important tool used to make some essential factors for establishing the success of a project. These essential factors are stakeholder management and stakeholder engagement. You should create a stakeholder map after determining all of the project stakeholders to group them according to their varying engagement levels.

What are stakeholders?

A person with a stake in your project is known as a stakeholder. Moreover, a stakeholder can be anyone who can either make or break your project. They are usually categorized into the following groups;

Sponsors:

These are the individuals who begin a project. They collect resources and place people in charge of getting a project done. They are responsible for the project’s requirements. If any of the requirements modify then they have right to direct the project as needed.

Project team:

The project team is responsible for executing a project and making it sure of its completion. These are the people who think solutions to a project’s requirements.

Reference group:

Project team takes suggestion from these people so that they can arrive at the best solution. They also assure that this solution works.

Users:

They are the individuals who will benefit from the project solution. You may also like Communication Plan Template.

Different types of stakeholders:

You should understand the different types of stakeholders in order to create your stakeholder map. Every project has both external and internal stakeholders. Let us discuss them below in detail;

Internal stakeholders:

The people who will participate in establishing your product or delivering your project are known as internal stakeholders. However, their engagement level may vary. Also, they all have some level of impact as they are part of your company. Some examples of these people are;

  • CEO or C-Level Executive
  • Designer
  • Developer
  • Product Owner
  • Project Manager

External stakeholders:

External stakeholders are the individuals who will get affected by your project or product. These people aren’t able to participate directly in it. Some examples of these people are;

  • Creditors
  • Customers
  • Shareholders
  • Society
  • Suppliers

What is stakeholder mapping?

Stakeholder mapping is the process of identifying the key stakeholders in your project. It includes the determining of all the people who have an interest in the outcome of your project. A stakeholder can either be an individual or several people. When you have identified the entire project stakeholders, it’s time to create a stakeholder map template. On the levels of interest and levels of impact of your stakeholders, you will base your stakeholder chart.

Furthermore, level of interest refers to the stakeholders that get affected by the outcome of your project. But they don’t have the authority to influence the project requirements. While level of influence means the stakeholders that have power to set and change the project requirements. You should pay attention to the areas that satisfy the expectations of your stakeholders who have powerful influence in your project.

In addition, stakeholder mapping is considered as a visual exercise. It’s up to you either map your stakeholders manually or you can use software to do this. After mapping your stakeholders, you have to make an action plan for how to engage with them.

Stakeholder mapping is presented as a graph with two axes. On the x-axis, there are the stakeholders that have the levels of influence while the y-axis indicates the levels of interest of the stakeholders. The quadrant of this map is used to identify the frequency, types, and intensity of engagements your project needs.

How to create a stakeholder map?

You can create a stakeholder map in several ways. However, it depends on how complex your product or project is. If you are dealing with a number of external and internal stakeholders then it is suggested you to prioritize them. This is a part of creating a stakeholder map. Below are the steps that you should follow to build a highly effective map;

Brainstorming:

At first, determine all of your potential stakeholders. This means you have to identify the people, organizations, and groups that will get affected by your project or product. Identify those who will have an influence over your project or product or those who have a concern or interest in its success.

Then, go to your company’s whiteboard or a shared space like a Google sheet and list all of the names. At this stage, you have to be as detailed as possible.

Categorization:

Next, you have to classify the results of your brainstorming session. You should answer the following questions here;

  • Which stakeholders you have to place into a single category?
  • What name will you provide this category?
  • Did you forget any kinds of stakeholders?

You must check the types of stakeholders in order to make sure that you didn’t forget about any of the essential players.

Prioritization:

You have to prioritize the key stakeholders. Then, before you start to create a plan for communication, ensure to start speaking with them early in the project. You can prioritize your stakeholders in various ways. To decide how to define the key players, you can use a matrix or you can ask your team to vote.

Stakeholder communications:

Now, you have to think of a plan to engage all of your major stakeholders. There is no standard procedure to generate accountability and transparency for your project. However, there a few practical tips that may help you;

  • With highly-interested and high-power individuals, you should have plenty of face-to-face communication. It is important to develop trust with this group for the success of your project.
  • You should communicate frequently and early is also essential.
  • To give each of the stakeholders with enough information on the basis of their level of interest.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, a stakeholder map template is an effective tool that represents the relationship between your stakeholders and your company or project along with the potential evolution of the relationship in the future. It also indicates the effect stakeholders have on your company as well as the effect your company may have on the stakeholders.

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