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Method

Visualise the relationships between people, teams, or agencies who could affect, or be affected by, the outcomes of a project.

Purpose

  • To identify and name stakeholders who are part of a project ecosystem. Stakeholders are individuals, teams, agencies, and partner organisations.
  • To show where there may be areas of alignment or areas of opposition between stakeholders.
  • To make the connections and associations between stakeholders tangible by visualising them.

What you get

  • A visual map of all stakeholders who can affect the project delivery and its outcomes. 
  • Information about stakeholders that will shape a research plan. Stakeholders' knowledge, networks, challenges and unmet needs can be explored via research methods.
  • An expanded understanding of the topics, issues and opportunity space.

Strengths

  • Building consensus about who the key stakeholders are, and the nature of their relationships.
  • A good way to consider and anticipate stakeholders’ concerns, needs, and expectations.
  • Complements project management tasks such as planning stakeholder involvement and communications.

Weaknesses

  • Mapping is not a solo activity. It should involve many people who know the environment, the people, and subject matter very well.
  • Without all stakeholders being in the room, a map will never be complete or comprehensive.
  • People will make assumptions about the stakeholders' needs and concerns.

Tips

Bringing stakeholders along on the journey is a core benefit of human centred design approach but often it is hard to identify who the most valuable stakeholders are within the silos of government.

Stakeholder relationship mapping is also an iterative process that is built on as you enter the discovery process and start speaking to people.

Reviewed 15 April 2020

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