Having a stakeholder map template is a critical tool for any project or business owner to understand the key stakeholders they must interact with. Recently when I joined a new company I utilized a stakeholder map to understand the importance of the different stakeholders within the company. It provided me with the information on who I need to meet one to one, who I should try keep informed, what are their interests and how can they affect my project positively or negatively.
Firstly, do you know what a stakeholder is?
Stakeholders are individuals (or groups) that can either impact the success and execution of a product or are impacted by a product. The first “upstream” category includes everyone who must contribute to or approve of the activities required to design, build, and bring the product to market. The second “downstream” batch includes both those who purchase or use the product, as well as those who must support, sell, and market it.What is a Stakeholder? | Definition, Strategies, and Overview (productplan.com)
Simply a stakeholder is an individual you need to work with during the project or product or process. There are two types of these stakeholders you need to be familiar with.
Internal Stakeholder: The people who work within your company. Your colleagues, your boss, their boss, customer support, the receptionist, people working in your companies shop. When tryin to identify stakeholders use artefacts such as company organization charts, speak to people within your department to help you.
External Stakeholders: The customers and external agencies such as suppliers of goods. It can also be a bank clerk, investors, competitors. When trying to identify external think who will use the product, who will it effect. Ask who in the community is interested in this? Are there any third parties who I need to interact with or are interested in this?
Once you have completed identifying stakeholders the next step is to start ranking them. I create a list of all stakeholder in a table and start brainstorming all sorts of stakeholders. Ideally you want to eliminate as many low interest, low power people as possible so you can focus on key stakeholders you should engage with.
|Type||Stakeholder||Interest (1-3)||Influence (A-C)|
|Internal||James (Marketing Manager)||1||A|
The next step is to start mapping the stakeholders visually. If you have created a table ranking them already this step is a lot easier and more of a job of visualizing to double check and make it clear for others more than anything else. It can also help categorize the various stakeholders by drawing further pictures of what the stakeholder groups are. The main benefit of a stakeholder map is to get a visual representation of all the people who can influence your project and how they are connected. You have a variety of tools available to help you.
List of Free Stakeholder Map Templates
We have gathered a list of the top free templates you can use but sometimes it simply comes down to what tools are you familiar using. If you don’t have a Microsoft license you would be better using an online tool or google free tools. If you are not tech savvy just look for a PDF that you can print and use physically.
Microsoft Word Stakeholder Templates
- TemplateLab: Free Stakeholder Map Template
- StakeholderMap: Download free Word template
Powerpoint Stakeholder Templates
- Slideteam: Requires sign up to download the ppt
- 24Slides: Sign up free to download
- StakeholderMap: Free download zip file
- WordLayouts: Free download zip file
Google Slides Template
- SketchBubble: 2 colour themes to choose from.
Online Tools to Create Free Stakeholder Templates
This list of online tools have a collection of maps for you to use easily. For cresting stakeholder maps in particular this is my prerefence:
- Visual Paradigm Online – No signup required just edit very easily straight away.
- LucidSpark: Use a stakeholder map to plan communications with stakeholders based on their role and interest in your project.
- Miro: Understand the people who have influence over your projects, so you can get their support.
- Moqups: Stakeholder mapping template will help you identify, prioritize, and understand your project’s key stakeholders
- Mural: This template helps minimize confusion of who is who, provide clarity of responsibilities, and ultimately catalyze a transition for stakeholders from strangers to collaborators.
- Milanote: By visualizing people on this matrix will make it easier to see where everyone fits on your project, and the level of communication you should be delivering to each person
Stakeholder Mapping Step by Step Instruction Video
@Lauren Kress, The Business Scientist explains the role of stakeholders in this short video on stakeholder mapping. Learn how to identify the people who will be affected by what you say and do (they have an interest in your activities) – and who will have an affect on what you can say or do (they have influence on your activities) and find a place for them on your stakeholder map.
Benefits of Stakeholder Mapping
The benefits teams can enjoy when the stakeholder mapping techniques include:
- Shared understanding of the key players
- Create team level communication and engagement strategy.
- Prioritizing stakeholders according to their roles.
- Avoid stakeholders feeling unheard.
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