Topic 3: Stakeholder mapping

Stakeholder mapping is a strategic process that enables organisations to identify and analyse the various individuals, groups, and organisations that have a vested interest in a project or initiative. These stakeholders can wield significant influence, both positively and negatively, on the success and outcomes of the project. Therefore, understanding their perspectives, priorities, and levels of influence is essential for effective project planning, communication, and stakeholder engagement.

Stakeholder mapping involves systematically identifying and categorising stakeholders based on factors such as their level of interest in the project, their degree of influence, and their potential impact on project outcomes. By mapping out stakeholders in this way, organisations can develop tailored strategies for engaging with each stakeholder group, fostering collaboration, managing expectations, and mitigating potential conflicts.

Let’s begin with a stakeholder analysis:

  • Stakeholder analysis is the process of collecting information about any person that will be impacted by (or can impact) your project.
  • Conducting a stakeholder analysis will enable you to identify all your stakeholders as well as their needs and expectations.
  • Every stakeholder will have a unique view of your project and different perceptions about the change it is supposed to bring.
  • Stakeholder analysis helps you discover what your stakeholders need and expect from your project. It allows you to identify key stakeholders, the ones with a positive attitude towards your project and those who might oppose it.

Stakeholder Analysis should form part of any good project design process. If there is no stakeholder analysis requirement for the project you are trying to get funding for, it is worthwhile still doing it.

Here are some of the benefits of this process:

  • Being inclusive: By identifying and analysing your stakeholders, you obtain a clear picture of who they are and ensure all those who are impacted by your projects are considered.
  • Engaging effectively: Grouping your stakeholders based on your analysis allows you to plan targeted communications for each group, increasing your chances of positive engagement.
  • Promoting understanding and alignment: Creating communication channels facilitates for your stakeholders to understand the project goal and its benefits, building trust and helping the project get support.
  • Anticipating issues: Knowing your stakeholders helps you plan actions in advance, avoiding potential problems that could hurt the project underway.
  • Gaining insights: Your key stakeholders may share relevant opinions and views with you, which you can use to improve the project (and as an additional benefit, gain more of their support).