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Stakeholder Mapping: Attributes, Examples, Template

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Stakeholder MappingStakeholder mapping, also known as stakeholder analysis or stakeholder mapping matrix, is a visual representation or tool that helps organizations identify and understand the relationships between different stakeholders involved in a project, initiative, or business. It is a method of categorizing stakeholders based on key criteria such as their level of interest, influence, or potential impact on the project.

Key Attributes

A stakeholder map typically includes key attributes that help categorize and analyze stakeholders in a visual representation. The key attributes of a stakeholder map often include:

  1. Interest:
    • Definition: The level of concern, curiosity, or involvement a stakeholder has in the project or initiative.
    • Scale: High, Moderate, Low.
  2. Influence/Power:
    • Definition: The ability of a stakeholder to affect the project’s direction, decisions, or outcomes.
    • Scale: High, Moderate, Low.
  3. Impact/Importance:
    • Definition: The potential impact a stakeholder can have on the project’s success or failure.
    • Scale: High, Moderate, Low.
  4. Support/Alignment:
    • Definition: The degree to which a stakeholder supports or aligns with the goals and objectives of the project.
    • Scale: High, Moderate, Low.
  5. Attitude/Tone:
    • Definition: The overall attitude or tone of the stakeholder toward the project, which can be positive, neutral, or negative.
    • Scale: Positive, Neutral, Negative.
  6. Communication Preferences:
    • Definition: The preferred mode and frequency of communication for each stakeholder, ensuring effective engagement.
    • Examples: Email updates, in-person meetings, reports.
  7. Role/Position:
    • Definition: The stakeholder’s role, position, or title within the organization or community.
    • Examples: CEO, Manager, Customer, Regulatory Officer.
  8. Dependencies/Connections:
    • Definition: Identifying interdependencies or connections between different stakeholder groups.
    • Examples: Supplier dependencies, collaboration between departments.
  9. Level of Engagement:
    • Definition: The extent to which a stakeholder is actively involved in the project, including participation in discussions, decision-making, or feedback sessions.
    • Scale: High, Moderate, Low.
  10. Potential Risks or Concerns:
    • Definition: Anticipating and documenting potential risks, concerns, or issues raised by stakeholders.
    • Examples: Regulatory compliance issues, negative public perception.
  11. Influence on Other Stakeholders:
    • Definition: Assessing how one stakeholder’s actions or opinions may influence other stakeholders.
    • Examples: CEO influencing employees, influential customers affecting public opinion.

These attributes are used to plot stakeholders on a visual map or matrix, helping project managers and teams gain insights into the complex web of relationships and dynamics among different stakeholders. The map facilitates strategic decision-making, communication planning, and stakeholder engagement strategies throughout the project lifecycle.

How to

Here are the key steps involved in stakeholder mapping:

  1. Identify Stakeholders: Begin by identifying all potential stakeholders associated with the project or initiative. This includes individuals, groups, or organizations that can significantly influence or be influenced by the outcomes.
  2. Determine Criteria for Mapping: Define criteria for categorizing stakeholders. Common criteria include levels of interest, influence, power, support, or potential impact on the project.
  3. Plotting on a Matrix or Map: Create a visual representation, often in the form of a matrix or map, where stakeholders are plotted based on the defined criteria. This can be a two-dimensional grid or a more complex diagram.
  4. Categorize Stakeholders: Place stakeholders into categories or quadrants based on their positions on the map. For example, stakeholders with high interest and high influence may be in one quadrant, while those with low interest and low influence may be in another.
  5. Analysis and Strategy Development: Analyze the stakeholder map to identify patterns, relationships, and potential areas of concern or opportunity. Develop tailored strategies for engaging with stakeholders in each category.
  6. Communication and Engagement Planning: Use the stakeholder map to guide communication and engagement planning. Determine how to communicate with each stakeholder group, what information is relevant to them, and how to address their concerns.

Stakeholder mapping is a dynamic process, and the map may evolve as the project progresses or as stakeholder dynamics change. It helps organizations prioritize their efforts by focusing on stakeholders who are most critical to the project’s success. Additionally, stakeholder mapping can uncover potential conflicts, alliances, or dependencies between different stakeholder groups, enabling proactive management of relationships throughout the project lifecycle.

Stakeholder Mapping: Template

Creating a stakeholder matrix involves plotting stakeholders on a visual representation based on key criteria such as interest and influence. Here’s a simple template in ppt that you can use to create a stakeholder map:

Stakeholder Mapping Template (.ppt)

Stakeholder Mapping Template: Interest vs. Influence

Stakeholder Mapping Interest vs. Influence


  1. Interest: Evaluate each stakeholder’s level of interest in the project or initiative (Low, Moderate, High).
  2. Influence: Assess each stakeholder’s influence on the project (Low, Moderate, High).
  3. Quadrants: Based on the intersection of interest and influence, place each stakeholder in the appropriate quadrant.
    • Quadrant 1: Low Interest, Low Influence
    • Quadrant 2: Low Interest, Moderate Influence
    • Quadrant 3: Low Interest, High Influence
    • Quadrant 4: Moderate Interest, Low Influence
    • Quadrant 5: Moderate Interest, Moderate Influence
    • Quadrant 6: Moderate Interest, High Influence
    • Quadrant 7: High Interest, Low Influence
    • Quadrant 8: High Interest, Moderate Influence
    • Quadrant 9: High Interest, High Influence


  • Customize the template based on the specific criteria you want to assess (e.g., power instead of influence).
  • Use color-coding or additional symbols to highlight different stakeholder groups or key insights.
  • Regularly update the stakeholder map as project dynamics evolve.

This template provides a straightforward structure for visually representing stakeholder positions. Depending on your preferences and project needs, you can adapt and expand this template to include additional attributes or details relevant to your stakeholder analysis.


Apple Inc. Stakeholder Map Matrix: Interest vs. Influence

Apple Stakeholder Mapping Example


  • Retail Customers: While they may have high interest in Apple’s products, their influence is generally considered low in the context of shaping Apple’s overall strategies.
  • Shareholders: Shareholders, having a financial interest, may have moderate influence through voting power and expectations for return on investment.
  • Tech Partners or innovators: Individuals or entities contributing to technological innovation may have high interest and some influence, particularly in terms of market trends.
  • CEO and Executives: The executive leadership team, including the CEO, holds high interest and high influence in shaping Apple’s strategies and operations.
  • Local Retailers: Retailers selling Apple products may have moderate interest but low influence on Apple’s overall strategy.
  • Employees: Employees have moderate to high interest, especially in workplace conditions and company success, with moderate influence on day-to-day operations.
  • Strategic Partners: Companies collaborating closely with Apple on various initiatives may have high interest and influence.
  • Regulatory Bodies: Government and regulatory bodies have low to moderate interest but high influence, particularly in areas such as compliance, privacy, and market regulations.
  • Local Communities: They generally have low interest and influence in the overall strategic direction of Apple.

Walmart Inc. Stakeholder Map Matrix: Power vs. Dependency

Walmart Stakeholder Mapping Example


  • Local Communities: Communities surrounding Walmart stores may have low power and low dependency on Walmart.
  • Customers: Individual customers have moderate power as a collective force, but their dependency on Walmart is generally high.
  • Small Retailers: Small retailers in the vicinity may have high dependency on Walmart but relatively low power.
  • Small Suppliers: Smaller suppliers may have low power and low to moderate dependency on Walmart.
  • Employees: Employees have moderate power, especially in terms of collective bargaining, and high dependency on Walmart.
  • Regulatory Bodies: Government agencies have high power and moderate dependency, given their role in regulating Walmart’s operations.
  • Shareholders: Shareholders have high power, particularly through voting rights, and moderate dependency on Walmart’s financial performance.
  • Industry Associations: Associations representing the retail industry may have high power but low dependency on Walmart.

This stakeholder map uses power and dependency as attributes to position stakeholders. It provides a simplified representation, and in reality, a more detailed analysis would consider additional factors and a broader range of stakeholders. Stakeholder maps are valuable tools for strategic planning and understanding the dynamics of relationships between an organization and its stakeholders.

Tesla Inc. Stakeholder Map Matrix: Collaboration Potential vs. Environmental Impact

Tesla Stakeholder Mapping Example


  • Competitors: Competitors generally have low collaboration potential with Tesla, given the competitive nature of the industry.
  • General Public: The general public may have moderate collaboration potential, particularly through consumer advocacy and feedback.
  • Local Communities: Local communities may have high collaboration potential, especially in areas where Tesla operates manufacturing plants or offices.
  • Employees: Employees have a moderate to high collaboration potential, especially in innovation and internal initiatives.
  • Shareholders: Shareholders may have low to moderate collaboration potential through supporting long-term sustainability goals.
  • Industry Regulators: Regulators have moderate collaboration potential but high influence due to their role in overseeing industry standards.
  • Research Partners: Collaborative potential with research institutions may be high, particularly in technology and innovation.
  • Environmental Groups: Environmental groups usually have high collaboration potential, given Tesla’s focus on sustainability and clean energy.
  • Governments: Governments have low to moderate collaboration potential, especially in areas related to regulatory support and incentives.

Strengths vs. Limitations

Here is a comparison of the strengths and limitations of using a stakeholder map:

Strengths Limitations
1. Visual Representation: Provides a clear visual overview of stakeholder positions and relationships. 1. Simplification: May oversimplify complex stakeholder dynamics, missing nuances.
2. Quick Understanding: Enables a quick understanding of key stakeholders and their relative importance. 2. Subjectivity: Assessment of interest and influence can be subjective and vary among team members.
3. Identification of Patterns: Helps identify patterns, connections, and potential areas of collaboration or conflict. 3. Limited Attributes: Typically focuses on two criteria (interest and influence), omitting other relevant attributes.
4. Strategic Planning: Facilitates strategic planning by focusing on stakeholders with high influence and interest. 4. Dynamic Changes: Stakeholder positions may change dynamically, requiring frequent updates to the map.
5. Effective Communication: Aids in tailoring communication strategies based on stakeholder positions. 5. Resistance to Change: Stakeholders might resist being categorized, affecting their engagement.
6. Prioritization: Supports the prioritization of stakeholder engagement efforts based on their positions. 6. Lack of Granularity: Might lack granularity for in-depth analysis of specific stakeholder attributes.
7. Enhanced Decision-Making: Contributes to informed decision-making by considering stakeholder positions. 7. Limited Stakeholder Input: Stakeholders may not have direct input into their position on the map.
8. Cross-Functional Collaboration: Encourages collaboration across different teams or departments. 8. Overemphasis on Power Dynamics: May overemphasize power and influence at the expense of other factors.
9. Adaptability: Can be adapted to different project contexts and industries. 9. Interconnected Relationships: May not fully capture the interconnected nature of stakeholder relationships.
10. Feedback Mechanism: Provides a basis for feedback loops, allowing adjustments based on stakeholder responses. 10. Static Representation: Can be perceived as a static representation, not reflecting changing stakeholder dynamics.

When using a stakeholder map, it’s crucial to consider these strengths and limitations to maximize its effectiveness in stakeholder analysis and management. Regular updates, clear communication, and collaboration among team members can address some of the limitations and enhance the benefits of using a stakeholder map.

Stakeholder Identification Matrix vs. Stakeholder Mapping

While both a stakeholder identification matrix and a stakeholder map serve the purpose of understanding and managing stakeholders, they are distinct tools with different focuses and formats. Here’s a brief comparison:

  1. Stakeholder Identification Matrix:
    • Focus: Systematically identifying and categorizing stakeholders based on key attributes.
    • Attributes: Typically includes information such as stakeholder name, interest, influence, impact, role/position, and communication preferences.
    • Format: Presented in a tabular form, organized as a matrix with rows and columns.
  2. Stakeholder Map (or Stakeholder Analysis Map):
    • Focus: Visual representation of the relationships and dynamics between stakeholders.
    • Attributes: Usually focuses on two key criteria, such as interest and influence, and plots stakeholders on a visual map or matrix.
    • Format: Presented as a graphical representation, often using a two-dimensional grid or a more complex diagram to show stakeholder positions.

Key Differences:

  • Format: The main difference lies in the format. The Stakeholder Identification Matrix is a structured table, while the Stakeholder Map is a visual representation, often in the form of a chart or diagram.
  • Attributes: While both tools capture key attributes of stakeholders (e.g., interest, influence), the Stakeholder Identification Matrix may include a more extensive set of attributes in a tabular format, providing a detailed overview.
  • Use: The Stakeholder Identification Matrix is commonly used for detailed documentation and analysis, while the Stakeholder Map is utilized for visualizing relationships, identifying patterns, and conveying a holistic understanding of stakeholder dynamics.

In practice, organizations may use both tools in conjunction. The stakeholder identification matrix can serve as a detailed reference document, and the stakeholder map can offer a visual snapshot for quick comprehension of stakeholder relationships. The choice between the two often depends on the specific needs of the project and the preferences of the project team.

Tips on How to Create a Successful Stakeholder Map

The key to creating a successful stakeholder map lies in a thoughtful and comprehensive analysis that considers relevant attributes and accurately reflects the relationships between an organization and its stakeholders. Here are key elements for success:

  1. Clear Objectives: Clearly define the objectives of the stakeholder map, specifying what you aim to achieve or understand through the mapping process.
  2. Select Appropriate Attributes: Choose relevant attributes for mapping, considering factors such as power, interest, collaboration potential, or any other criteria pertinent to your specific context.
  3. Thorough Research: Conduct thorough research to gather accurate and up-to-date information about each stakeholder, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of their roles, interests, and influence.
  4. Engage Stakeholders: Whenever possible, engage directly with stakeholders to gather insights, validate assumptions, and ensure their perspectives are considered in the mapping process.
  5. Consider Dynamics Over Time: Recognize that stakeholder dynamics can change over time. Regularly revisit and update the stakeholder map to reflect evolving relationships and circumstances.
  6. Prioritize Relevance: Focus on stakeholders that are most relevant to the organization or project. Prioritize those with higher influence and interest to streamline strategic efforts.
  7. Maintain Flexibility: Be flexible in adapting the stakeholder map to changing conditions. Acknowledge uncertainties and be open to adjusting positions based on new information.
  8. Collaborative Approach: Involve cross-functional teams and diverse perspectives within the organization to ensure a comprehensive understanding of stakeholder relationships.
  9. Communicate Clearly: Clearly communicate the purpose and outcomes of the stakeholder mapping exercise to relevant stakeholders, fostering transparency and understanding.
  10. Visual Clarity: If using a visual representation, ensure the stakeholder map is clear and easy to interpret. Use color-coding, labels, or other visual cues to enhance understanding.
  11. Integrate Feedback: Incorporate feedback from stakeholders and team members to refine the stakeholder map, enhancing its accuracy and relevance.
  12. Align with Strategy: Ensure that the stakeholder map aligns with the organization’s overall strategy, guiding decision-making and resource allocation.

In conclusion, the goal of a stakeholder map is to visually depict and analyze relationships between an organization and its stakeholders, facilitating the identification of key stakeholders, informed decision-making, strategic planning, and enhanced communication.