Stakeholder mapping is a collaborative process of research, debate, and discussion that draws from multiple perspectives to determine a list of key stakeholders across the entire stakeholder spectrum.
The process of stakeholder mapping is very important and the quality of the process depends heavily on the knowledge of the people participating.
global vox populi stakeholder mapping phases
- identifying: listing relevant groups, organizations, and people
- The very first step in the mapping process is to understand that there is no “magic” list of stakeholders. The final list will depend on our clients business, its impacts, and their current engagement objectives—as a result it should not remain static. This list will change as the environment around you evolves and as stakeholders make decisions or change their opinions.
- analyzing: understanding stakeholder perspectives and interests
- once we have identified a list of stakeholders, we do further analysis to better understand their relevance and the perspective they offer, to understand their relationship to the issues and each other and to prioritize based on their relative usefulness for this engagement.
- global vox populi has developed a list of criteria to help our clients to analyze each identified stakeholder:
- contribution: does the stakeholder have information, counsel, or expertise on the issue that could be helpful to our client company?
- legitimacy: how legitimate is the stakeholder’s claim for engagement?
- willingness to engage: is the stakeholder willing to engage?
- influence: how much influence does the stakeholder have? (to whom they influence, e.g., other companies, NGOs, consumers, investors, and so forth)
- necessity of involvement: is this someone who could derail or delegitimize the process if they were not included in the engagement
- mapping: visualizing relationships to objectives and other stakeholders
- mapping of stakeholders is a visual exercise aided by analysis tool that you can use to further determine which stakeholders are most useful to engage with and how important is their thoughts and ideas. Mapping allows you to see how influencing are they and where these stakeholders stand when evaluated by the same key criteria and compared to each other and helps you visualize the often complex interplay of issues.
- prioritizing: ranking stakeholder relevance and identifying issues
- It is not practical and usually not necessary to engage with all stakeholders with the same level of intensity all the time. Being strategic and clear about whom you are engaging with and why, before jumping in, can help save both time and money and finally the quality insights.