Everything you need to know about What is Stakeholder Mapping

The business world is complex, and you need to learn tactics to get everything right when you are working on a project. The projects are not easy to tackle, but the project manager needs to have the skills to communicate with the team and stakeholders.

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Before we go for the learning about what is stakeholder mapping, we need to know who the stakeholders are? The most important people for the existence of a business or who have invested in the business are stakeholders. When looking for stakeholder mapping, the definition of stakeholders must be part of this learning to understand their impact on business. 

The stakeholders are the people who greatly influence the project and the team working on it. These are stakeholders who decide the project's terms, budget, and deadlines, which may be a manager, investor, or the CEO. 

What is stakeholder mapping?

As the map of land helps us find out the ways by using the right directions, similarly, learning about stakeholder mapping will help you find the right stakeholder. The stakeholder mapping process includes the methods to find out stakeholders regarding the nature of the project. 

The stakeholder mapping visualizes the process of the project you will be following and the expected outcomes. The project stakeholders can be one or multiple that directly influence the project's results and the interest level. Stakeholders mapping is an important process that requires huge attention and wise decision-making power. 

The stakeholders of a project can be project managers, investors from any other organization, or people who directly launch the product. To understand what is stakeholder mapping, you should look purposely for a manual procedure or go with software to work for you. The project manager is responsible for mapping out the stakeholder after observing the important parameters. 

Categories of stakeholders

When you are planning a product to launch or want to work on some major project to bring about reforms or something very excited, you need support. The required force may be financial or advisory, or influential. So, depending on the nature of the project, the stakeholder mapping requires different methods of mapping out. You can choose two types of stakeholders:

Internal stakeholders 

The stakeholders are influential as they are usually the organization's own team members who will be managing the project with their professional skills. The internal stakeholders must also include the investor, usually the CEO of the company or organization, while others are doing different jobs. The internal stakeholders include project managers, designers, the CEO, and the owner. 

External stakeholders

On the other side, the project is also influencing some other people to suppose for those your company is manufacturing the products or doing this project. The external stakeholders can also be part of your company's team for some time and help you achieve your project target. 

Understanding of critical procedure of stakeholder mapping  

The best thing you will learn during understanding is stakeholder mapping which is choosing the right people for the right purpose. You may be choosing the people for your project by looking into the following categories. 

Type of product 

When you are planning to launch a product, you need to look for different stakeholders depending on the type of product. The type of product defines the stakeholders you are grabbing for different roles. The stakeholders can belong to different groups even the consumers or users are the stakeholders. Other types of stakeholders include executors, marketers, investors, and suppliers.

Market targeting 

When you are looking for the tactics to perfectly penetrate the market, you need to look for some special group of stakeholders. So, for market penetrating purposes, your best stakeholders are your customers and retailers.

Project starter 

It is not possible that all owners have the skills to run a project, but they need to include some influential people in their team. The project starter stakeholder groups may include the project managers, investors, developers, or designers. 

What steps do you need to follow for doing stakeholder mapping?

When you have understood what is stakeholder mapping and how it plays an important role in all aspects of managing the project, you need to focus on the way to lead this mapping. 

The stakeholder mapping process includes the identification of potential stakeholders, analysis, and categorization of stakeholders leading to prioritization. These steps help a manager to choose the best stakeholders for his project and then lead it in the right direction. 

Identification of potential stakeholders 

In the business world, business entities are launching different projects. Some projects are easy to launch and do not need some special assistance, and the internal team can manage them efficiently. But sometimes, the project's nature and level are too complex that a project manager needs to think about different aspects and make a new team consisting of some external people.

By looking into the objectives of the project, the project manager looks for the stakeholders who are suitable for getting the expected outcomes. 

Analysis of stakeholders 

The second step of stakeholder mapping is to figure out the potential of stakeholders to check whether their skills or the needs match your project or not. Analysis of the stakeholders will help you to target the right stakeholders and decide their compatibility with the project. By doing analysis, you can track the outcome that whether you can keep them engaged or not. This step of stakeholder mapping also lets you know how much influence the stakeholders have on your project. 

Categorization of stakeholders 

The next step is much crucial as you create groups of the stakeholders according to their roles and purposes in the project. The professionals use four quadrants to categorize the stakeholders along the x-axis and y-axis. In these four quadrants, you will be able to categorize the stakeholders in the right group. 

You can categorize the stakeholders from low to high influence from bottom to top. It also shows the interest level by moving from left to right as low to higher interest. This step is interlinked with the second step as you will be putting the names of stakeholders by looking at the list of stakeholders you have made after analysis. 

Prioritization of stakeholders 

After the second and third steps, you are much clearer about the importance and need of the stakeholders for your project. After categorizing the stakeholders, you are on the point to prioritize them accordingly. You can choose the best time to land the relevant stakeholder on the map of your project, and it is highly encouraging for making a project successful. 

Communication with stakeholders

The last but most important part of the stakeholder mapping is to communicate with stakeholders. After mapping out stakeholders' categories, you should look for proper communication to keep them engaged. By using the different mediums, you can communicate with relevant stakeholders to listen to what they want and what they don't want. It is best to communicate with the stakeholders initially to avoid serious problems. 

How does stakeholder mapping bring advantages to a project manager?

As a project manager, you will be dealing with different obstacles, and you need to manage all these by entertaining the stakeholders. After going through everything you need to know about what is stakeholder mapping, you will understand its importance for a project manager. Following are some prominent advantages of stakeholder mapping.

Identify the influential level of the person.

When a project manager is planning a project, he needs a team to assist and a target marketplace for selling the product he is going to make after the completion of this project. The project managers can categorize the stakeholders after defining their roles and purposes for the project.  

To seek lavish resources. 

It is not easy for a project manager to find out the resources that he or his team will be using during the project. The stakeholder mapping method will help the project manager to seek lavish resources by knowing their needs and wants. 

Development of a proper plan 

As defined earlier, the customers and users are also stakeholders of a project. So, when preparing the products during your project completion, you need to understand the needs of stakeholders. It will help you to develop a plan so you can perfectly design the product. 

Takes your focus to the person who can get maximum benefit 

The prioritization steps of the stakeholder mapping help you to categorize the stakeholders according to the level of influence and interest. This will help the project manager to grab the stakeholders with maximum benefits. 

Improvement in communication 

Stakeholder mapping improves communication with the relevant stakeholders as the project manager has mapped out the occasion where he needs to communicate. Everything is planned if you follow the stakeholder mapping method in the right way. 

Understanding of stakeholder's expectations 

Without stakeholder mapping, you are unable to understand their expectations. So, when investing in a project, you need to do stakeholder mapping so that you can know from which group they belong and what their expectations are. 

Conclusion 

It is important to know everything about what is stakeholder mapping, to prepare the products according to the expectations of the stakeholders.

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