A visual representation of stakeholders — the people who are involved — and their potential influence and impact on a project or service system, in comparison to one another.
To uncover and describe power dynamics — the often-unspoken balances of influence and control — that could impact project outcomes; prioritize which stakeholders to engage with and how, and inform a communication and engagement approach.
How to do it
- Gather the team and, ideally, at least one crucial stakeholder familiar with their organization and how it works from both a technical and an interpersonal point of view.
- If meeting in person, you’ll need sticky notes and a whiteboard; if meeting remotely, use a virtual whiteboard or tools that support online document collaboration, ideally simultaneously.
- Divide the whiteboard into four areas, as a grid. Label the x axis influence and the y axis interest.
- List out stakeholders together. Write down names of people, groups, communities, or organizations that your work may impact, and organize them into the four quadrants based on your understanding of their relative influence and interest.
- Look at each quadrant to sort who to engage with and how:
- interested and influential - collaborate with them
- either influential or interested - keep them informed
- neither influential nor interested - allow them to drive their own involvement
- If your map reveals power dynamics that route around policy, consider whether the information poses personal or professional risk to any stakeholders. Avoid possible harm by sharing this map with only the people who need to understand it, and consider the consequences of those you do share with — or share an edited version.
- Review and update the map as you understand the situation better.
Considerations for use in government
No PRA implications. No information is collected from members of the public.