Video tutorial: how to build a stakeholder map with Smaply

4. October 2018

Video tutorial: how to build a stakeholder map with Smaply

Stakeholders are entities that are connected to your company by a given interest, e.g. providing you with services, products, workforce or word of mouth. This video tutorial shows how to use Smaply to visualize how stakeholders are connected to each other.

Creating a stakeholder map starts with defining its focus and picking important stakeholders and personas. The video illustrates how to show relationships between your stakeholders and how to analyze them.

Now you’re ready for creating stakeholder maps with Smaply – go and map your own product or service ecosystem (the 14-day trial is for free and ends automatically).

Get a cheat sheet on stakeholder maps to put on your desk as a reminder.

Transcript of the tutorial

Now that you’ve created a few personas or even a journey map, let’s jump into making our first stakeholder map. 

In this video tutorial we will cover how to us Smaply to: 

  1. Create different Stakeholders
  2. Show different relationships
  3. Analyze Relationships 

This is what a final stakeholder map looks like when created with Smaply.

Stakeholder maps are a type of system map. They can reveal the ecosystem of people, organizations, systems, relationships and values involved in a certain experience or product. 

This tool can be used to map out a system from a variety of perspectives.

You could use the tool to evaluate your competitors from your customer’s perspective. Or you could illustrate who the external stakeholders are that influence your business. And so forth… 

If you’re interested in the methods behind stakeholder mapping check out our methodology resources. 

But for now let’s get to creating a stakeholder map. 

On the Project Overview Page you can create a stakeholder map in two places. First, In the upper left hand corner by clicking on the concentric circles and secondly, in the middle of the page where it says stakeholder maps.

Click on one of the two and choose a title. 

In this case we are going to look at the stakeholders and factors that influence our persona Tess’ and her ability to buy coffee from Café Bean. 

It’s important to choose a focus before you develop your map. 

Once we’ve chosen a focus, we start building the map by placing my persona in the middle. 

Your persona will automatically appear in the stakeholder box. Personas are marked with three little lines, which appear on the persona’s icon.

Then I create a list of the stakeholders that influence our persona’s ability to buy coffee. To create a stakeholder you click here to assign a name, color and icon. 

You can create as many additional stakeholders as you need. 

You should now have a collection of stakeholders like this. Note — you can also create a persona profile for each stakeholder if you’d like. To do so you go to the person icon in the upper left and choose the stakeholder that you’d like to turn into a persona, click convert persona and fill in the details you desire. 

For now, let’s just focus on building out the basics of the stakeholder map. 

So once you have your list of stakeholders, you can easily arrange the stakeholders on this map with concentric circles.  

Each circle is defined by assigning a sector. So we’ve defined each sector with: A. immediate influence, B. local influence and C. system based influence. Use whatever labels make sense to structure your ecosystem and project. 

Your stakeholder map should start to look something like this. Stakeholders have certain relationships with each other. In many cases, a transaction or value exchange takes place between them. You can use icons and text to illustrate this connection.

To do this we click on the stakeholder and drag the cursor to connect the other stakeholder. We then define the relationship with an icon and text. You can customize the icon and text for each stakeholder map. 

Once you’ve completed the connections on your map, you can start to analyze those relationships. 

You can isolate relationships in the filter section and look at only relationships that involve -for example- an exchange of money. To do that you disable all of the relationship that do not apply to money by clicking on them. 

Then you can easily switch back to looking at all of the relationships by clicking show all. 

Once you’ve analyzed your map here digitally you can share it electronically or you can export to a pdf, print it and hang on a wall to analyze with your team or share it with others electronically. 

These are the basic steps of creating a stakeholder map. If you have any questions or ideas don’t hesitate to contact us. If you haven’t created a journey map yet, check out our journey map tutorial to build your first journey map. 

Isabel helps us manage our online channels and provide our users with helpful learning materials and updates. She loves learning new things, good food and snowboarding.