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Video tutorial: How to create a stakeholder map

4. May 2017

Video tutorial: How to create a stakeholder map

Smaply methods video series. How to create a stakeholder map.

Learn about the basics of stakeholder maps.

  • What is a stakeholder map?
  • What to use a stakeholder map for?
  • How to create a stakeholder map?

Time to create a stakeholder map in a digital environment? Make use of Smaply’s 14 days trial and map your own service’s ecosystem!

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


Let’s discuss how to create a stakeholder map. First, it’s good to start with a pen and paper workshop. If you can – include different stakeholders in these workshops.These could be your customers, employees, outside organizations. There are several types of templates for stakeholder maps — we use a map with three concentric circles. Note you can always add more rings to your stakeholder map and can use this for other system maps.

There are 7 steps to follow when building out your map. 

First, the focus of your project: It’s important to articulate the focus of your project before you develop your map. For example: let’s say the scope of your project is to understand and improve the customer experience with your product.

The second step is focussing on the stakeholders: Create a list of stakeholders that are involved with your product and your customer’s experience. Ask yourself – who are the people or organizations who will influence your product? Who will influence the customer experience? Other stakeholders may come to mind, but if they don’t pertain to the focus of the map leave them out for now. You can list out stakeholders with post-its or simply write them on a flipchart. 

Third, prioritize the stakeholders: Choose a scale and determine the level importance of the stakeholders. Which of these stakeholders are essential, important or interesting to your project? They can also be based off of other scales like level of influence or level of contact and so forth….  

Fourth, illustrate the stakeholder on a map. Sketch the stakeholders on the stakeholder map according to your ranking – the more important they are, the closer they are to the middle of the chart.

Fifth, sketch the value exchange between stakeholders using arrows. What does each stakeholder provide to the other? It could be products, money, trust, love a smile, etc. Since, an exchange is usually two-ways, so you will usually need two arrows connecting the stakeholders, and stakeholders can often exchange more than one type of value.

Once you’ve built your stakeholder map, now it’s time to analyze it. You do that by taking different perspectives: one perspective you could choose it to look at the customer experience from the lense of your customer. Another perspective could be to look at the customer experience from the perspective of your employee. Test out different perspectives as you analyze the stakeholders and the relationships or value exchanges on the map. 

Lastly, save and edit your map: you can save, edit your map and share your stakeholder maps by uploading them to Smaply.  

If you’re curious how to build personas or journey maps, check out our methods resources, or our tutorials in Smaply.

Katharina takes care of marketing and communications at More than Metrics. With her background in business and psychology she loves both logical as well as empathic thinking.
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