Stakeholder mapping – a simple tool that answers many questions

I’ve just returned from running a workshop with the ‘switched-on’ people involved in the PowerHouse here in Perth.

In looking at issues relating to Stakeholder Engagement, we focused on the value of Stakeholder Mapping. Doing this shows that ‘all stakeholders’ are not equal. Just think about this for a moment in terms of an issue you need to get stakeholder input on. There’ll be some people out there who are pretty passionate about the topic. Some less so. And some who either don’t care or don’t have the time to get involved.

Stakeholder mapping helps you to identify where you should invest your time and efforts. There are a few models to use, today we used one borrowed from Dr Martin Butcher – shown below.

He’s linked the model to the levels of participation shown in the IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation.

So when you’re planning your next Stakeholder Engagement Process, work through these initial steps:

  1. Identify stakeholders affected by the issue
  2. Map out their level of interest and ability to affect the decision (power). A simple post-it note & whiteboard exercise will suffice
  3. Then brainstorm some ideas to engage these people appropriately

Once you’ve completed this initial process, start working on other aspects of the Scoping, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation phases. (More on that soon!)

And if you’ve used this approach, please let me know how it went!

Stakeholder engagement consultant Andrew Huffer



Andrew Huffer

Andrew Huffer has over 25 years experience in working with organisations, businesses, managers and communities and at a state, national and international level. He designs and delivers specialist engagement processes, with a focus on facilitating open decision making processes and skill development of clients. He has delivered presentations and workshops at a number of state, national and international conferences.

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