What’s Stakeholder Mapping and Why It’s Important?

Understanding who the project stakeholders are is essential for a project success. Stakeholder mapping is one effective way a project manager can better learn about the stakeholders. Here we will explain what is meant by stakeholder mapping, and why it’s important.

What is Stakeholder Mapping?

Stakeholder mapping is a process of finding out the key stakeholders relating to a project. The process involves identifying all individuals who have an interest in the project outcome. A project stakeholder can be one individual or multiple individuals as in the case of large public infrastructure projects.

Once all the project stakeholders are identified, the project manager must map, or categorize them, according to different levels of engagement. Mapping of the stakeholder is done according to the following two levels.

  • thelevel of interest
  • the level of influence

By influence, it means stakeholders have power in setting and modifying project requirements.  On the other hand, interest means that stakeholders are affected by the project outcome but they do not have any power to influence project requirements.

A project manager should focus on satisfying expectations of the stakeholders who have a high level of influence relating to the project. On the other hand, stakeholders having a high level of interest need to be merely kept informed of the project status.

Mapping of shareholders is a visual exercise. You can manually map the stakeholders or use a software to perform the action.  Once you have fully mapped the stakeholders, you need to create an action plan on how to engage with them.

Now that you know what stakeholder mapping is, let’s find out why it’s important to carry on the activity.

Why is Stakeholder Mapping Important?

Stakeholder mapping is essential for the success of a project. The fact is that most projects involve a large number of stakeholders. When you have mapped the stakeholders, it will help in better managing their expectations.

Engaging with key stakeholders will also help project managers to get invaluable insights. The insights that the stakeholders will share regarding the project will prove invaluable in successful project outcome.

Moreover, actively engaging with the stakeholders will result in increased perception of success. This is because stakeholders whose expectations are micro-managed through stakeholder mapping are far likely to perceive the project as a success. 


The process of stakeholder mapping can be viewed as a form of risk management. Meeting the stakeholders’ requirement and keeping them happy will reduce the risk of a project failure. One way to keep stakeholders informed about the project status is by using an online work management software.

An online project management software will help in keeping all types of stakeholders informed regarding the project status. Looking at the project timeline, the stakeholders will know how much work has been completed, and also how much work is left. In short, using an online work management software will increase in better engagement with the stakeholders.