Sunday, 28 February 2010

Stakeholder Map

Stakeholder maps (somestimes called political maps) can be a very powerful way of assessing the people change risks of a programme. This map provides two axes on which to place people according to how much power they have (y-axis) and to what extent they are for or against the programme (x-axis). Note that this model is drawn from the perspective of someone trying to execute the programme and make it a success; so the people for the program are considered useful (green) and those against it are considered harmful (red). The idea is to identify your main advocates and detractors and how they are influenced by others in order to determine how to manage change.One way of using such a map is as follows:

  1. Place people on the chart according to their power and behaviour (the degree to which they are for or against the programme)
  2. People against are harmful, so should be red. Right click each to set this
  3. People for are useful so should be green. Right click each to set this
  4. Draw 'produces' arrows from supporters or influencers to those they support/influence
  5. Draw 'counteracts' arrows from between people who influence each other but have opposite opinions
  6. Use this to inform your stakeholder alignment strategy

These steps are shown in the blue actions boxes on the diagram itself. You may also wish to draw 'is-a' arrows from people to the stereotype you believe the exhibit. If you were to later write any creativity rules to help you come up with strategies for dealing with the different kinds of people, this information could be useful as you would take quite different approaches with someone who is merely a cynic from someone who is a saboteur.

Your stakeholder map will not necessarily have people at all of these levels of power or advocacy. The stereotypes are provided to help characterise the behaviour of people in a more specific way than for and against. This lends itself to providing a better assessment of the likely outcomes of the change and the interventions that may be necessary to assure success.

The sterotypes are briefly characterised here:

Opponent - someone who is openly and directly opposed to the initiative
Saboteur - someone who will use their every waking breath to kill the initiative (not necessarily openly; they could be as powerful as a direct opponent but this is less likely)
Cynic - verbal sabotage (but not physical - How powerful they are can be increased depending upon who listens to them)
Skeptic - someone who doubts that the initiative will succeed, but is generally willing to give it a hearing
Silent Doubter - someone who has doubts, but keeps quiet so they are not apparent to others
Not Involved - either someone who doesn’t know about the initiative or someone who should not be involved in it at all (they could still potentially be converted to be for or against)
Observer - watches what is going on in the initiative, but takes no action (perhaps until they make their mind up, or until someone involves them)
Follower - takes part in the initiative but only because they follow the crowd (they could be at risk of swaying against the initiative if there were more doubters than supporters)
Active Participant - takes a full and proactive part in the initiative
Advocate / Change Agent - has no direct accountability for or involvement in the initiative, but senior or influential, so can promote it. There are many influential people who are not senior. Its important to take account of the unofficial (but very real) power/influence hierarchy as well as the official control hierarchy.
Champion - has an official role in driving the initiative and is directly involved in demonstrating the value of the initiative. They may be responsible for a workstream or for providing leadership of some kind.
Sponsor - the person who owns the initiative or whose personal success depends on it

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