The Stakeholder Map helps you identify all stakeholders and their connections associated with your design challenge.


Design Thinking starts with the human in mind. The stakeholder map gives you an overview of all relevant and influencing stakeholder groups that are touched by your design challenge and provides a first guideline where you should focus your needfinding activities.

  • Moderator or coach is recommended to keep the session efficient

  • No specific team roles necessary. Everybody has the same tasks and responsibilities



  • Stakeholder Map template

  • Pen and Sticky-Notes


1.1 Formulation: Make sure that the problem statement is precisely formulated and clear to everyone


1.2 Placement: Put the problem statement in the middle of the stakeholder map.

1. Problem Statement

2. Stakeholder Identification

3. Visualization and Ordering

2.1 Stakeholder Identification: Think of as many stakeholders as possible and note them on Post-its. For example, think of users, customers, decision-makers, influencers, experts, skeptics, fans, extreme users, lead users, non-users, mis-users, partner organizations, competitors etc.


2.2 Additional Stakeholders: Also think of stakeholders behind stakeholders which might be hidden at first.


2.3 Number of stakeholders: Try to gather at least 20 stakeholders associated with your design challenge.

3.1 Visualize: Order the Post-its around the problem statement according to their importance. Post-its closest to the problem statement should be considered the most important. Ask yourself: Who is directly affected by the challenge?

3.2 Consensus: Find consensus in your team about which stakeholders are important, interesting or exclusive.

3.3 Connection: Think of the connections between the stakeholder groups and indicate them in your stakeholder map.



4. Assumptions

4.1 Make first assumptions: To enrich your stakeholder map, you can also make first assumptions on what you think might be important to each stakeholder group. This gives you a first indication on where you might start with your questions and observations in the needfinding phase.

© 2018 University of St. Gallen / ITMP