Influence Mapping

Influence mapping - toolshero

This article explains Influence Mapping in a practical way. After reading you will understand the basics of this powerful project management tool.
Who are exactly involved in making important decisions and which groups influence such a decision the most? Influence Maps are visual models showing the interests of different groups and the people who influence a project or decision the most. Managers have different interests than employees and customers influence organizations differently from suppliers.
What is Influence Mapping?
As organizations deal with various public groups and stakeholders, Influence Mapping is also known as Stakeholder Influence Mapping. Apart from the stakeholders themselves, their positions and motives are important when making decisions as well as the nature, the direction of the decision and the degree of the stakeholders’ influence. It's is a core activity of stakeholder management.

Good understanding
Using Influence Maps, the strength of influence of the different stakeholders is made clear. The relationships between the different stakeholders as well their influence on each other are mapped.

This will give an organization a clear understanding of the (power) balance between all the stakeholders. Influence maps make clear that influence is not always exerted by means of traditional hierarchical lines but that other stakeholders exert influence as well.
Influence Mapping considerations
There are considerations for organizations when constructing Influence maps:

The size of the group of stakeholders and their individual, overall influence.
The relationships between stakeholders, in Influence Maps represented by the presence of lines/arrows between them.
The amount of influence stakeholders have over each other, in Influence Mas this is represented by the heaviness of the colours of the lines drawn between them.

However, influence is not static, it changes over time just like the circumstances and decisions. In a major deal there are other stakeholders involved than in a decision with which software the company is going to work. Therefore it is important to create separate Influence maps for each situation, important decision or project, so that a clear overview is created of the stakeholders at that moment.

Using this insight, the decision making process will be more effective and less time-consuming.

Using Influence Maps organizations many benefit from these sources of ...

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