TLDR: Stakeholder maps help new hires understand organizational roles. The map shows who affects or is affected by their work, and highlights the importance of forging relationships with key individuals who regularly impact the new hire’s tasks.

Onboarding challenges in MOPs: The first weeks in a job involve learning new information, building relationships, and adapting to new processes. Newcomers naturally want to show the positive impact they can make. But, in a fast-paced discipline like MOPs, it’s easy to get overwhelmed without some help.

What are stakeholder maps? Stakeholder maps are great for onboarding new team members. These maps help newcomers identify their most important working relationships, learn the responsibilities of different people, and understand how they’ll interact when collaborating on projects.

What’s in this article for you? In this Tough Talks Made Easy, you’ll learn how to explain stakeholder maps to newcomers in your MOPs team. You’ll learn how to:

➡️ Understand and use stakeholder maps.

➡️ Manage relationships in MOPs.

➡️ Efficiently onboard and integrate new hires into the organization.


Stakeholder 101

MOPs professionals are often spread across many different responsibilities, interacting with teams around the organization.

Stakeholder maps visualize all the relevant stakeholders and categorize them based on their influence over and interest in each project.

Project stakeholders will fall under one of four quadrants of interest and influence. Here’s how your new colleague can interpret them:

  • Low interest, low influence: Keep a minimal level of contact throughout a project.
  • High interest, low influence: Inform with status updates as your work progresses. The project outcome impacts these people significantly, even if they don’t exert a great deal of influence over its direction.
  • Low interest, high influence: Anticipate and meet their needs as you work together.
  • High interest, high influence: Collaborate and communicate closely. Understand how their responsibilities impact the project and what they need to keep on track.

Through this framing, stakeholder maps spell out the dependencies and accountabilities for each project.

Insight that helps newcomers learn what the people around them need and how each stakeholder’s deliverables contribute to projects.


“It’s especially difficult for new hires to interpret the influencers, decision-makers, and advocates.”


In large organizations it’s especially difficult for new hires to interpret the influencers, decision-makers, and advocates. A stakeholder map trims down the org chart and onboarding docs to the key people with whom to build trust and rapport.

In a nutshell, it’s a practical guide to relationship management and the interaction of responsibilities on each project.


Navigating the map

As new hires in MOPs start working on projects, they’ll need to know:

👉 who to approach with queries

👉 who can approve decisions to keep projects moving, and

👉who can offer support and information.

When these things are unclear, miscommunications arise and tasks fall short of deadlines, bloating the project scope.


“The value of a stakeholder map is to clarify who does what on a day to day basis.”


The value of a stakeholder map is to clarify:

👉 who does what on a day to day basis

👉 who owns which responsibilities around the business, and

👉 which stakeholders people can expect to coordinate and collaborate with in various scenarios and across projects.

By making this information accessible, stakeholder maps encourage people around the company to communicate fluidly and mitigate risks to project success.

For new hires in particular, having a resource to handily digest this information will help them quickly settle in and start making an impact.

Your new colleague wants to know the most important people to meet and processes to learn first. Encourage them to focus on the key people they’ll be working with on a regular basis, whose interests are closely tied to their tasks and whose responsibilities and decisions significantly influence their workload.

Once new hires know their immediate surroundings, you can gradually build out and discuss more tertiary people and processes, but the most impactful and interested people on the map are the most helpful to prioritize.


Confident on-boarding

When you’re new to a role or workplace, it can be daunting to make sense of all the new processes and relationships.

Stakeholder maps are a great source of guidance for any new MOPs hire.

Maps help them navigate through the nuances and structures of your organization and build strong relationships around the workplace with the people most relevant to their work.

By using stakeholder maps, your new colleague can settle in with confidence and start contributing to success.

Get in touch for more guidance with onboarding new hires or project managing for success.