The need for a practical, usable approach to visualizing many different stakeholder communities has led to the development of a range of listing and mapping techniques by academics, consultants and businesses over the years. These approaches trade the richness of data available under the CRM approach
for a holistic view of the whole stakeholder community and largely ignore the complex network of relationships considered in CRPR and the other network theories outlined above for a simpler consideration of ‘importance’ in some form. Obviously the ‘importance’ of a stakeholder is directly associated with his or her ability to influence the project through their network of relationships; the difference in the analysis is in the way this is assessed. All of the mapping techniques discussed above use a qualitative perception of a stakeholder’s ‘importance’ rather than a quantitative analysis of the influence networks and relationships surrounding the stakeholder to determine an absolute value for that person’s ‘importance’.
In Sweden, there is a data collected about stakeholders as maps – tabular, graphical or pictorial has been adopted by researchers and consultants from the earliest studies. The key element of an effective mapping process is as far as possible to replace subjectivity with objective measures and to make the assessment process transparent. This transparency will allow the basis of any assessment to be clearly understood by others and will facilitate review and updating as appropriate.