These maps are used to identify the influential persons inside the institution. Here, the effect is different from the functional grade or position, as the map varies from one project to another and is drawn according to its set target as the map of power to serve the dealers is different from the map of power for the process of the internal audit. The influencers in the first one are different as people from the second one and vary in their degree of influence. We can find the same person in more than one map, but with varying effect degrees.
To draw a map of power, the following steps should be followed:
- To identify the title of the map that you will draw and the participating staff with you to accomplish it. You can draw the map alone or through a group exercise including members of the team. The title of the map is usually one of the existing processes in the institution or a new project.
- To create a list of all the persons who will be included in the map. This is done depending on your experience and your knowledge of the organizational structure and the distribution of the tasks and the responsibilities.
- To write each name of the list in one box, taking care of leaving spaces between the boxes drawn and the map can be drawn on regular paper or through the computer.
- To draw the relationships of each employee with the other ones whose names on the map by using two choices, either he is “influential” or “influenced”. In case he is influential on a particular employee, an arrow is drawn going from the influential employee to the influenced one. It is unallowable to draw a two-way arrow, but it is necessary to give priority to one of the two qualities by using your experience and your knowledge of the institution and the persons.
- To count the number of influential and influenced cases of each employee on the map and to write them next to his name.
- To identify the most influential employee as he is the main player on the subject of the map drawn. It is usually given priority for the main influencers to communicate and get feedback.
- There are several benefits for the maps of power as they help to identify the specified persons for your project. You can increase chances of their approval or support by looking at the other people on the map who affect on the specified ones and take the appropriate steps to deal with them.
The maps can be used in an advanced way by placing marks on the arrows among the employees to represent the impact strength or vulnerability. This results in more accurate maps, but at the same time in a high degree of complexity. So as to avoid this complexity, the map includes a limited number of names of no more than twenty names and focuses on relationships of the strong and neglects the weak ones. The maps of power can also be used in a different context, for example, if we want to study the factors of influence among number of elements that surround a certain problem.
Finally, it should be noted that the maps of power are usually a critical document and should be particularly and carefully dealt with because sharing it with the inappropriate employees can cause negative effects.