1. Inputs/Outputs Chart:

Consider the given case study

If the project were a “black-box”…:

  • what would the inputs be (from own resources, vendors, customers, municipalities, authorities, other institutions, environment , commons…)?
  • What would the outputs be (tangible deliverables to customers, own business, environment, local communities, vendors, other…)?
  • What would the impact of the deliverables be, what value would be generated (on own/customer/vendors business, on users, on environment, on communities…)?

2. Elements of the (Eco)System:

the “String of Pearls”

Consider the given case study and build the “String of Pearls” by breaking down the following elements:

The project’s “System” includes both what is “in” and what is “around” the project:

  • Roles: not the people, but the functions (for example: Project Manager, PMO, Product Owner, Steering Committee, Roll Out Team, Customer PM, customer marketing, …?
  • Value delivering elements: what work is/will be ongoing (high level of the WBS, features level in a PB, Management, Controlling…)
  • Other value processes: what (often still unclear) processes will be running (legal, procurement, consulting, financial, compliance, QA, QC, …)?
  • Finally bring in the Inputs and the Impact/Value elements from the previous exercise.
  • Connect the elements around the circle.


  • Do you see which element is Stock, which is Flow?
  • Which connections are positive/negative?


3. System’s based Stakeholder Analysis:

1. Consider the “String of Pearls” categories, and following the traditional definition of “Stakeholder” (i.e. very broad: all those impacted or impacting):

  • Brainstorm about who is a stakeholder in each category,
  • Rank these stakeholders, in the Influence Map, by your (i.e. the Project Manager’s) ability to influence them (directly, indirectly, through the system, or not at all),

2. For each stakeholder consider their:

  • Values & Incentives – What is important for them? What are they assuming? What is their paradigm or reference model? What motivates them? How do they obtain resources? How are they “safe”?
  • Power – The potential to influence, it may or may not be expressed and used. What are the sources (legitimate, reward/penalty, charisma, expert, referent…)


4. Bringing it all together: mapping the System:

Consider the: Inputs/Outputs, the String of Pearls, the Influence Map, (and if completed also the Value and Power inference). Now that you have investigated the system:

  1. Find the bottleneck (delay point, or the weakest link in the chain)
  2. Prioritize the biggest bottleneck with 80/20
  3. Start from there and build the flow diagram

Connect the points, which are positive which negative, how are the loops closed? Can you identify archetypes as they form?