A Wardley Map is a representation of the landscape in which a business (or anything, really) operates. It consists of a value chain (activities needed to fulfill user needs) graphed against evolution (a measure of how individual activities change over time under supply and demand competition).
A map represents the shared assumptions being made about a context and hints at what strategic options are available. By developing a common language to describe a context, mapping improves communication, helps us more clearly express our intent, and invites the challenge necessary to make things better.
The process of mapping starts with Purpose — what is the “bigger picture” reason we do what we do? Moving on to Landscape, we draw a Wardley Map of the competitive environment. Next we consider Climate, the forces acting on the environment — everything that we can’t control but might be able to anticipate. Then it’s Doctrine, which includes the principles we choose to apply universally. Finally, we make decisions (Leadership) taking all the previous factors into account. Our actions take effect, and we repeat the cycle all over again.
Inventor, Wardley Maps
Motivated by the terrible effects of the strategy snake oil being pushed by consultants onto enterprises around the world, Simon released Wardley Mapping Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0. That means we are all welcome to use the method and improve upon it for others.
Simon’s background includes being CEO of Fotango, the subject about which he writes in his free book on Wardley Maps. He also served as VP Cloud of Canonical, contributing to Ubuntu’s rise to dominance in the cloud computing scene. He currently works as an Advisor and Senior Principal for the Leading Edge Forum. Learn more about Simon on his blog.
Ben has had the privilege of contributing to the accessibility and adoption of Wardley Mapping in ways ranging from assisting with the organization of Map Camp conferences to online community-building efforts to educational content production. He hopes to make it ridiculously easy for you to get started with Wardley Mapping so you can find out if it’s the right method for your situation. Below are a few select projects worth knowing about.
Workshops and Learning Experiences
Interested in bringing Wardley Mapping to your teams? Ben designs customized workshops and learning experiences to meet the specific challenges facing your organization. To arrange an interest call, please fill out the form below.