Issue 10

Wardley Mapping is the anti-consultant. My goal is for you to not need me anymore.

 — Ben Mosior

Welcome to Mapping Maps! Here's curated for you the best of last month's stuff on mapping.

Pre-Mortems with Maps

Off the beaten track is Simon Wardley's series on the complex topic of mapping culture. There are lots of idea to digest as the posts covers many topics from communication to values to rituals.

One idea from the series that resonated the most with me is the fusion of Pre-Mortems and Wardley Maps. This post in the series shares the story of an organization where it was far more effective to challenge ideas when visualized through a map. Rather than hiding behind the "fog of long powerpoint presentations and a well spoken narrative."

"One of my favourite aspects of maps is that I can put an idea (even mapping itself) onto a map. When I discuss with others, rather than it being my idea vs your idea, we can argue about the map as the idea is right there in front of us. It de-personalises the whole discussion."

Check more on the subject here and here.

Adjacent Unexplored

A yin yang view offered by Simon Wardley on how efficiency and commoditization of components in one area enables experimentation and innovation in another. Also, a great example of using appropriate methods based on the context.

"Do remember that these areas are connected. As things evolve (whether physical, process, data, knowledge or even value) to more industrialised forms (commodity, accepted, enshrined in law) they enable higher order systems, the adjacent unexplored to then evolve itself."

Mapping Teams

More ideas on how to organize teams based on attitudes (PST), areas of focus vs outsourced components, re-training and so on.

Choosing Your Battles Wisely

In his fascinating reply to a question on Serverless, Slobodan shares an insightful real world story of building a product with absolute focus on the value delivered to the users. Illustrating with Wardley Maps, he shows the significance of opportunity cost given the challenge of limited resources -

"There’s no such a thing as infinite resources, but even with a very limited resources you can move far in 3 years if you focus on the right things. What could a product become in 3 years? Let me get a Wardley map."

Mapping Infosec

Mario Platt maps out his ideas on improving communication around security aspects in an organisation and making security a business enabler. The solutions and actions proposed - Threat Taxonomy, Security Style guide, Traceability and so on - revolve around the doctrine of "adopt common language”. 

It's a brilliant write-up that makes the subject matter really approachable as Mario talks in the language of maps. Makes it very easy to visually note on the map how each offered solution affects the problem space.

Now, this is a really interesting job description -

"Remembering that a key aspect of our job in 2019 (some can argue, but this is how I like to view my work too) is to help “keep our directors out of jail”. What I mean by this, is that we need to ensure records exist of the different options presented and work with the business to find appropriate ways to reduce risk in a cost effective way, and that those options can later be reviewed to evidence the due diligence performed."

On Business Change

I really enjoyed this podcast hosted by Rachel Murphy in conversation with fellow mapper Dinis Cruz. It's a conversation with so many takeaways on communication, security, open source and a variety of other topics. Of course, it's not long before the two begin discussing about Wardley Maps - 

"When you design something effectively, it just works, it feels natural. So a good example is where you can present something to somebody in a meeting or a session on a workflow. It's almost as if they didn't realize what you just did, which is a blessing and a curse. So ironically, some of the most effective use of maps I've used, nobody realized that we were looking at a Wardley Map."

State of Agile Using Wardley Maps

Philippe Guenet with a pragmatic introductory talk on Wardley Maps. Followed by a collaborative workshop to map agile together with the audience. Here's a previous discussion in the community on the talk.

Mapping Mondays

Mapping Mondays, a series by Cory Foy, is an amazing learning resource. A must read / watch if you are keen to learn key concepts like PST, Gameplays and ILC in the most simple terms.

"So if you find yourself with a business that evolves around core components which are ripe for evolution to utility, start thinking about the plays you have around it and how you can protect yourself from the inevitable sweep that will come"

Awesome Wardley Maps

Thanks to John Grant there exists now an awesome list of all things Wardley Maps. Nicely curated by and for the community. It's really helpful to find all the learning resources especially the mapping tools and templates at a single place.
Curated with 🧡 by Harprit
I would love to hear your feedback -
Wardley Mapping is provided courtesy of Simon Wardley, CC BY-SA 4.0 

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