Collaboration without a common language is just noise before failure.

 — Simon Wardley

Hey everyone! Welcome to Mapping Maps Newsletter # 11, the last one of 2019. Thank you for all your feedback and support this year. Warm wishes for happy holidays and a prosperous new year! Looking forward to learning more together in 2020...

As always, here's the curation of my best recent findings on Wardley Maps -

Map Camp - Slides and Summaries

Map Camp is always the event to learn in abundance about maps in the wild with amazing practitioners generously sharing their learnings. 

Though videos of the event are still awaited, check here for photos of the event (thanks to Chris Adams) and some excellent sketch notes by Mike Haber. Further, you will find some excellent summaries of the event here and here. Consolidated feedback from the participants is here.

Finally, here are links to slides of of the talks presented -

People, Processes and Context

Simon Wardley reminding again on the importance of context when talking about practices. A way of working and it's exact opposite may both make sense in different contexts.

"The antithesis of "process over people" can be valid, at the same time, in the same company because of context. It's why we need diversity in values in a single organisation."

Strategic Paradoxes

Sue Borchardt with an excellent video for getting people up to speed with mapping. Great story telling with some awesome visuals and a relatable backstory.

"In an effort to accelerate the process I’ve made a short animation to try and accelerate the process of coming to a common understanding of what strategy is, and why we should include some visual mapping as part of getting strategic. This is my take on Simon Wardley’s take on Sun Tzu & John Boyd’s takes on strategy… applied to the work of building a more peaceful, just world."

Identity in Health Care

Mark Wardle maps on the topic of managing identity as a super important component in healthcare. Highlighting need for removing duplication and moving towards maturity of this essential component. Aiming for an efficient system designed towards the need of the patient rather than that of the organisation.

"In the future the map might look much more like this, because all modern applications / systems use this new service. And because it is standards-based, we might be able to replace it with something bought off-the-shelf, or rented as a cloud service."

On Inertia

Chris Daniel with two insightful posts on the subject of inertia at the Wardley Maps Forum. One on inertia exhibited by consumers and producers of a component. Another a case from perspective of inertia at Apple as it moves from a brand exclusivity positioning to services space. Further, check this paper for more details on the subject.

"In short, when your car gets old, you know it, and you know that it is worth much less than a new car. But when your knowledge gets old, you rarely notice that. More, you are inclined to believe that it still has value."

Mapping Conspicuously

Cat Swetel with a great talk (slides here) on using maps to strategically evolve a longstanding ticketing platform. Got some great takeaways from the talk like respecting history and prioritizing visibility. Here are notes on interesting questions to ask while mapping any component -
  • How you treat a component?
  • How the rest of industry treats the same component?
  • How conspicuous a component is?
  • When we evolve a component towards the right of map do we take care of standardizing the practices around it as well?

Maps as Common Language

Inspired by Dr. Alistair Moore's talk (slides here), Julius Gamanyi shares insightful ideas on how maps play well with other models. It's fascinating to see Business Model Canvas and Income Statements visualized together in the same view with a corresponding Wardley Map. Making the case for maps as a common language that's easier for everyone to understand across models and use as a shared communication medium for everyone in the org.

"The more we understand maps, the more we can represent on them... It’s with difficulty (or somewhat impossible) to depict such a huge amount of information on one graphic. Yet, this graphic, this map enables everyone from the different departments to communicate with each other using a common language. Making decisions of where to focus on or which direction to take are open to all to participate in."

C to Z of Value Chain Reshaping

Luca Ruggeri in this story observes that a typical industrial value chain map is usually C-shaped and lists down plays to evolve this map into a Z-shaped platform oriented field. Doing so by transforming and re-positioning components in the map where an aggregator organizes the interactions and sustains the value streams among producers and consumers.

"We have streamlined and fluidified the re-shaping workflow, by introducing six Platform Plays, i.e. six recurring strategic plays that typically characterize a pipeline-to-platform transformation to unleash the unexpressed potential emerging from an ecosystem. These six “movements” look very natural if executed on Wardley Maps in a visual thinking process: this is one of the key reasons why we are using this tool in the ecosystems’ exploration stage of Platform Design."

Learning & Community

Ben Mosior, with his unique clarity and simplicity, shared two excellent summaries of Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 of the Wardley Maps book. The entire list of summaries can be found here.

Finally, here's a quick roundup of stories from the community sharing their experiences with mapping -

Strategy is the human attempt to get to desirable ends with available means.

 — Max McKeown

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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