Video courtesy of iluli by Mike Lamb.

Wardley Mapping is licensed Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0, courtesy of Simon Wardley.


Wardley Mapping /wôrdlē mapping/ verb

The process of making strategic decisions (leadership) based on the purpose (“the game”), a description of the competitive landscape (a map), the external forces acting on the landscape (climate), and the training of your people (doctrine).

Wardley Map /wôrdlē map/ noun

A value chain — a chain of needs — (users, needs, and capabilities arranged and connected according to dependency) mapped against the four stages of evolution (Genesis, Custom, Product, and Commodity).

The Art of War

Simon Wardley, in his search to understand how to evaluate strategy, found answers in military history and Sun Tzu: The Art of War. Sun Tzu’s Five Factors — Purpose, Landscape, Climate, Doctrine, and Leadership — covered the minimum set of considerations required for strategic decision-making.

In military contexts, a map formed the basis for understanding the Landscape. But in the absence of a tangible competitive landscape, could there be such a thing as maps in business? To find out, see Simon’s book or keep reading.