Wardley Mapping – Business strategy made easy

The world of business strategy got a lot more interesting when Simon Wardley decided to share the mapping technique through his book – Wardley Maps. Simon was kind enough to release this book for free and I’d highly recommend reading it.

What are Wardley Maps?

Wardley Maps, is a strategic thinking and communication tool used to visualize the evolution of business activities. These maps provide a way to understand and communicate the competitive landscape of an organization’s ecosystem.

Key components of a Wardley Map

A) Value Chain

It represents the sequence of activities that deliver value to the customer. These activities are typically arranged from left to right on the map.

B) Evolution Axis

The vertical axis represents the evolution of components or activities. It usually consists of four stages – Genesis, Custom-Built, Product, and Utility.

  1. Genesis: Novel and innovative activities that are often experimental.
  2. Custom-Built: Activities that are unique and tailored to a specific organization.
  3. Product: Standardized and off-the-shelf solutions.
  4. Utility: Commodity-like services that are widely available.

C) Climate

External factors and forces that can impact the evolution and positioning of activities on the map.

The mapping technique is based on learnings from The Art of War by Sun Tzu and Simon has explained it all very nicely by sharing his personal experience and the need for mapping in a knowledgeable yet humorous way.

However, even though the information is easy to understand and digestible – the technique can feel overwhelming for newcomers – that’s why I’m listing some of the resources that should give a head start to those trying to embrace this technique.

Wardley Maps Resources

Learn Wardley Mapping Technique

  1. Wardley Maps book
  2. Online courses by Ben Mosior
  3. Wardley Maps Udemy Course by Joaquin Peña Fernandez
  4. Wardley Maps for Business Community
  5. Wardley Maps Youtube Channel
  6. Map Camp
  7. Simon’s Blog
  8. WardleyPedia

Build Wardley Maps

  1. Online Wardley Maps – Wardley Maps with Code. Open-source & online service.
  2. MapKeep by Tristan Slominski – Impressive Free & Paid online service to build Wardley Maps. Collabration is much better, and it’s a no-code tool.
  3. Wardley Mapping Canvas by Ben Mosior