Micro, Meso and Macro

A previous post on this forum included the following question:

Why does Wardley mapping mix Macro and Micro concepts at the same scale, weighting, relevancy or give it the same importance?

I believe this is a good question to emphasize how the limited number of elements on a Wardley map can be used to steer the mapping process and manage time constraints. Specifically, the types of capital and the labels used for the stages of evolution on the x-axis.

Ad hoc mapping is likely to focus attention at the micro or meso level. It is common to see Activity used as the type of capital with the four stages of evolution labelled as Genesis, Custom, Product (+ Rental Services) and Commodity (+ Utility Services) - GCPC.

During subsequent strategy cycles, the mapping process is in part an a posteriori rationalization of previous maps. It may be necessary to reach this stage and use insights and knowledge gained to map at the macro level. However, in my experience reflecting on the stages of evolution of other types of capital can be useful to reason at the macro level.

Simon Wardley has indicated you can mix and match any of the defined labels for the four stages of evolution.

I do tend to label using Concept / Observation, Emerging, Convergent and Accepted (CECA). This may be the result of the nature of my work. However, for strategic decision making I will consider GCPC and CECA based maps. It may be an overstretched analogy, but the former is an aid to instrumental understanding, the latter to relational understanding (Me vs. We).

Depending on the context, additional viewpoints provide greater scope for participants to scrutinize and challenge the map, even if the micro/meso level or the macro level map draws all the attention.

These observations are predicated on personal experience. I would be interested to hear if you have mapped using different types of capital and if this has unfolded in contingent and relational ways.


Image by Simon Wardley

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I like your CECA labels. :slight_smile: I have been experimenting with: Darlings, Pets, Cattles and GUID’s

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