Hello there, I am very very new to Wardley mapping, so I apologise if my questions have already been answered, seem elementary or are “obvious”. I stumbled across Wardley mapping from a post on social media and watched a few videos on it on Youtube.
I think I understand some of the basics. However, there are things I just don’t seem to get.
I have a number of questions that I hope someone will be okay answering, even if they seem obvious or have already been answered.
Okay, here we go.
(1) Why does Wardley mapping mix Macro and Micro concepts at the same scale, weighting, relevancy or give it the same importance? I find it very confusing why it does this.
Example 1. In some videos the Wardley map will just say “Internet” or “Power”, these are very big macro things, and then suddenly it’ll say “website” as if its on the same level, scale, weighting, importance as Internet.
Or it’ll say something very micro like “Printing a document” and this is juxtaposed against macro issues like “Power” or “Internet” or “paper”.
IE: Paper is a big issue. It has to be sourced, but in a Wardley map its just juxtaposed at the same level as the document you are printing.
I’ve seen Wardley maps where they conflate big issues with small macro issues and I get really confused as to why it does this and why macro issues have the same contextual weighting as other smaller micro issues.
Example 2. On a video it talks about a user needing tea, which needs to be brewed, tea sourced, power, water, etc are all required to generate tea. But tea, water, power are very big macro issues when conflated with a kettle which isn’t.
Can someone explain why Wardley maps constantly mix macro and micro things and conflate them on the same map at the same contextual weighting, relevancy and importance?
(2). Relationship with Strategy
I’m not sure if I understand how Wardley mapping relates to strategy. As I understand it, the things closest to the user are the items one should strategise, plan and are considered “low hanging fruit”.
But is this really the case? Lets take the example of the brewing tea video.
In this video, there is a big assumption that you are in a “first world”, but what if you aren’t? What if the biggest issue is sourcing clean drinking water? Then given this, how does the Wardley map even help with strategy?
In both contexts all the map has told me is that I need a chain of events, items and resources to achieve a goal.
I’m missing the dots of how this relates to a strategy?
(3) What is the relationship, if any, between a Wardley map and a service design blueprint?
I see a lot of similarities between a Wardley map and service design blueprint; why would I choose Wardley mapping over a service design blueprint?
(3) The lines that connect the nodes.
What I’d like to know is what do the lines that connect the nodes meant to represent? Is it time, expense, lead time, a resource, something else?
For example, in the brewing tea video - there seems to be no correlation between the time to source the tea leaves and boiling the water to make the tea.
Is the distance between the nodes or perhaps the number of nodes that are connecting item A and Item B meant to show the number of steps, the cost, expense.
I’m just not sure what the lines are meant to be representing.
(4) Nodes that suddenly stop
So in the brewing tea video example, the node just stops at Tea. Or it’ll just stop at Water.
Why do nodes suddenly stop, whereas in other examples they don’t?
In one video it was explaining how Uber needs satellites, GPS, etc; and the rationale is that this the level of detail that is needed. But in that same video it neglects local laws, PESTLE issues, or environmental concerns/restrictions.
I just find it odd that sometimes nodes will just stop, and other times it goes deeper.
Is there a hard or fast rule to how many nodes deep a Wardley map should go?
(5) Explaining the context of a node
So, sometimes I’ll see a picture of a Wardley map and there’s a big assumption that everything on it is implicit or obvious.
But sometimes I’ll see a node labels sitting in space with no context of why its there or why its relevant.
So, this seems to imply that a Wardley map always needs a facilitator (documentation or person) to explain the decision choices behind certain nodes, or the relationships between them.
Here’s my question; can a Wardley map work with zero facilitation?
I appreciate my questions might seem repetitive, but I hope that I can learn from your responses and perhaps improve my own understanding of the tool, how and when to use it.