Phase I - 5 - Communication - Use A Common Language - Use Maps

This is a Request For Comments about how to structure doctrine in terms of microdoctrine (a pattern language for implementing and learning doctrine)

Phase: Stop Self Harm
Category: Communication
Principle: Use A Common Language
Practice: Use Maps

The governance system must provide a mechanism for coordination and engagement between groups. This requires a mechanism of shared learning. An example of shared learning would be discovery and dissemination of good practice. To achieve this, we must have a common language. Collaboration without a common language is only noise before failure.

Consider these first:
Understand What Is Being Considered

Illustrative description:
Use one way of explanation between different functions of the business. Instead of using many different ways, use a map.

Detailed description:
Maps are a communication and learning artifact. There are many tools that can help you learn, create, and communicate maps. The collection of these tools is growing. Paper and pencil suffice most of the time.

Mapping is not the answer, it is only a guide. Do not try to create the perfect map. Produce good enough maps so you can collaborate. This requires you to share and open yourself up to challenge. You will likely use other tools alongside mapping when scenario planning. This can include financial models, business model canvas, and other models.

The entire strategy cycle is iterative and you are going to have to follow the same path. This means mapping is not going to be a one off exercise but something that happens all the time. Resist the temptation to map the entire landscape all in one go. Instead, embrace uncertainty. Think small and start somewhere. If you are using mapping and it is either taking a long time or doesn’t seem to help answer any of your questions, then stop. Don’t be afraid to find a better way of doing this. No model is perfect.

If you are responsible for strategy, you need to learn to play the game yourself. Take responsibility for it. Do not rely on third parties to give you an answer. Instead, use them to help you challenge your strategy and to learn new forms of gameplay.


Consider next:
Use Common Symbols or Use Common Terms

Reproduced and adapted from writings by Simon Wardley under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.