What are the benefits of Maps?


#1

This is a question I get asked a lot. Here’s my elevator pitch reply (can you improve on it?):

Maps improve Situational Awareness by revealing where you are now and where things are heading. They provide:
1/ alignment around a common goal (customer needs)
2/ a visual aid for communicating with (sometimes conflicting) stakeholders
3/ a diagnostic for reducing costs associated with duplication
4/ a platform for strategic thinking and
5/ a guide for organisations to adapt to and exploit changes in the environment.


#2

For me, it is all about building a reasonable model of my environment, which is a critical step in making any decision. If you do not understand your world, and you can’t anticipate changes (you lack situational awareness), your decisions are simply guesses.


#3

Maps help you with the following:

1/ know your current situation (Value chain + Evolution);
2/ see change before others (Climatic Patterns);
3/ be more effectively organised than others (Doctrine);
4/ out-smart others (Context-epcific gameplay)

I took them from Simon’s blog entry [1].

The main point being, at least for me, that the game (to win/survive on one’s own terms) involves me (my team, company, industry, country) and others (their team, company, industry, country). None of us acts in a vacuum - other players are involved; and there’s also an interdependence between all of us - some being, depending on your perspective, allies, opponents, and the uncommitted. Hence why (I think) the benefits of mapping rely on their being the “others.”

Of course, I could be reading too much into this :slight_smile:

[1] - https://medium.com/wardleymaps/anticipation-89692e9b0ced