Wardley Mapping for Strategy

Why Wardley Maps?

Simon Wardley (you can find his book on Medium) has created a visual model called Wardley Maps to map a state or situation and add movements and other information to it in order to build a model of what you see and what might happen.

MaterialMapping area, physical or digital.
post-its and pens
Time60-120 min
InvitedCore team + facilitator

What is a Wardley Map

Wardley mappning example

On the X-axis you see how things mature over time. The stages are

  • Genesis (this is where you explore new ideas and solve problems no one done before)
  • Custom built (services you create yourself since there are no products for you to use based on your needs)
  • Product or rental (things you can buy which build parts of your solution)
  • Commodity or Utility (this is something you just use, like cloud platforms and electricity).

On the Y-axis you visualise things from the User’s perspective, with what is more visible higher up. You can chose what you think is relevant as a parameter for the X-axis and taylor it as you like. It’s also likely that you need several maps and perspectives as you try to get different views of your problem.



  • Define the problem you want to analyse
  • Define the values on the X and Y axis
  • Gather data that is relevant and share with the invited group to read up on before the workshop


  • Check in
  • Present the problem and the format
  • Brainstorm quiet an individually for data points to be mapped (5 min)
  • Map out all data point, remove duplicates (don’t spend time arguing and agree on where the data points should go in this step, we are just getting the data visible)
  • Current state: Discuss and agree on what state things are (mote up/down and right/left) and how they depend on each others (add lines as connections between data points)
    Tip: start from the User perspective at the top and build your tree from there.
  • Movements: Discuss and mark movements in the map. What is going to a transition/mature, what trends do you see or foresee. Mark this with arrows from current state to a possible future state
  • Analyse and discuss actions to take based on the map you have created


  • Maps visualising your understanding of the problem
  • Movements from current to future positions
  • Actions for your team to take
Example from Simon Wardley