Wardley Mapping during a pandemic

Image: A screenshot of a Wardley Map used to help identify the right culture for an acquisition
Image: A screenshot of a Wardley Map used to help identify the right culture for an acquisition

What Wardley Mapping can be used for

Wardley Mapping is a brilliant tool for mapping out the landscape of a company, product, service, content strategy, and pretty much anything else. At Difrent, we’ve used it to map ourselves, our industry, our clients and the projects we work on. We also help organisations learn to map for themselves and help them on their mapping journeys. It’s a really useful tool for identifying areas of importance within an organisation, and what can be improved. It creates situational awareness based on evidence rather than emotion.

Image: Map: Police public contact channels, informing a police service’s contact programme
Image: Map: Police public contact channels, informing a police service’s contact programme

Wardley Mapping during COVID-19

Wardley Mapping is similar to any project plan or business plan. While it can’t plan for a pandemic or future emergency situation, you can use it to make sure the business is focussed on what’s important. This can help when something like COVID happens because it enables you to prioritise critical activity. If you are busy with keeping the lights on, you have to carry on doing that and it takes over. When something like a pandemic hits, you’re so committed to that one goal, that everything else is neglected. It can mean the difference between sinking and swimming. Wardley Mapping can help you ensure you are working on an area of the business that needs attention.

Focusing your attention

What Wardley Mapping allows us to do is focus attention on the important things for the business. Using the first wave of COVID-19 as an example, it showed that respirators and intensive care beds in hospitals were in high demand and short of capacity. Hospitals and Healthcare Trusts had to pivot and focus attention on the most pressing issue right now which is keeping people alive. A Wardley Map would help you plug in that new important situation so you can de-prioritise the less important activity to focus on the emergency.

Image: Screenshot of our Wardley Mapping service as remote-first using a variety of tools
Image: Screenshot of our Wardley Mapping service as remote-first using a variety of tools

Wardley Mapping outside of healthcare during a pandemic

It’s all about importance and mapping out who you have in your business and where you can focus your attention to keep going. If there are 10 people in a business who work in sales and marketing, and the industry shuts down, sales and marketing become less important than it was. In this situation, the furlough scheme might be able to save the jobs of some of those people, who might otherwise have been made redundant. You could furlough some of the people on that team, and then refocus your attention on what you can do.

The value of Wardley Mapping

It allows an organisation to understand itself better and to be able to respond quickly. The value isn’t the map, that’s the end product. The most important thing is the mapping, the conversations that happen and the decisions that are made. If a priority is agreed then you can quickly change things to meet that priority. Wardley Mapping is an organic process. You create a map and the next day it could be out of date because things are always changing. The mapping process is what adds the value, and the product you get at the end gives you an overview of everything you’ve discussed to come to a shared decision.

Key uses for Wardley Mapping

Looking at the value this process can add, the main things it can help with are:

  • Aligning businesses and leadership teams around a shared goal
  • Finding out what a business is focussed on and working out if this strategy is right
  • Refocusing a business so the important things come first
  • Allowing a business to see the bigger picture and to pivot quickly
  • Working out dependencies and links, and how taking the focus away from one thing affects everything else
  • Understanding your competition, your space in the market, and identifying priorities

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Difrent

Difrent

At Difrent our mission is simple, Digital is about People, not just Technology. https://difrent.co.uk