Improvements, experts and the elusive silver bullet

Establishing the delivery landscape. Creating awareness.

Let me continue with a very brief introduction to Wardley Maps.

  • Create an anchor representing the person, group or process whose needs we are trying to satisfy. In my context, it is the agile delivery itself.
  • Identify components of interest needed to satisfy those needs — in this context of driving improvements of agile delivery, the components are capabilities and other aspects needed for delivery (such as tools or artefacts)
  • Chain the components using a dependency or value chain. This chain will form the Y-axis of the map. Position them vertically based on their value or visibility — the higher the value or visibility, the higher the component will appear on the Y-axis.
  • Lastly, position the components horizontally based on a form of evolution — given this context of mapping capabilities, I used the evolution phases suggested by Simon Wardley for capabilities: Novel, Emerging, Good and Best. This broadly translates to an X-axis that models an evolution from “we’re bad at this (Novel)” to “we’re very good at this (Best)”.
Start with an anchor
The immediate needs of the anchor
  • Product management needs product ownership and a roadmap
  • Delivery teams need a team management function, an onshore team, a nearshore team and a PMO function
  • The leadership team needs Programme leadership
  • Communities of practice — in my model, this is a direct need of the Delivery (anchor), but I chose to model it at a lower level since I considered it less visible than the other immediate needs of Delivery, the first three components.
The next level down. Note the position on the X-axis — on this map, Product ownership was less mature than the Roadmap or the Communities of practice.
Completed map to a level that can be used in conversations about change

Landscape done. So, what now?

Once the map is done, it shows the current landscape — where things are. Now we can use it to play the ‘strategy’ game — to decide on where to improve.

Use the map to debate where to attack and why.
Capture the actions. Communicate it, use it to create transparency
  • Identify the right components
  • Debate the right levels of maturity (evolution axis)
  • Discuss the strategy, where to attack and why



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Peter Pito

Peter Pito


Agile practitioner and software developer at heart. Husband, father and rookie triathlete. I try to be the best version of myself, as often as I can.