Product Development

product, product development, strategy

Wardley Mapping

A Wardley Map is a representation of the landscape in which a business operates. It consists of a value chain (activities needed to fulfill user needs) graphed against evolution (how individual activities change over time under supply and demand competition). A Wardley Map represents the situational awareness and shared assumptions being made about a context and hints at what strategic options are available.

Concise summary of process at Understand context and diminish risk: How to build your first Wardley Map with Miro

Key Points

  • use mapping as a way to quickly validate solutions and avoid costly mistakes – to identify what to build, buy and outsource
  • map minimizes the chance that I’ll miss something important
  • a more evolved component can be outsourced and treated like a building block, while a less evolved component usually needs to be built from scratch or given other special consideration (money, time and energy).
  • The real danger is in mistreating a more evolved component by building it from scratch.
  • Outsourcing highly evolved components is a critical aspect of building cost-effective solutions.
  • Since you have limited resources, it makes sense to save them for the components that actually need special treatment.


  • Y-axis - value chain. invisible (bottom) to visible (top). user at top
  • X-axis - genesis (new, uncertain, failure-prone), custom, product, commodity (old, boring, reliable)


Video Showing the Process