Build, Buy, Outsource by Mike Lamb, iluli

You probably just spent a week working on something and it’s time for a bit of reflection and improvement. How about checking-up on your strategy?

Mike Lamb (iluli) has published a terrific, 6-minute video introduction to Wardley Mapping: Investing in innovation – How situational awareness can put your business on the map.

I highly recommend you watch it and try applying it to improve your product and technology strategy.

The video contains the most accessible explanation of mapping essentials

  • why you need to map your own strategy using your situational awareness
  • how to construct a value chain of components starting from what customers interact with through dependencies
  • where to place components on the axis of technological and market evolution
  • which components you should Build, Buy, Outsource

Six minutes plus an hour of mapping your strategy might help you clarify your thoughts around what is or is not going well and improve your next move.

This could be useful for a team retrospective today, a planning meeting next week, an architecture decision you’re about to make, on up to a major company/platform decision.

You can use mapping to inform questions like:

  • How does technology X fit into the value chain? Should we replace it with ‘hot technology’ Y (Kubernetes, Service Mesh, Serverless)?
  • Will it matter to customers or provide a competitive advantage?
  • Where should we focus our efforts?

I like to sketch out initial maps on paper and get feedback on them from colleagues. Here are the templates I use, which fit to 8.5″x11″ paper:

Good luck with your strategy review and improvements. I’d love to review and share feedback on your strategy and maps, just reply to this email or connect with me on LinkedIn.