The Art of Strategy: Wardley Mapping Examples

Annex: A curated collection of Wardley Maps

Erik Schön
19 min readMar 6, 2019


Photo: Chris Lawton on Unsplash

What is strategy? Why do you need it? How do you do it? And, how can you be more certain to succeed? The Art of Strategy provides timeless answers to these eternal questions. It is a modern reading of Sun Tzu’s Art of War using the lenses of strategists John Boyd and Simon Wardley (swardley). All parts. Other reading formats.

“The most extensive collection of Wardley map examples anywhere!” Johan Persson

“Wonderful collection!” Holger Gelhausen

This is a growing collection of Wardley Maps for visualising strategy, irregularly updated since 2019. The idea is to inspire people to start strategising visually using Wardley Maps by providing examples from different business/technology domains.

Updated September 3, 2023: 112 Wardley Maps from different domains listed in alphabetical order of the creator’s first name.

Core Banking in the Embedded Finance Age

akohli (1 min read)
In the shift to embedded finance, one big thing is the opening up of opportunity for things like super apps and multi-purpose wallets.

TV Company

Alastair Moore (1 min read)

Personal Value Proposition

Aleix Morgadas (1 min read)

The Future of Development Environments

Aleix Morgadas (5 min read)

Remote Work Has Crossed the Chasm

Andrew Blain (4 min read)
On remote work, trust, and the work from anywhere future.

Mapping People Operations / Human Resource (HR)

Andrey Kulikov (10 min read)
Mapping people operations/Human Resource (HR) activities including how each HR-related component can evolve further.

Exploring Strategies for a Data-Driven Organisation

Barry Smart (9 min read)
Illustrating how to transform your data processing — including the Microsoft product eco-system.

Eco-System Gameplay: Microsoft & GitHub

Chris Adams (12 min read)
Reverse engineering Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub as an example of the Innovate, Leverage, Commoditize (ILC) gameplay.

Plotting a Path to a Greener Web

Chris Adams (15 min read)
Work for the Green Web Foundation on how to use open data and open source to help speed the transition to an internet running on renewable power, e.g. showing energy flow between components in a map of digital services.

The Cloud Battle

Chris Adams (7 min read)
Reverse engineering the cloud battle — Amazon vs OpenStack and OpenCloud — illustrating different game plays, e.g. using openness to attack a choke point.


Chris Daniel (Krzysztof Daniel) (1 min read)
A battery supply chain as a Wardley Map.

Evernote, Notion, Roam and Todoist

Chris Daniel (Krzysztof Daniel) (1 min read)
I’d rather see Todoist and Evernote merge instead of competing. Essentially, Evernote is a digital archive. People built all sorts of solutions on the top of that. Roam andNotion try to industrialise two very specific aspects of note taking (linking + analytics), but they lack the capture part.

Gameplay Examples

Chris Daniel (Krzysztof Daniel) (20 min read)
Basic Constraints: silicon industry specialisation vs generalisation.
Embrace & Extend: Sun vs Microsoft re: Java Virtual Machine.
Customer Isolation: Microsoft vs Amazon re: cloud using GitHub.
Threat Acquisition: Blockbuster and Netflix.
Signal Distortion: UBI Blockchain Internet, Google+, Samsung.
Vertical Movements: Tesco Beauty, Ford Innovation Center, Tesla.
Fighting with “Open”: Linux vs Windows, LibreOffice vs OpenOffice, RedHat.
Influencing Your Customers: Blackberry, NJU Mobile, MediaMarkt & Saturn.

Telecom Operators

Chris Daniel (Krzysztof Daniel) (2 min read)
Telcos should be deemed a part of the national infrastructure, in the same way as roads, water supply or electricity supplies.

Context Specific Capability Assessments

Chris McDermott (7 min read)
”Maturity Mapping” is an innovative evolution of Wardley Mapping informed by Dave Snowden’s Cynefin that helps us move beyond traditional maturity models and instead make context specific assessments to guide future learning and improvements based on the needs of the team, the organisation and the customers.

Navigating Product Development with Wardley Mapping

Cory Foy (66 min video)
Connecting climatic patterns, doctrine and gameplays for product development.

Saving Your Business with Wardley Maps

Cory Foy (39 min video)
A fictional case study based on real-world events in navigating strategic threats and situational awareness to create winning gameplays.

Continuous Digital Transformation at Gitlab

Darwin Sanoy (1 min ready)
The Value Flywheel (from the book The Value Flywheel Effect by David Anderson, Mark McCann and Michael O'Reilly) for GitLab . The digital activity is continuous as a proper platform like GitLab offers much more than a one-time hit.

Wardley Mapping a Conference

David Anderson and Mark McCann (12 min read)

Amazon’s Market Dominance

Dwayne Monroe (3 min read)

Understanding the Data Landscape and Its Evolution

Ergest Xheblati (9 min read)
Analysis of data, usage and evolution.

The Art of Leadership

Erik Schön (4 min read)
Visualising Lao Tzu’s eternal wisdom for sustainably successful leadership in turbulent times.

The Art of Strategy

Erik Schön (5 min read)
Visualising the eternal wisdom of strategists Sun Tzu, John Boyd and Simon Wardley (swardley) for sustainable success in turbulent times.

Visual Reader’s Guide

Erik Schön (5 min read)
Visualizing a table of contents/index using a value chain thus providing a reader’s guide to a book. Inspired by michaelhaber.

World-Class Software Development

Erik Schön (14 min read)
Visualising patterns for successful software development from Steve Denning’s Learning Consortium — including Spotify, Riot Games, Microsoft and Ericsson.

Skills as a System

Guy Dickinson (8 min read)
An alternative way to talk about skills, that removes the bias inherent in those discussions, helping leaders take decisions right away, but still plan for change.

Medical Backend as a Service

Hans de Leenheer (1 min read)
An entire business model explained by a simple Wardley Map.

Platform Gameplay: Amazon’s Game Engine

Howard Rees (4 min read)
Reverse engineering Amazon’s cloud-hosted game engine (Lumberyard) looking at the parallels to Amazon’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service (Iaas) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) gameplays in cloud computing and big data platforms.

Mapping Immersive Experiences at BBC

Jacob Clark (11 min read)
Transforming the BBC’s way of building and delivering educational apps and games including an exemplary use of maps at work to understand where each of the components required to ship the apps sit in terms of the maturity against the value they deliver.

Food, Meta-Programs and the Environment

James Fairbairn (2 min read)
What does it take to “go regenerative” from a food standpoint including what enablers and inhibitors might be for replacing a damaging model with a healthier one.

Mapping Data Flow

James Urquhart
Real-time business automation, or, stream processing in a business setting, e.g. using Kafka and RabbitMQ.

  1. The basic architecture of data flow (5 min)
  2. The data flow value chain (7 min)
  3. A simple Wardley Map of data flow (7 min)
  4. Adding context to the Wardley Map of data flow (7 min)
  5. Applying doctrine to data flow (8 min)
  6. Gameplay for data flow (8 min)

What in the World is World-Class Engineering?

J. D. Carlston (9 min read)
How to visualise “world-classiness” and the attributes world-class engineers, teams, and organisations have.

AI-Driven ServiceNow Development

Jesse Szepieniec (5 min read)

Amazon’s Sensing Engines

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (4 min read)

A Review of the Alphabet Company

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (5 min read)

A Wardley Map of the Company NVIDIA in 2020

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (4 min read)
Analysis of Nvidia and the semiconductor ecosystem across the three zones: peace (growth in data centres), war (commoditized chips used for general purpose computing and graphics) and wonder (innovation to meet needs like massive computation required for AI).

AWS Cloud Economics

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (1 min read)

Building New Capabilities in Google’s Environment

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (5 min read)
Autodesk’s huge shift from product (license based) to service over more than 3 years.

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Competitive Analysis

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (2 min read)
A pre-mortem analysis of what’s happening at the end of 2022 with the CBDCs of the main economies: China, US and Europe.

Computer Assisted Translation Tools

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (3 min read)
Computer Assisted Translations (CAT) tools have existed for more than 10 years and there are many things we can learn from this ecosystem, e.g. addition of new features, acceleration of high-quality translations and consistency.

Draw Your Company Strategy

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (1 min read)

Equation of Innovation for a Software Product (B2C)

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (5 min read)
Visualising how innovation and learning can work in a software organisation developing a product for a large number of users.

Evolution of a Professional Basketball Franchise

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (7 min read)
The evolution of a franchise depends on the evolution of its components: culture, organisation structure, team and players.

Evolution of Autodesk

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (10 min read)

Evolution of Frictions into Inertia

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (1 min read)
How to avoid inertia by sensing frictions like technical debt and organizational debt turn into inertia.

How Facebook is Trying to Become a Metaverse Company

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (11 min read)
Reviewing how Facebook is trying to create a new tower of revenue using augmented reality, virtual reality and the creation of different use cases for the users.

How Will Cars Be Refueled by 2032?

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (5 min read)

If Microsoft took Google to dance, Facebook has stripped it

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (3 min read)
Google: “We Have No Moat, And Neither Does OpenAI”.

Innovate, Leverage, Commoditize Gameplays for LLMs Providers

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (1 min read)
Innovate, leverage, commoditize gameplays from #wardleymaps by OpenAI, Google, Microsoft, …

Mapping the Future Based on the Present

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (1 min read)
Understanding today’s user behaviors and future’s user behaviors is tough.

Streaming Syndication and Content Licensing

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (3 min read)
Streaming syndication has become increasingly common with the rise of various streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, and others. These platforms often compete to secure exclusive rights to popular shows, movies, and original content to entice users to subscribe to their services.

Twitter as a Public and Private Company

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (5 min read)

Print on Demand Services

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (2 min read)
Print on demand services available around the world enable designers to produce and commercialise their products in different geographic areas.

Reviewing the Evolution of Neeva Search Engine

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (7 min read)

October 2021

January 2023

May 2023

Social Media Investment Trust

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (6 min read)
How to manage conversations as a valuable asset and bring profits from it to the public.

The World of Video Games

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (11 min read)
The video games industry from the beginning to the future.

Web Versions

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (2 min read)
Perspectives on what is being built on the web.

Zalando, a Wardley Map About How They Play the Game

Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen) (5 min read)
Zalando continues evolving and gaining a presence in the online retail business in Europe.

Mapping Methods and Context

John Cutler (1 min read)
The challenge is viewing the practice (OKRs in this example) in the broader context. When people say “oh let’s do X” they often leave out the bigger picture.

Marketing and …

John Cutler (1 min read)
How Wardley Mapping is helpful because it lets you explore the interplay of “functional” skills (like content writing, storytelling) … and then domain expertise, customer access, and research. And how it adds a different perspective to a flat list of capabilities.

Amazon Outmaneuvering Competition in the Cloud

John Duffy (5 min read)
Amazon isn’t just big, they can out-think you too. Wardley Maps are one of their tools. Our friends made a Facial Recognition (FR) system specifically for Fraud Detection on AWS …

How To Not Sabotage Your Transformation

Jonathan Allen (10 min read)
Advice from a key player in Amazon Web Services (AWS) on reaching cloud velocity using Wardley Maps.

Turning Around IBM, Part 1

Julius Gamanyi (10 min read)
Reverse engineering Gerstner’s turnaround of IBM in the 90s by looping through the Strategy Cycle illustrating how initiatives change doctrine.

Turning Around IBM, Part 2

Julius Gamanyi (10 min read)
Reverse engineering Gerstner’s turnaround of IBM in the 90s by looping through the Strategy Cycle illustrating how initiatives change doctrine.

Turning Around IBM, Part 3

Julius Gamanyi (10 min read)
Reverse engineering Gerstner’s turnaround of IBM in the 90s by looping through the Strategy Cycle illustrating how initiatives change doctrine.

UK Electrical Supply — Consumer Renewables and Loads

Lawrence Griffiths (1 min read)

Corporate Learning

Luke Radford (1 min read)

Reverse Engineering AirBnB’s Strategy

Malcolm Silberman (14 min read)
Including an in-depth visual analysis of potential gameplays available to AirBnB.

Social Innovation: Outsourcing vs Developing In-House

Manuaguileras (5 min read)
Helping a team visualise the whole value chain and better analyse the risks of outsourcing or developing our own technology, making wiser decisions regarding which capabilities needed to be developed within the team.

Mapping the Porn Industry

Mark Craddock (5 min read)

The Future of Prompt Engineering

Mark Craddock (6 min read)
The core components, their relationships, and the trends shaping the future of Prompt Engineering: an emerging field that focuses on designing, developing, and deploying systems to generate context-aware, human-like responses in various applications. Prompt Engineering — including prompt crafting — combines machine learning, natural language processing, and artificial intelligence to create powerful systems capable of generating personalized and contextual responses for users. Presentation (10 min video). Latest map of prompt engineering.

Algorithmic Decision Support and Machine Learning in Healthcare

Mark Wardle (2 min read)

Healthcare Information Technology Strategy

Mark Wardle (9 min read)
How can we make best use of technology to support healthcare?

How Open Source Machine Learning Shapes AI

Max Langenkamp (15 min read)
Machine Learning Open Source Software (MLOSS) is an important, yet neglected factor shaping the trajectory of AI.

Refined by Joaquín Peña Fernández (joapen)

Security Evolution

Michael Brunton-Spall (1 min read)

Behaviour Change

michaelhaber (1 min read)

Contents of a Book

michaelhaber (1 min read)
As a reader of a (potentially useful) book, you should be able to make a Wardley Map of it. And, as the author, you should have a map of your book.

Metaverse Impact

Minhaj Malik (5 min read)

Complexity in a Data Value Chain

Nick Jenkins (8 min read)
Modern data strategy to unlock the flow of value in your data.

Sustainable Aviation

Paul Comis (1 min read)

Societal Benefit of Art

Paul Johnston (1 min read)

Visualising the Work of a Software Delivery Lead

Peter Pito (1 min read)

Printing of Clothes

Philippe Guenet (58 min video)
3D printing of clothes could complement the value chain of fashion retailers.

Your CV as a Wardley Map

Philippe Guenet (1 min read)

Global Software-as-a-Service Brand from India

Prasanna K (1 min read)

Apple’s Augmented Reality

Robert Taylor (1 min read)

Carbon Mapper

Shanti Ray (20 min read)
Carbon Mapper measures the methane leaks responsible for a significant fraction of global warming.

Why Platform (Aggregation) Strategies Are Key

Simone Cicero (5 min read)
James Currier‘s “market networks” are becoming key as the world evolves into niches.

Artificial Intelligence

Simon Wardley (swardley) (1 min read)
On knowledge tasks, Large Language Models (LLMs), societal change and trust.

Automobiles 2015–2025

Simon Wardley (swardley) (3 min read)
In 2015, you could think of a world in 2025 where increasingly we don’t own cars but pay for them on a utility basis.

Building a Business From a Great Idea Using AWS Lambda Services

Simon Wardley (swardley) (10 min read)
A future scenario of how we build a business in order to explore the future potential of AWS Lambda services.

Evolving Social Networks Through Culture

Simon Wardley (swardley) (5 min read)
Encouraging positive values through behaviours and building a wealth of positive memories as a way of kicking off a positive feedback loop inside the cultural system will help others join the network.

Leading an Organisation

Simon Wardley (swardley) (15 min read)
Experiences in how to lead an organisation using situational awareness through mapping including a phased approach to doctrine.

Leveraging Diverse Expertise

Simon Wardley (swardley) (6 min read)
Working with different characteristics of evolution and showing how experts (both generalists and specialists) from different fields can share and communicate with each other preventive healthcare through the use of maps and thereby improve the maps.

Using Agile vs Being Agile

Simon Wardley (swardley) (5 min read)
There’s a huge chasm between using agile and being agile. To cross it, you need to realise that agile methods don’t work everywhere. There isn’t a magic one size fits all solution so use appropriate methods for the job to be done.

Why the Fuss About Conversational Programming?

Simon Wardley (swardley) (14 min read)
What comes after serverless? Conversational programming!
Part 1, Part 2

Regulating Technology Feudalism

Simon Wondracek (1 min)

Serverless Development

Slobodan Stojanović (7 min read)
A tale of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Lambda development showing what problem serverless development solves — illustrated by maps.

Evolution of Battery Tech and Its Impacts on Robotics

Steve Purkis (5 min read)

Barriers To Be Aware of in Strategy Creation

“The Strategy Club” (1 min read)

Tesla’s Quest for Addressing Environmental Effects

Tiani Jones, Yuliya Yatsyshina, Johnicholas Hines (1 min)

Traditional Life Industry

Tim Vieyra (1 min read)

Evolution of Architectural Components in Software Systems

Tom Asel (26 min video)

Mapping the Blog

Tomasz Onyszko (9 min read)
Why I decided to pay for a blog platform instead of building my own.

Please let me know your favorite Wardley Mapping example and I will include it!

The Art of Strategy: All Parts

Contents: A very short summary of each part
Introduction: What is strategy and why do you need it?

  1. Assessments: How to assess, prepare and shape
  2. Challenges: How to use and reduce inertia, entropy and friction
  3. Success: How to succeed together with stakeholders
  4. Setup: How to create resilience
  5. Momentum: How to use creativity, focus and timing
  6. Shaping: How to shape and avoid being shaped
  7. Engagement: How to engage using surprise
  8. Adaptations: How to adapt to shifting situations
  9. Movements: How to move to optimize momentum
  10. Landscape: How to approach difficult areas
  11. Situations: How to handle difficult situations
  12. Disruption: How to disrupt and avoid being disrupted
  13. Intelligence: How to use intelligence to create foreknowledge

Annex: Wardley Mapping Examples
Glossary: Explanation of key terms and symbols
Acknowledgements: Standing on the shoulders of giants
Sources: Where to learn more
Other reading formats: Hardcover, paperback and PDF

This is provided as Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International by the author, Erik Schön.

Wardley Mapping is provided courtesy of Simon Wardley (swardley) and licensed as Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International.



Erik Schön

From hacker, software researcher and system engineer to leader, executive and strategizer. Writer: #ArtOfLeadership #ArtOfStrategy