The Serverless Edge - Using Wardley Mapping with the Value Flywheel for combined business & technology evolution

In anticipation of the book launch next year from IT Revolution, let’s discuss how using Wardley Mapping can help you quickly modernize your cloud applications and drive your business.

In this talk, co-authors David Anderson and Mark McCann explore how the elements of the value flywheel can start you on your journey towards a serverless-first organization.

Learn how to: - build a sense of purpose, challenge your landscape, execute the next best action and create long-term value. Wardley Mapping is used throughout this entire process to make strategy real, pragmatic and build maximum situational awareness.


David Anderson

Author, 'The Serverless Edge'


Mark McCann

Author, 'The Serverless Edge'



Welcome everyone today. We'd like to talk to you about using Wardley mapping with the valley flywheel for combined business and technology evolution. We believe despite all the change that's happened, there's still a wave of transformation on the way for many organizations, we believe that the service first approach will help you and your company ride this wave and succeed specifically. We're going to introduce something that we call a flywheel effect. First, let's do some introductions. My name is David Anderson. I'm an engineer with extensive enterprise cloud and leadership experience.


My name is Martin . I'm also an engineer and Clair architect and I'm passionately pursuing surface. First on engineering excellence.


We are both part of the Wardley map and community service community. And we also have a big focus on product. We've been building a body of content around the serverless age. Over the past year, we have a book coming out, it revolution press next year. Along with the third contributor to Maxwell Riley, between the three of us, we have extensive experience in building systems and driving change. We believe service first represents an evolution into a new way of working that most companies will start using the cloud technology to reduce their time to value and really drive business results.


As you said, the flywheel effect is the mechanism we are going to describe. It's a phrase from the Jim Collins' book, good degree, but it is a very accurate description of what we are observing. But before we get into that, let's explain what a fly wheel is. There's maybe one or two of you that need a refresher on the 19th century engineering. And that's when partisan consistent a flywheel is used to absorb the energy and evenly distributed in order to drive smoothly. We believe that both business and technology drivers should merge together, but something is required for that smooth progress to happen. And that's where a fly wheel comes in. The last thing you want is business and technology, energy counseling, each other. And we've seen that many times in our experience.


Yeah, definitely. The thing is we want to help the organization get this flight Turner right direction. It's really about improving your time to value ultimately delivering sustainable results. But maybe it's probably the flip side, right? What, what we have seen a lot over our careers is things like, you know, dev versus ops silos, tech versus product silos, unclear purpose per technical decisions. And short-term thinking this all, both business technical and organizational depth, it clouds up your flyway. So I don't think this sounds complicated, but we've seen this a lot, you know? And so how do you build a long-term success? We mark and I have seen this in a whole bunch of competence. We've we've been speaking to in working with over the years, you've got Liberty mutual Coca-Cola taco bell work with software, I robot BBC Ericsson fender, cloud guru, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and loads of startups. I figured this out as your company figured this out, because the thing I believe is a lot of companies don't really know where the slavery exists and are caught in the bill trap and don't know their time to value. And by the way, escaping the Bill's shop is a brilliant book by Melissa Perry, thoroughly recommended. Yeah,


So we believe in the value flywheel here. We believe that creating and visualizing this value flywheel is critical in today's business landscape. We also believe that Wardley mapping is one of the best techniques to help you navigate through this change. We're going to talk you through this model and highlight it with an example of later. But before that it's important to point that this is neither hybrid strategy or operational efficiency. This is the both having a real bass for action aligned with the pragmatic and proven ways of working that we have seen this whale is designed to spend many times. So don't feel that you need to do everything in phase two before moving on to phase three momentum. And that pass for action is more important than anything else. Getting moving is really critical. So phase one, it's all about purpose. It sounds easy, but do you know what you're trying to get to as a team at the department as an organization, do you really know what is valuable for your team, for your workforce, for your, for your business phase two covers channels?


Have you created that right environment for success? You know, as the right is the right environment there to discuss what you need to get to. And the challenge, the thinking and tell it's good enough for you to succeed. Phase three is about the next best action. If you don't go play it or build things you don't need to, with real focus, you can get results quicker than you can ever imagine. And phase four is about building for longterm value. There will be plenty of opportunities in the future, but you don't want to close them off because of some decisions you've made today that slow you down there.


So in the past, I mean this thinking Mark Michael and I have been talking to just for a very, for many, many years, I had always thought of this as building blocks. But I think when you sit and show someone, all these building blocks belt, it just seems overwhelming and it doesn't really convey the movement and that rapid iteration as you create each of these blocks and build on it and just show that bias for action as credit for success. So, you know, I, I D I kind of move them away from maybe these are building blocks. I think that this is a flywheel that tends to keep turning. It is a nicer analogy. We certainly find that this works for this type of thinking.


Yeah. Build a browser, very static, a flywheel conveys movement. And that's critical because that, that past fractionals we've mentioned is critical.


So that's kind of walk through each of these, these, these four phases. Um, the first is purpose on earth rather than me rant on mark. Why do you think purpose is important? Yeah,


So-so purpose, you know, and we've seen this time. And again, it's really critical for that alignment on vision and strategy. So the teams actually know that the work that they're working on actually makes the difference is actually aligned with the goals and KPIs and results of your business. And we've seen too many times where teams have hadn't had that clarity of purpose, and they can't really our technique that the thing that they're working on highly makes a difference to their overall business. So it's really critical that they have that clarity of purpose. Um, one of the other big things that we've mentioned here around the purposes of obsessing over your time to value and really is critical, that teams have observability of that, how long it takes for a chance to make a, to get there. And we don't use her. And Megan, I'm really clear, I'm making that feedback very actionable so that your teams can focus on minimizing and reducing that time to value overall.


Yeah. And I mean, the thing is like we're touching on Wardley mapping in this. So for each of these phases, we have like a suggestion how you are leading up this. So for the first one, you are mapped against situational awareness of the competitive environment or in a market level, you're poking the product to market who else is in the market? What's your differentiator, what's your chance of success? And there's no point in having this fantastic organization with engineers and product people, you know, going crazy and you're going the wrong direction. So that idea of Wardley mapping, it might be a market is absolutely critical.


The next stage is challenged. So Dave, instead of me waffling on why is challenge important? Why is it critical for success?


The first thing you always see in any team is the environment for success. You know, it's, it's, it's people in the teams, it's people, both software. Um, so do you have an environment where people can be at their best and they can challenge each other responsibly without getting in the argument? I mean, that, that's really the thing. Um, sometimes it's referred to as psychological safety, um, you know, th th there's no point in doing the right thing to do, but you're, you may be afraid to kind of say that, uh, if you have that really kind of, uh, supportive environment, you can build and react to those kinds of, um, loops we can talk about. And then again, this socio-technical phrase is interesting. There's associate associate a people aspect of your system. Uninterest tactical as engineers, meaning we'll always default to technical, but the pay part of that is I would say more important. And then your things like problem prevent contain the virus. You got to look at all this stuff together and figure out what's the best thing that will work, um, that you can rarely call joy at a problem. And that's really what, what, what we have seen over the years.


And I think bringing those elements together has been critical having that, that holistic socio-technical view of the system has been critical to get that flavor interning. And finally, on, on, on challenge, we think mapping is muscle and invading challenge. You know, we, what we have seen on our experiences awarded moment, and people can challenge them up if they're not challenging the vigil. So it becomes a lot safer for people to, to bring up new ideas, new topics, because you know, leadership and people that you work with, they can challenge that mop if they're not challenging you as a person. So we think mopping is critical here to gain an understanding of your organization, the literature capabilities that are, you know, your, your doctrine to understand is it fit for purpose for where you're trying to get to, we'll help you get to realize your north star and your long-term value. So, you know, mapping to gain that understanding and that situational awareness of your organization capabilities is critical to really drive the flight going forward.


Yeah. And remember, challenge is a good thing. It's not that, you know, challenge always helps you get to a better place. So stage three is next best action, mark. What's what's your up.


Yeah. So I think the next, next best action to really short cuts, a lot of the waffley strategic frameworks that we've had in the past, you know, what can you do now for rabbit impact? What's the most important, most impactful thing you, as an individual and as a team can do now for impact having that mindset is critical. Um, and we believe, you know, having that serverless first mindset and approach really enables your teams to focus on that business. I coming up business impact, but it also has the other benefits. It keeps your code low, keeps your security high, keeps your cost liabilities under control. So, you know, we, we really think, you know, serve this first, um, as a game changer for helping you move rapidly in the right way and a sustainable way and removing developer friction. There's also a massive, uh, enabler for, for, you know, being able to execute that next best action and consistently identifying and removing impediments to your development teams is one of the most effective paths to high-performance. And with your, your goal here is fast fuel efficiency from idea to real use your value, unreal impact for your business.


And so a year I can, you know, serverless is, is a good option. They get that next backpacks. And that, that immediate response


Absolutely makes sense. Well, this has been a game changer in that regards to know you kind of move at rapid speed without compromise.


Yeah. I mean, you know, you can do this in other approaches as well, but the serverless mindset we have found is, is just primed to move really quickly. You can do it with other things as well, but it's, it's, it's, it's 10 X, these afraid phrase.


Um, one of the big things that we keep it really, really is it's serverless first, it's not service only. You have server that doesn't fit your needs right now. There are plenty of compelling, uh, fallback options that you can take advantage of in the cloud.


I can write to for the job every time. I mean, in one word, if I get out, I can go back to the wardroom open is map out your tech stack and figure out, okay, what we've built, this thing, we wouldn't know. Okay, we have it, but is that a good thing to build and for opportunities for evolution on impediments to remove, you know, as a team sit and figure that out, you know, you always have some tech that, but the side what's the best thing to act on. So by Wardley mapping out your solution, you can figure out, okay, w we'll need to build this, cause this is a differentiator and we'll just run something else. So they cannot such a parcel technique to kind of get some visibility and the end of this.


And then finally with all due was the first day you showed up elements of the flywheel turning here, we get into longterm value there. What, what do you think? What, what, what's the long-term value that we're going for here?


So I think this is probably the most interesting one for me, because certainly over my career, I've always had this in mind and it's, I mean, you'd rarely get a requirement for longterm value sitting in a project, but you always know in the back of your mind, it'll be easier if we just put this thing into place. I was always very popular in teams when I was come up with, we should do this. Why? Because it's the right thing to do, I think, but it's extra work, but a problem prevention culture means that your, our teams for doing the hard stuff upfront and avoiding failure, it's not about rewarding heroes. You stay up all night and get the system back online. You've already failed by that point, um, doing the hard yards early, which means your system doesn't go dine. And for us that's been, well-architected, it's been massive in that and embrace an engine and excellence, take pride in your engineer, you know, and build things when you have to. And don't when you don't. And then there's another part of that, which is like sustainability. Uh, if you can create low carbon products and services, another sustainable pace for your people, which leads the long-term percent of business success. I mean, that is just that the flywheel is really turning down, like,


Yeah. Yeah. And then, you know, again, we use Wardley maps here too, to really identify what those new opportunities are, where those new emerging areas of value that we should go after as a team, as a, as an organization, to what new threats are there that are doubling the counter to what new players are starting to emerge. And what areas do we need to get out of and mapping helps you really identify the areas that are no longer a value add or a new or core to your business, and can give you great insights to where you should extract from, and also gives you those new points of evolution to start thinking about, well, how do we evolve from some of the custom build things that we have, or to more commodities so that we can free up our people to work on that long-term value in the higher order elements of our business.


So it covered that can invite you flywheel effect and you on how it works enforcement Wardley mapping. So that's just a brief intro on Melbourne, uh, explained most. But the important part of orderly mapping is this value axis along the bottom. And we'll describe what that is. But first the illustrated, if you think of computers and companies, right in the 1950s, having a computer was novel in you, that was stage one Genesis. It was very rare to have a computer in a company by the seventies, companies built their own computers and got ahead the cost and build computers to give them capability that's stage two custom built, and then nineties computers are everywhere. You every, it was just getting better, more refined. There was a boom bust stage three in that product phase. I know states were a commodity. You don't even really buy them anymore. You rent them as utility, which we call a cloud.


Yep. So the, these four access here. So stage one is Genesis is illustrated. They're not component Liz that lives here is very poorly understood and has a future value, but it's uncertain whether we'll ever make it to Kamala. The user thinks of this as exciting and surprising. We treated with lumber stage two is custom built. Do we know how to build this component here? And we're starting to learn about it. We're starting to get a form of understanding of what it's an, a forming market. And we are learning how to make money from it. You know, it's leading edge. And if you haven't, you're doing pretty well. And stage three is product and rental. These are things are starting to heat up. It's a growing market, it's getting more competitive and these things are highly profitable and they need to be fit for purpose. Uh, as consumption is wide and we listen to our customers and make these things better. So people will buy more of the, these things that are in the product and stays for the final stage is commodity or utility. And this component is widely used. And the mature market know having this is just the cost of doing business and everyone understands it and there's little profit to be made. And the company needs to mass produce these things for, for, uh, for big profits. So we're going to walk you through a worked example here to really bring this, bring this to life.


Okay. So super simple example, it's got a business who are running a conference, we'll hold a conference today, should be familiar with it. Um, so the first step with mopping is the sketch a really simple value chain. We always start with a customer, the customer need, and they act as the anchor. So, uh, the customer or attendee has a need for knowledge and knowledge has a dependence on a conference. That's, that's, you know, super simple. So then moving forward, we take that value chain and you drop it into, uh, the Wardley map here. So for the first phase of the flywheel, which is purpose, you want to kind of see what that looks like. So, as I said, the attendee is the value or the anchor for the map. Uh, the Y axis here was explained that night represents visibility things closer to they've hand. They are more visible. Things lowered on, are less visible. So as a team, you want to spend more time and making sure that the things closer to the customer are a value. And last time, the things that are away from the customer


And the of maps here is that the components can move across this from the canvas here from left to right. And they evolved towards commodity as they become more industrialized. But what does it mean to quite simply, if there is an advantage to begin from making something better, then it will move from Genesis through to commodity market competition will force that to happen if there's value in doing so, Joe, so you can see here, but please conference to the left of product. A as a physical conference has a lot of unique and specific factors, but the destruction of the COVID has brought, um, Meda has quickly moved more to the rack and become more industrialized in the virtual conference. Um, but the, the customer need that hasn't changed. You know, that the, the, the need for knowledge, it's still there. And this is a very real problem on one that you're all well aware of, especially as you're attending, if our virtual event right now, and you all need this knowledge that this conference and this event is giving you, but how many of you would have actually traveled to Vegas? We don't know that, but there probably a lot of people here on this virtual event that wouldn't have been here, wouldn't have been able to learn or could afford to travel to Vegas today.


So moving on to phase two challenge, uh, and this is an interesting fear is as you started to make some assumptions, we accepted the virtual conferences in commodity and created the patency on the platform. If we decided to custom build a platform, that would be way over to the left, but still again, not very visible to the user, they don't care how you deliver the virtual conference experience. They just want to get to get the knowledge. And at this point, you know, we, we, you know, if we talked about this as a team, we can test out the psychological CFD over your environment and the appetite for change. You'll come up and as a great way to facilitate a healthy, challenging that bit on where this should be and what we should do about the platform. Um, as, as we go to tackle new, delivering this virtual conference, now it really does invite that challenge because you're challenging the mop.


You're not challenging any individual. Um, so when you take that next step, any platform you, you, you need, well, we'll need those enhanced audio visual skills. And to give that content Polish. Now, this is a much better investment and investing in those Ave skills than it is trying to custom build the platforms that create your own YouTube, for example, you know, so there's, there's no comparable advantage and you're trying to recreate something that already exists that is very, you know, capable of providing the capabilities that you need. So there's a much better return on investment than leveraging a platform that's that's already exist out there.


Yeah. I mean like the platform argument, sorry, just a question, uh, that could literally go on for years, but having a map, the room can sit as you're walking through this, Paul was that decision and move forward and events with the completed map, the decision makes itself, and it's like, okay, now we've seen, you know, how this is going to play out. It's obvious with the platform she said, but you can see that in a day as opposed to three years, uh, the next phase is next best action. So again, with our Sheriff's force mindset, we'll rent them out, build a platform and let's look back at the customer. What's the next best action approach we spot. There's a new need for access real time on the month and real time gives you improved speaker collaboration with, with speaker chat as a new feature. Again, that's good that we could look at that from a platform perspective and how real requirements, not just kind of wishlist requirements.


Remember w we're just mapping here, right? We've built a pretty accurate picture and minutes are ours as a team. Um, our investment has been, you know, we've, we've only spent a few hours or minutes, even on a knock on the signed contract with up to a few at, oh, we're getting a platform. And then three months later you realize that actually we don't need to custom build their own platform. You know, mopping brings that situational awareness. It brings a challenge and it's very quick. And the return on investment is very high for your org. The phase four is long-term value. Now, as we are looking at long-term value, we can start that at the head. Once the system is in place where we can start getting clever with some personalization and create some period of content per attendee. So this could open up new collaboration, channels, channels, and enable things like co-creating a content memory with the speakers.


There's much more access now, because at this event, we are going to be speaking to you on speaker chat as, as we are presenting here. And so maybe we can use that time to find some early adopters of the patterns and explore further use cases that we can find someone like my answer is trying to tease out some capability or some terms, and we can use that it's a valuable capability that has a marriage there, and it's not a primary need, but we need to think ahead of these things. And we need to start thinking, well, what are the new emerging? And that value that, that we, uh, in this kind of conference provider comment can, can grab


Good stuff. So, as we close at the op example, there's a couple of things that it's worth call night. This is a template that we've been using for a long time. Um, so there's four elements to this first. It's the value chain that we usually put on the left of the whiteboard or, um, mirrored in this online, um, on a removes dismiss picture. You could the mapping this out there, which is your focus with attention. Um, and then the next thing we have here is climatic patterns. These are things that affect the demand that affect the industry, regardless of this customer, this company, things that are happening in a way. And then finally, there's observations, which is the narrative from the map. We'll come back to those in a second, the climatic partners for this map, um, which makes them a few times COVID accelerates change, skated up.


There's a, there's a raised expectation of premium content people. Aren't going to sit at home and watch secondary content time. And work-life balance are important. The buyers to entry have lower. Uh, there's lots more people can attend this virtual event. You don't have to fight a Vegas isolation, drives the need for more and a different type of connection. It's harder to connect when you're remote. So there's a new need apparent, and there's the risk from cyber threats. One attack when your event is destroyed, this is much worse, obviously in a physical or in a virtual event.


Yeah. And then finally, the observations, you know, we use these observations really drive well, what do we actually want to do? But that's what, what is this map telling us? What actions is it compelling us to start thinking about? And the observations we have here around that increased the Tandy speaker at their action. The virtual platform has created a new value proposition. That's bigger to tan. The interaction is not easier. So we probably should do something about that and start capitalizing on that. Now the well-architected practice helps problem prevention and failure is not optional. The virtual conference, you know, you need this to be up and resilient and highly, highly available. So the platform needs to be very robust and you don't want to custom build that for a few extra features. You want to visit, leverage and do your homework, but leverage a world-class capability that or an access site there that has those well-architected characteristics that you need to deliver a compelling virtual event.


And then that need for knowledge has really evolved to be, to join joining in as a community. And we've always had a small portion of your returning conference attendees that would think of an event as a community and more of a community event where they could meet up with like-minded people and challenge each other and do discuss ideas. But none of that can be expanded greatly and the community can be much more diverse and inclusive. And that's a big selling point for, for online virtual conferences. And we've lowered the barrier significantly, uh, to, to Andrei for, for people who couldn't fly around the world to teach, to be part of some of these events. So again, that's something that needs to be explored and actions on is that need, for knowledge, that need for being part of a community, becomes a greater


Good stuff. So Simon Wardley actually seminar, litigated, accredited, appoints this map and stuff, but we should give them a nod. Simon says, uh, the idea of future possibilities through stepping stones. It's an important concept within strategy, like started as not as drawn a picture in January, forgetting about it, right? And so I'm put on the wall, you know, it's not about what you do every second Friday, your plan on meeting the slowly. So is a pattern of interaction, enables the team to map out the journey during execution, you get alignment and challenge in the room, and if the maps wrong, just change it, it's only it's wrong. The map represents a conversation, but it also uncovers for a useful value and highlights blockers to your team's progress.


So that's the flywheel effect. I hope that made sense and raised a few question. I mean, the whole point of this is the map with the journey and it shows the way you kinda need to look forward and use bias for action to test your assumptions. I think we both think that a version of this flywheel exists in every single company, but many can see it. And therefore can't get a turn Wardley mapping is the key technique for building insight. And we've talked about the importance of next best action and tracking your own time to value. And all of this is covert in the book and in the blog of travel to fetch. So thanks again for listening to talk. Uh, my name's David Anderson and I'm


Mark McCombe,


Uh, again, just pastor of the content that our book, which is coming up next year from it, revolution press, uh, there's a few case studies of companies in the book that have gotten this model really, really working really well. Uh, we've lost the advice illustrations to how this works on there. Again, there's content on the blog. So really value your feedback. And please reach out to us either at this event on chat or on social media at the tags are, um, we believe that this wave of transformation is still not had most companies yes, you immigrate into the cloud, but have you really thought about her technology will drive her business when you got there? Thanks very much.