Emissaries from the Future


The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.

William Gibson – The Economist, December 4, 2003

I’ve been in a bunch of conversations recently on the intersection of Team Topologies and Wardley Maps.

Map by Markus Harrer @feststelltaste

The Platform, Stream-aligned and Complicated-subsystem teams tend to drop out of a map because they fit around their respective activity or activities. That’s important for minimising cognitive load, because a group of adjacent activities should be similar enough to use the same methods and perhaps share other characteristics.

But the Enabling teams are different. It’s their job to move activities (and the teams doing them) through the industrialisation pipeline. They’re helping the organisation to evolve, and hence they need to be ‘Emissaries from the Future’, because they’re the ones who understand what the more evolved state looks like, and what it means to get the other teams there.

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