Removing your organisation’s biggest source of waste

Marcus Guest
3 min readFeb 7, 2022

In any large organisation people are often building things that already exist somewhere else in the same organisation. They’re not doing this because they’re stupid. They’re re-building what you already have because they simply have no systematic way of knowing what other silos in the organisation are doing. And, if you’re a senior manager, you have no way of knowing either!

Of course, you’ve called meetings about this to coordinate activities better. You’ve probably even launched a neat bit of technology to track what everyone is doing. Only — and this is the problem — that’s probably not the first time someone in your organisation has launched a neat bit of technology to make activities transparent. It’s yet another duplicated activity in your organisation.

Meetings aimed at making everything transparent are not only adding to the overall sense of meeting fatigue in your organisation but they’re failing to get to grips with the problem as well. That’s because duplication of efforts has been going on for years and the level of it now vastly exceeds anything most people in any large organisation believe exists.

Research by Simon Wardley (creator of Wardley Maps on which PowerMaps are based) and the every-growing community of mappers worldwide suggests that, far from the single-digit duplication most leaders think exists in their organisation, the scale of this waste is eye-watering. They react in horror when dozens or even hundreds of duplicated systems are discovered.

Duplicated systems are waste — draining an organisation’s precious resources (people’s time and departmental budgets). In fact, the only ones benefiting from these levels of duplication are the technology providers earning multiple license fees from different silos in the same organisation using the same technology over and over again to try and solve the exact same problems.

But remember, your people aren’t doing this because they’re stupid or because they’re evil. They’re doing this because they simply don’t know that these technologies are already being used elsewhere in the organisation. That’s because you have no systemic mechanism to help you see what’s going on and identify where that duplication is.

You can try to address this on a case by case basis, but you’ll find that when you try to remove some duplication people will get defensive as you’re treading on the toes of someone’s pet project. What you need is a systemic tool to identify the scale of this problem first and this that tool is a map (see this short video here showing what these maps are).

You can start deploying maps yourself in a matter of weeks. And, once you’ve collated multiple maps from different parts of your organisation, you’ll see the same components appearing multiple times. You’ve now identified where this duplication is, but also the bias as well (people custom building what’s already a product or a commodity). Now you can start removing it all.

So, if your organisation is in any way typical, you’ll find that you can reduce your current IT spend by up to 90% (yes, that’s how much waste is out there) and re-direct those resources to far more productive technology areas. And, used wisely with a Spend Control function, you can use maps to make sure that this type of waste never builds up and drags down your organisation again.

If you’d like to learn more get in touch at or visit our site at for more information.



Marcus Guest

Govern the state by being straightforward; And wage war by being crafty. — Laozi, Tao Te Ching