Lean Canvas

A 1-page business plan template to help you focus on problems, solutions, key metrics and competitive advantages.

discovery-loop-why loop position

No. People

1+

Time

1hr +

Difficulty

moderate

Participants

Product Owner, The Team

This practice is part of: Product Ownership.

What is it?

A Lean Canvas is a one-page document that captures key information about your future product. The Lean Canvas is frequently used by Entrepreneurs and Lean Startups.

Why use it?

This document will help structure your idea in terms of:

  • What problem your product or service will solve
  • Who your potential customers are
  • How your product will be distributed and
  • How you will make money from it.

Variations

Lean Canvas

The Lean Canvas was created by Ash Maurya and based on the Business Model Canvas by Alexander Osterwalder. It aims to shorten the product development lifecycle and rapidly discover if a product idea is viable.

Lean Canvas Template and Instructions

Lean UX Canvas

Jeff Gotheelf created the Lean UX canvas to help organizations practice user-centered design and test hypotheses. Jeff based his work on the Lean Canvas and the Business Model Canvas.

Lean UX Canvas Template

UX Strategy Guide

Arielle McMahon created the UX Strategy Guide to help product teams vet ideas for new products and features. This buide is inspired by the Lean UX Canvas and Jim Kalbach’s UX Strategy Blueprint.

The UX Strategy Guide provides a 12-step list of requirements, including metrics of success, risk assumptions, market research and more. Teams can follow the guide to validate product decisions with the right research and set their products up for success.

Arielle McMahon has kindly contributed this guide to the Open Practice Library.

UX Strategy Guide Template

How to use it

When filling out the Lean Canvas, it is best to fill the sections out in a certain way.

  1. Problem
    When filling out the problem section think with your future customer in mind. WHY is this a problem for him?
  2. Target Customer
    Who are your early adopters of your product, specify them in terms of demographics, situation and interest.
  3. Unique Value Preposition (UVP)
    Your UVP is directed to your customer, what makes your product or service so special to them? What is the benefit to them?
  4. Solutions section
    It focuses on the key features of your product or service. Ideally, each aspect of the solution comes in line with one of the previously mentioned problems.
  5. Channels
    How are you planning to promote your product? An example can be via ‘word of mouth’, colleagues, Instagram or Facebook.
  6. Revenue Streams
    This section is about how you will make money of your product. For example: Freemium - 1st month free then you would charge $2.99 per month.
  7. Cost Structure
    What are the costs you occur? An example here would be fees for Apple store or Google Pay.
  8. Key Metrics
    How do you measure your success? For example: Number of paid subscribers like 300 downloads in the first month.
  9. Unfair Advantage
    What makes your product unique. Something that cannot be easily copied or bought.

When filling out the canvas, use bullet points. Don’t write long sentences. A good canvas should be understood in a few minutes.

Make sure you are filling out every box. There might be a lot of uncertainty but the canvas is there to help you and to structure your idea.

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