The Lean Canvas, created by Ash Maurya, is a powerful way to maintain a shared understanding of the essence of your business.
Gather your team and start by drawing the canvas on a white board, with large enough boxes to post stickies in. This will help you get thoughts down quickly. You’ll then clean them up before finalizing the canvas. Note the order that you fill out the canvas.
The first step is to fill out the customer segments and problem boxes simultaneously. Make sure that your problem(s) and customer segment(s) match up, so you can link them. Also take note of the existing alternatives and who your early adopters may be.
Next, is your unique value prop and your high-level description. After that, your solution. Then consider how you will reach your customer segments. Again, make sure that there is linkage between your customer segments, problems, solution, and your channels.
How will your company make money? Post your various revenue streams in the bottom right box. Consider your costs. List both fixed and variable costs associated with your business.
What are your key metrics. What specific numbers will show how your business is doing. Finally, consider what your unfair advantage might be. What do you have that can not easily be copied by a competitor.
Now, post your lean canvas on the board. Transfer the text, in a summative way, to the lean canvas.
Post this canvas somewhere visible and make sure your entire team understands what’s on it. Regularly update it with key learnings.
A great way to maintain your Lean Canvas is with Lean Stack.