Purpose Canvas
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Purpose Canvas

This canvas is the core of Lean Service Design. It’s used to answer the question of “why”, the purpose of your project.

The Purpose Canvas is divided into a business and a customer side and condenses the insights gained with the People Canvases. Various players are involved in the context of a service or product. We deal with different customer groups (personas) but also with a bunch of stakeholders. In some business cases we even have intermediates. All of them have needs, goals and problems to be solved. But let’s face it:

No service or product will ever serve all target groups, answer to all needs or solve all problems at a time.

Keep focused

The Purpose Canvas helps you to keep your focus in this regard. And it does so by focusing on the condensed, decisive needs and problems of the most important player. You should focus on a maximum of two personas (one primary and one secondary) on the customer side. On the business side try to find the maximal overlap of goals and needs of your stakeholders. And if necessary involve also your intermediates. For that the canvas offers you on each side two columns.

When this job is done, it’s time to phrase a mission statement outlining a vision of how your service or product should bring together the needs of both sides and solve a problem.

This is how it works:

1 Primary Customer:

Decide who are the decisive customers for your project? Transfer and refine the relevant goals, needs and problems from the corresponding People Canvas. Use the icons as an indication. It’s important that you work out the results in more detail.

2 Secondary Customer:

Who is the secondary customer group for your service/product? For the secondary customer group the service or product will work, but it is not 100% optimized as for the primary customer group.

3 Business Partner:

Which Business Partners are relevant in the context of your service? Are there intermediaries like distributors and service partners? Their goals and
problems should be part of your purpose. If you haven’t created a People Canvas for them yet, you should do so now.

4 Business:

Work out the goals and problems of your company. This is where the People Canvases of your stakeholders come into play. You can derive that content and refine it.

5 Purpose:

Now try to describe the purpose of the project. Ideally it is derived from the needs, (business) goals and problems of all groups of people involved. This is the “Mission Statement” of your service/product project against which you will check all later steps and ideas.

In our workshops we often use this template to phrase the purpose:

We believe that:

By_____________________ (doing A)
Our customer _________________(will achieve or do B)
And our partner(s)_____________ (will achieve or do C)
This way we __________________(will achieve or do D)

I want to give you an example from our training case. In that case we look on how a gym provider can scale and reach a different customer group. The purpose is phrased as follows:

We believe that:

By providing a time and location-independent training
Our customers will be much more motivated to keep a regular training
This way we will be able to scale our business without expanding in terms of location or staff

From there you can go now to generate ideas along the gym journey that makes this happen. You can now design how a location and time independent training can look and feel like. And everything you and your team are designing will have to meet this statement.

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