The Purpose Canvas
This canvas is the core of Lean Service Design. It can be used to answer the question of “why”, the “raison d’être” of your project.
The Purpose Canvas is divided into a business and a customer perspective and condenses the insights gained with the Persona Canvases. As stated in the Post on this topic, we always have several target groups and not “just” the end customers. In many indirect sales models, the sales intermediaries are often just as important as the buyers, without wanting to start the chicken and egg discussion at this point. Likewise, we often have more than one characteristic among the end consumers we deal with. And last but not least, there are almost always different business stakeholders, which are essential for the successful monetization of our offering.
The Purpose Canvas helps us to keep the focus on this. And it helps us to focus on the condensed, crucial needs and problems of the various target groups. When you work with the Persona Canvas, you will quickly realize that you can list countless needs and problems. But which ones are really relevant? Where are the areas of intersection that we serve with our offerings? Reduction is the keyword here, and courage to leave gaps is required. No service or product will ever serve all target groups and needs, never solve all problems. It is therefore helpful to develop the persona canvases with well-founded and, if possible, validated knowledge. This helps you to find a relevant purpose for your offer.
Here’s how it works:
1 Primary Customer: Have you decided who the key customers for your project are? Transfer and refine the relevant goals, needs and problems from the appropriate people canvas. Orientate yourself by the icons. It is 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/product must work, but unlike the primary customer group, it is not 100% optimized for them.
3 business partners: Which business partners are relevant in the context of your project? Are there intermediaries such as distributors and service partners? Also their goals and problems should be part of your purpose. If you have not yet created a People Canvas for them, 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 the content and refine it if necessary.
5 Purpose: Now try to describe in the team what the purpose of the project is. Ideally this is derived from the needs, (business) goals and problems of all groups of people involved. It is the ” Mission Statement” of your service/product project against which you will check all later steps and ideas.
Therefore, deal intensively with the needs that your offer satisfies or the problems that it solves. In this analysis lies the key to a relevant, differentiating and inspiring purpose. And do not underestimate the value of this information. Because one of the first questions an investor will ask you – and sooner or later you will have to deal with the financing of your project – is: “And what problem do you solve with this?”