How to use

Note: this video focuses on how to use the paper version of the Innovation Canvas. The underlying principles also apply to the digital version described below, but the user interface has been adapted to suit an online experience.

1. Start a canvas

Decide on a project name and choose which area to start in.

Remember that you can begin with any of the 3 Innovation Canvas areas (Opportunity, Offer, Capability) as they are in continuous, iterative interaction with each other.

You may find it useful to watch this short video on how to use the Innovation Canvas. It focuses on the paper version but the underlying principles are the same as for the digital version.

2. Assessment

Identify the project's strengths and weaknesses by assessing how well you are able to answer the questions given under each Topic.

A high score (4 or 5) requires that you can answer the question well and have strong evidence to back this up. A low score (1 or 2) means this is something you are unable to answer or have only partially addressed so far.

By 'evidence' we mean research data, documents, procedures or practices that you can use to demonstrate the validity of your response. For example, a customer survey, cash flow forecast or patent search.

Work through all the Topic questions scoring your responses as follows:

1 - I am unable to answer (I don't know the answer or haven't thought about it yet)

2 - I can answer partially (I have some ideas about this but not many)

3 - I can answer fairly well (and have some evidence for this)

4 - I can answer very well (and have evidence for this)

5 - I can answer fully (and have plenty of evidence for this)

View your scores as you progress through the questions. You may find it helpful to make separate written notes to accompany your scoring.

3. Challenges

Once you have assessed all the Topics, review your scores.

Use the low numbers as an indication of the Topics you may need to focus on first.

Think about what you need to focus on and write this out as a Challenge as clearly and succinctly as you can.

Select 3 Topics as as your key challenges.

4. Actions

Read through the recommended potential resources or tools you might want to use. These suggestions are based on the Topics you have chosen as your top 3 Challenges.

Use these recommendations as a starting point in thinking about your action plan.

Write down as an Action what you will do to overcome each of the Challenges you’ve identified. Make the Actions as specific as possible:

  • What is to be done
  • Who is doing it
  • By what date

5. Summary

Your Innovation Canvas is ready!

You can download, print and share the summary of your completed Canvas.

The Innovation Canvas is perhaps most useful as a springboard for discussion. Use it to seek perspectives, ideas and advice from your team members, objective observers or other people who may be able to help with useful experience, relevant knowledge or contacts.

You may also find it helpful to update your Canvas later in the project's development, and return to it on a regular basis.