Business Model Canvas as an alternative to the Strategic Plan
Many companies still periodically go through the cycle of reassessing the strategic plan, and then making this concrete in an annual plan. This, while the developments around us are taking place at breakneck speed. Project groups will work on it for months and by the time the strategy is approved, adaptation will already be necessary.
Fortunately, more and more companies are discovering the value of plotting their strategy and business model on, for example, the Business Model Canvas. At Pimcy, we are a big fan of working with these kinds of visual tools, because this has many advantages.
- Collaboration, interactive process leads to more support
- Overview, the entire strategy on one page
- Speed, within 2 days you will achieve at least as good a result as in the entire planning cycle
- Flexibility, the whole approach is based on the fact that things change
HOW DOES THAT SUCH AN APPROACH WORK?
The following applies to all visual tools we work with: provide a cross-functional group of people with the right mandate and put them in one inspiring space, with enough snacks and drinks. We provide the materials, postits and other creative tools and as a facilitator help the group through the process.
Vision and mission
Our starting point is always the vision, what does the organization / business unit / startup see as the most relevant developments in the rapidly changing world that must be responded to? This is a long-term vision of the future, a dot on the horizon towards which the world is moving. The mission then is the role the organization wants to play in this changing world.
Here too we use a canvas, the Vision Canvas. A vision in this context is the long-term view of how the (relevant) environment will change. The mission is then the role the organization wants to play in this.
A business model is a high-level outline of how and to whom your organization delivers value. The same parts as in your strategic plan are discussed, but we limit ourselves to the core.
A canvas is ideal to get an overview of how the company / business unit / startup works and which variants are possible. As an alternative to the strategic plan, we like to work with the Business Model Canvas from Alex Osterwalder and the Lean Canvas from Ash Maurya. Depending on the context and the phase, we prefer one or the other.
Lean Canvas: for new products / services in the idea phase
Business Model Canvas: to assess the status quo, for the elaboration of already validated concepts.
There is some overlap in both canvases. Below is a brief explanation of both models, followed by an explanation of the similarities and differences.
This canvas is suitable for any idea of which it is not yet certain whether it will be successful. And that is almost never the case ... The focus is on finding a relevant problem that is worth solving. Most people who have an idea fall in love with their own solution and become a little blind. If the problem is not relevant enough, no one will want the solution no matter how brilliant. Lean Startup (on which the Lean Canvas is based) therefore says that before you start investing, you will have to prove that you are working on relevant matters.
You make a Lean Canvas per customer group (early adopters).
More information can be found here:
2. Business Model Canvas by Alex Osterwalder
This canvas is very suitable for organizations / business units / startups to map the current strategy in one overview. Subsequently, by making variations in one subject, you can see what the impact is on other subjects. Ideal for exploring scenarios. In addition, we often combine it with the output from the mission / vision session, to see which elements will create opportunities or threats.
More information can be found here:
SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES
Below is an overview of the different elements. There is a considerable overlap, but there is indeed a nuance difference due to the different focus.
Working in this way requires some practice, especially in the beginning guidance. Our advice: just get started, you will always gain valuable insights!