It is the visual representation of the Project Management Plan, built with the participation of the various stakeholders. In this technique, three roles should be involved in the meeting, the Project Manager, the applicant area (who understands the sector’s pains and problems), and the project executing team (who has technical knowledge about the product, service, or project).
These three figures make the prototype of the mental model of the Project in a physical frame, with divisions and their tasks inserted throughout the development of the Canvas.
Canvas has very few requirements (a post-it block and an A1 sheet – even an A4) and its goal is to establish an intuitive and simple method for the stakeholders to design the Project logic.
It uses clear and brief information to describe each component, through post-its that can be of different sizes, colors and formats.
The main secret of a Canvas is its power of synthesis, in which the main characteristics of the Project are described clearly and objectively. Its characteristics are:
- Simplicity: Presents the necessary data in a simple and intuitive way.
- Clusters: Gathers a number of items by their affinities.
- Visual Clean: Transmits all the information and characteristics of the Project in a single view in the frame.
- Logical Sequence: Presents a clear and objective order of execution.
- Stakeholder Interaction: Promotes communication among the various stakeholders, as well as a better level of understanding, communication and expectations about the Project.
The completion is done in 3 (three) steps that follow a logical sequence through the Canvas frame, in which 10 (ten) components are contained in 5 (five) groups. The Canvas components form the basic concepts in Project Management that characterize a Project.
In fact ... There is no rigid sequence. Just a fill-in suggestion. During the brainstorm, the idea came up, post-it notes and glue on the board.
For its completion we must follow 3 (three) fases:
Who? / For whom?
As? /When? /How much?
Each stage has a series of rules and observations to follow, which will be further detailed below:
These five questions are asked throughout the development of the Canvas in a targeted and objective manner. The answers are put through post-its in each component thus forming the mental map of the Project.
Remembering: In reality … There is no rigid sequence. Just a fill-in suggestion. During the brainstorm, the idea came up, post-it notes and glue on the board
The beginning of everything …
The first action is to fill in the Canvas header:
Project: Phrase that summarizes the essence of the Project;
GP: Name of the Project Manager;
Date: The date of Canvas.
GP: Frederico Ramos;
Project: Mapping the Processes of HR and Financial Departments.
Answer the basic questions according to the items:
The “why? “Understands the issues that gave origin and reason to the Project. The problems, objectives, expected results of the Project are all answered in this group.
Here we find the following components:
Step 1 – Objective:
It is the purpose of the Project, which will be carried out to solve the problems. Only one large post-it is used to describe, in a specific, realistic, measurable and time-limited (SMART *) format.
Map the Processes of HR and Financial Departments (Scenario, Macroprocess and Level 1 Processes) of Company XYZ, with a cost of USD$ 8,000.00 until August 30th.
* SMART Definition:
- S – Specific: Must be written in an objective and accurate manner;
- M – Measurable: They must be measured and analyzed in terms of values or quantities;
- A – Agreed: The objective must be agreed, accepted, by the plaintiff and executor;
- R – Realistic: The objectives are achievable, it is possible to do considering the limitations of the project;
- T – Time (Time-bound): They must be limited in time, have a duration.
Step 2 – Justifications:
Problem that motivates a solution and that gave rise to the demand of the Project (problematic past, by virtue of the law, alignment with strategic planning). Here are inserted the justifications that gave cause to the Project. A small post-it should be used for each justification.
- Post-It 1 (small): Excess of documents;
- Post-It 2 (small): No Adherence to IN 01/2016 – GRC;
- Post-It 3 (small): Large number of errors and rework;
- Post-It 4 (small): Low maturity in process management;
- Post-It 5 (small): Alignment with Strategic Objective 9.
Step 3 – Benefits:
These are the benefits expected by the Project. My future using the benefits generated by the project. Good things, values, positivity. They are described in small post-its, so that each represents one of the benefits (the future after the end of the project).
- Post-It 1 (small): Compliance to Law nº xyz/2016;
- Post-It 2 (small): Higher Process efficiency;
- Post-It 3 (small): Improvement in Strategic Performance Indicators (KPI).
This group contains information on what will be done to solve the problems. The end product and product requirements are part of this group. They have the following characteristics:
Step 4 – Quality Requirements:
Are the properties that the product must possess, requirements accepted by the customer, the product ready definition. They are requested and agreed with the plaintiff and the executors. Defines various aspects of the product, such as acceptance (quality) requirements and functions, promoting alignment of expectations. What will I check on the product to see if it caters to me?
A small post-it should be used for each requirement, not being allowed to use more than one post-it per requirement.
The more features the better.
- Post-It 1 (small): Adherent to BPMN notation v2;
- Post-It 2 (small): At least 1 Process effort indicator (Driver);
- Post-It 3 (small): At least 1 Outcome result indicator;
- Post-It 4 (small): Be in BPM / Bizagi format;
- Post-It 5 (small): Document detailing the process with good spelling;
Step 5 – Scope:
I defined what will actually be done during the project. What will be done to meet the requirements and generate a delivery. Poorly defined scope causes a poorly done project.
You should ask questions, following our example, of the type:
- What will be mapped?
- What level of detail?
- Post-It 1 (small): AS-IS mapping;
- Post-It 2 (small): Definition of KPIs;
- Post-It 3 (small): Detailing of Mapped Processes;
- Post-It 4 (small): Partial deliveries;
- Post-It 5 (small): Value Chain Design;
- Post-It 6 (small): Export to web and interactive format;
Step 6 – No Scope:
What is not part and will not be delivered. Make it clear what will not be done. It helps define the boundaries of the project and align expectations.
- Post-It 1 (small): Training in Notation;
- Post-It 2 (small): Process Automation;
- Post-It 3 (small): Mapping of TO-BE;
- Post-It 4 (small): Tool Training;
Here is defined the “What if …” something happen in the project, which will cause in the project good or bad. “And if …” a fact that I considered true, did not happen ?. “And if …” I only have X monies to do my project, as I will execute
Step 7 – Rules that limit:
Assumptions and Restrictions. For a canvas, it does not matter if it is premise or restriction. Both restrict GP, team and project actions.
Restrictions are usually Time / Cost / Scope / Human Resource. It limits the actions of the team and should be some of the limits used by the GP for the development of the Project.
The assumptions are assumptions, hypotheses external to the Project, given as true to carry out the planning. A premise is not under the control of the Project Manager. For each premise, the GP must associate at least one risk, which will be described in the next step.
- Limits Team actions.
- Time / Cost / Scope Restrictions
- Assumptions given as right for planning.
- They are OR They are not over control of the GP.
- Post-It 1 (small): Overload of project team demands;
- Post-It 2 (small): Team 2 people;
- Post-It 3 (small): Budget of USD$ 8,000.00;
- Post-It 4 (small): Deadline 31/08;
- Post-It 5 (small): Start Project until 6/1;
- Post-It 6 (small): Availability of Key Users.
Step 8 – Risks:
Identify and write the risks in order to understand cause and effect. The size of the post-it and the way it is divided will depend on the profile of the Project or its manager.
The post-it can be simple, with only one sentence containing the title of the risk. Or it may be complete, for example, by writing in the upper left corner the “degree of impact on the Project”; in the upper right corner the “name of the person responsible for the contingency action”; in the upper half of the post-it the “name of the risk”; in the lower half of the “contingency action”.
Recalling that for each of the “Premises” listed in “Step 7” there should be at least one associated risk.
Simple Post-it Risk: Team Overload
Complete Post-it Risk:
- Team Overload / Time Negotiation Resources / Director / 4
- Risk / Contingency Action / Responsible Person / Degree of Project Impact
- Post-It 1: Team Overload / Negotiate Time Resources / Director / 4;
- Post-It 2: Reduction in Budget / Negotiate Scope / Sponsor / 5;
- Post-It 3: Increased Processes Identified / Negotiate New Project * / Sponsor / 3;
- Post-It 4: Increased Processes Identified / Negotiate Scope * / Sponsor / 3
- Post-It 5: Unavailability of users / Negotiate substitute / Area director / 4
* For the same risk, I can add multiple contingency actions.
See an example of a Risk Post-It.
Who? For whom?
Who am I doing this project for?
Who are the users of the project / service product?
Who will benefit from the project results?
Who are involved in the creation of the project (team)?
Step 9 – Involved:
Define the stakeholders (Client, Sponsor, Applicant, External Factors). These do not directly work on Project development, but are important in some way to your success.
The team is made up of all the servers and outsourcers who work on the Project and produce deliveries in it.
- Post-It 1 (small): Owner of the Company (Sponsor);
- Post-It 2 (small): Area Directors (Clients);
- Post-It 3 (small): HR / Financial Collaborators (Key Users);
- Post-It 4 (small): Other contributors (Users).
- Post-It 5 (small): José (Process Analyst).
- Post-It 6 (small): Maria (Process Analyst).
As? When? How much?
It defines how the Project will be done and its planning, based on the premises informed by the Stakeholders, the restrictions of scope, cost, term and team, ending with deliveries that can be both phase and Project.
Step 10 – Deliveries | Dates | Costs:
Deliveries: These are items that will be delivered in the phases or in the Project. They are tangible and concrete. It is not necessary for a phase delivery of the Project to be visible to the client, however, it must add value to the project as a whole.
Dates: Every delivery must be associated with a deadline.
Costs: Associated with Deliveries and Schedule. What are my spending estimates (for work or money)? In general terms for each delivery must be paid a service order or an invoice, that is, it has an associated cost. Even if it is an internal cost (the project team is already on the company’s payroll), there is a cost in hours spent on the project that must be negotiated with the area coordinator.
It is good practice, when it comes to costs, to reserve a portion of the budget (contingency reserve) to cover contingencies in the Project. This percentage is defined in each Project. By default, 10% (ten percent) of the total budget of the Project is assumed.
- Post-It 1: Value Chain – Approved | 15/06 | USD $ 1,000.00;
- Post-It 2: Macro Financial Processes – Identified | 30/06 | USD $ 500.00;
- Post-It 3: Macroprocesses RH – Identified | 30/06 | USD $ 500.00;
- Post-It 4: Financial Processes – Level 1 – Mapped | 30/07 | USD $ 1,500.00;
- Post-It 5: RH Processes – Level 1 – Mapped | 30/07 | USD $ 1,500.00;
- Post-It 6: Financial Processes – Level 1 – Mapped | 30/07 | USD $ 1,000.00;
- Post-It 7: Breakdown of HR Processes – Approved | 31/08 | USD $ 1,000.00;
- Post-It 8: Breakdown of Financial Processes – Approved | 31/08 | USD $ 1,000.00;
Fase 2 – Consolidate
The consolidation stage is the time when all meeting participants will review the post-its and identify gaps in planning.
With Canvas all assembled and debated, this is the best time to identify errors and improvements in planning, since the team already has knowledge of the objective, requirements, stakeholders, deliveries and other items relevant to the Project.
Post-its can be removed, added and rewritten as needed.
It is possible that when the team arrives at this stage, they are already in the process of being mentally fatigued due to the planning brainstorm. Forcing a solution when the team is already tired is an unproductive action.
If the team disagrees about the specific items of Project Planning, and there is no consensus or solution to the problem identified, each member should note the outstanding items and should think about a possible solution at a later time. If necessary, schedule a future meeting, or just send the solution to the Project Manager via email.
Fase 3 – Publish
If for the Project type, or for the organization, it is necessary to create a formal Project Management Plan (PGP) with digital signature or other procedural rite inherent to the organization, the Project Manager shall consolidate the Canvas information into TAP and / or PGP and submit it to the organization’s electronic administrative process system, as required by the internal procedure.