The project canvas is a simple tool designed to help project managers describe a particular project to their teams, clients, and other people. It is an ideal structure to define stages that a project will go through and a simple structure of its elements. It provides an overview of the project in a simplified way. Furthermore, it also improves communication between the project team.
The Project Canvas is a visual tool that helps you create the most essential or cross-departmental document regarding a project. It helps make your team intercultural and ensures that all the members have a clear understanding of the purpose and goals of the project.
How to Use Project Canvas Tool?
Several Project Canvas tools are available on the internet to download for free or buy to avail of their premium features. It can also be used online through Google Sheets or the Online Canvas.
Where to Use the Project Canvas?
The Project canvas can be used where communication among the project team is necessary. It ensures that the entire team is working to achieve a shared goal. The Project Canvas should be created earlier in the project’s life cycle. Just as a picture looks more elaborated on a canvas, a project explained on a Project Canvas is more elaborated.
Elements of Project Canvas
An ideal Project Canvas consists of the following elements:
- User Benefits
Let’s discuss each of these elements in some detail:
The “Users” section identifies the people who will be interacting with your project in one way or another. This part answers, “who interacts with your project? In what ways do users are organized as groups? The users’ traits, qualities, characteristics, and behaviors are specified in this section.
The “user benefits” are advantages the users will get after the completion of the project. It would be best to shape these benefits around users’ expectations rather than what you intend to deliver. It would be better if you focused on the well-defined benefits. Keep in mind that not all users will be affected by the benefits in the same way. Try to spend some time thinking about a particular benefit and its beneficiaries.
The “Goals” are the high-level statements of the project canvas that provide the context for what a project is trying to accomplish. Make sure that your project goals are different from the user benefits. This part includes your team or company’s goals, which may or may not match the goals of your users.
The “Participants” include everyone involved in the development of a project. Your users or customers are not participants, as they have already been accounted for in another section of this project.
The “Activities” refer to the methods you will use to complete a project. They include everything you and your team will do throughout the project’s life cycle.
The “Deliverables” lists everything that will be delivered at the end of the project or a particular milestone. Deliverables are not essential to include in the internal working documents, like spreadsheets and concept maps.
The “Risks” section mentions all the events that may have a negative impact on a project. To prevent your project from these risks, you can release a schedule or further developments in the project plan. These risks include delays in development or external factors that may affect your project.
When a project is big, it is broken down into smaller steps. These steps are referred to as milestones. The “Milestones” list the key dates and events to frame the project’s overall timeline. This part of Project Canvas does not need to be detailed. It can just be a clear outline of important dates ahead.
The “Constraints” part specifies the limitations of work processes. Unlike risks, constraints are sure to impact the development process.
The “Scope” is the last main character of the project. It clarifies the features and services that will be addressed in a particular project. You should include what is not included in the project’s scope in this section. This way, it will be easier for you to let your client know what you offer them.