Last updated on | Organisational Change

How to Develop Your Strategic Lean Change Canvas

by Luís Gonçalves
lean change canvas

Change is as much an art as it is a science, but it seems that too many people are focused on tool sand methods and are not thinking the art is needed as well.

Before the book Lean Change Management by Jason Little was published, 2 problems occurred:

  1. How can change agents convince stakeholders who promote change initiatives to accept uncertainty that change brings and use a feedback-driven approach to change?
  2. How do change agents start a change initiative using Lean Change Management approach?

After couple of weeks of study, Jason and other organizational practitioners came to the following conclusions:

  1. Change agents know that a feedback-driven approach to change is more effective. They also know that the plan does not survive the first contact with people affected by the change.
  2. Using lighter-weight planning tools is the key for convincing stakeholders that a plan is in place. The plan is created through organizational feedback.
  3. Using Agile practices, like lean coffee or retrospectives can reduce the symptom of resistance by creating an extra feedback loop about the change.
  4. Visualizing the change through canvases and big information radiators are more effective than traditional software-based tools.

It´s important to select and develop your own change process that best suits to your organization. There are 4 main components to developing your own change management process:

  1. Developing your Strategic Lean Change Canvas
  2. Aligning your organization
  3. Developing your Change Agent Network
  4. Executing the Lean Change Management Cycle

In this post, we will guide you through developing the strategic lean change canvas.

Developing your Strategic Lean Change Canvas

lean change canvas
Source: Lean Change Management by Jason Little


Many companies are starting with a change strategy. That´s important, however, it´s also crucial how you create it.

The best way is to create it through a facilitated session using big, visible canvases, and sticky notes on a wall.

The goal of the lean change canvas is to help align people in your organization to answer the most important questions they have when change is introduced:

  1. What is the vision for our organization? First talk about the vision and then do a visioning exercise
  2. Why is this change important to the organization? Create urgency by asking “Why is this change important?” Urgency is a matter of perspective, so consider multiple points of view.
  3. How will we measure success? These are typically business objectives.
  4. How will we show progress? These are the indicators that show your organization is heading in the right direction.
  5. Who is affected by the change and what will they need to do differently? You can explore this question using the McKinsey 7S model.
  6. How will the change team support people through the transition? You should answer the questions like “How will you communicate the change? How will you collect feedback about the change?”
  7. What´s the plan? Use ideas from Kanban to help you sequence the changes. One of the objectives of Kanban is to limit work in progress, by doing this it will reduce the change fatigue effect.

Facilitating a Strategic Change Canvas session

There are several different approaches for group facilitation. The most important thing is to visualize the canvas on a wall using sticky notes.

First create a lean change canvas on a wall and use the following questions to guide you to complete the canvas:

  1. What points haven´t we considered yet?
  2. What are our assumptions about this strategy?
  3. What is our riskiest assumption?
  4. How often should we review this strategy?
  5. How will we collect feedback from staff
  6. What other important information should we put on this canvas?

Who should be involved in a session?

The change sponsor: C-level executive or VP

The change team: It´s a team, employees, consultants that will facilitate the change. Do not rely only on consultants.

The executive team (optional): It´s up to you if you want to include executive team, it may depend on the size and structure of your organization.

Once the Strategic Lean Change Canvas has been created, it´s time to start aligning stakeholders in your organization with your change strategy.


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Luís Gonçalves

About Luís Gonçalves

Luis Gonçalves is an Entrepreneur, Author & International Keynote Speaker that works exclusively with Senior Executives of 7 to 8 figure businesses on the deployment of his game changing ‘Organisational Mastery’ Methodology.


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