How and when to use change canvas?

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Change Management Institute recently had a webinar on the use of change management methodologies in agile projects. I have posted some of the key things I have learned from that event here.

At the end of the webinar there was a small survey run amongst approximately 140 attendees and ‘change canvas’ came out as one of the most important things everyone had taken from this meeting. This made me wonder: do people just not know about it? If so would they know how and where to use it? If you are one of those people I have put together this handy quick guide for you. Have a look and let me know what you think.

What is change canvas?

In simple terms, this is a one-page information sheet which contains all the most important things concerning the project you will run. Think about it like a poster on the wall, something you can always refer to when you need that moment of realignment. This is precisely how it is used: to align people towards a common purpose.

How and where do I use change canvas?

Let me tell you one of my #acechange tricks here: I use the change canvas to lead the first conversation I have with my client about the project they are thinking to implement. And that is regardless of the type of project management methodology that will be used, i.e. waterfall or agile. I use it straight away, and below are my reasons why.

Three reasons why I use change canvas for all of my projects

  1. First of all, even if you had led a similar project in the past and know exactly what you need to do to make it successful, your client doesn’t know that. From their perspective their situation is unique and you are there to help them get it right for them and at their own pace. By asking questions concerning areas of interest as indicated in the canvas, you are engaging the client to tell you the story from their perspective.
  2. Secondly, you are helping the client to describe in a coherent manner and perhaps for the first time what their project is really about. Think how powerful this can be!
  3. And finally, you want to make sure you and your client are aligned on what the project is going to deliver, why, for whom etc. Once you had your initial meeting with them, just share it with them! This will give them an opportunity to rethink what they said, align with their stakeholders and confirm back to you.

Finally here is my last  #acechange trick: you can also use it when writing your quote proposal to the client.

Good luck with your next project!