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How A Business Model Canvas Helps Agile Teams

business model canvas agile

If you've ever thought "who came up with these ideas?", you probably need a business model canvas on your agile development team.

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If you’ve ever thought “who came up with these ideas?”, you probably need a business model canvas on your agile development team.

Even if you don’t consider yourself able to steer the direction of a software product (you’re a programmer, in UX, operations, QA etc.) it’s critical that sound decisions are made about the business.

Without a comprehensive plan forward, ego can easily take over your agile backlog.

In this episode I share what a business model canvas is, examples of common software products and how the canvas (also known as a lean canvas) can help you as a software developer or any other discipline on your team.

The business model canvas, business canvas, or “lean canvas” has been popularized by Eric Ries, Alex Osterwalder, and Ash Maurya.

It divides up the aspects of a business into 9 sections that a software company should experiment with to increase profit.

When your team is deciding “what features should we build in our software?” the business model canvas should be the first lens through which decisions are looked at.

Any user stories your team adds to their backlog should tie back to these sections of the business model canvas, otherwise they can easily be “gut decisions” with no sound business backing.

The canvas can provide your software development team with an array of potential opportunities to explore, other than just “cranking out features”.

The 9 Sections of a Business Model Canvas

  1. Value Propositions
  2. Customer Segments
  3. Channels
  4. Customer Relationships
  5. Revenue Streams
  6. Key Resources
  7. Key Partners
  8. Key Activities
  9. Cost Structure

If you’re a product manager (or have one on your team) it’s essential to understand this information.

The business model canvas is not a fixed asset, it will constantly change as your company learns more about your software product and what customers want, how best to offer it to them, and what the competitive landscape is like.


Leadership Skills for Lean Software Development
Impact Mapping: What’s Your Software Development Worth?

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Jayme Edwards

A family man and veteran of over 30 software projects, Jayme experienced many wins and losses that led him to helping developers succeed in their careers online.