Podcast #133 Materials: The Practice Model Canvas, by Start Here HQ




Description and instructions from Start Here HQ, a companion to our podcast with Alice Devendra on design thinking for lawyers:

The Practice Model Canvas is a visual planning tool for thinking through the core elements of a legal product or service. While it isn’t necessarily a replacement for a fully fledged business plan, it will help you collect assumptions about the key components of your proposed offering. It is the preferred tool for new and established businesses alike following Design Thinking and Lean Startup methods.

The canvas is a rapid prototype. It will help you address and capture your thoughts about the essential elements of your product or service.

While there is no right or wrong way to use the tool, we have a few suggestions that have worked well for us and our clients:

  • Use sticky notes instead of writing directly on the canvas. This lets you more easily rewrite or rearrange your thoughts.
  • Go in order (mostly). The numbers are useful guides, but not mandates. If something occurs to you for a box other than the one you’re working in, capture that thought but then go back to where you were. That said, if you can’t think of good answers for one of the boxes, skip it and come back to it later.
  • Be specific. The canvas works best when you’ve identified a specific customer with a specific problem set. If you have multiple practice areas, or if you perform different services within one area, pick a narrow offering to start with and create additional canvases for other services.
  • Set a timer for each section. Try to knock out an entire canvas in about an hour. That’s roughly five minutes per box with some transition time in between.
  • Rinse and repeat. Your assumptions will change over time as you gain more information, hopefully through real-world testing. Update your canvas when that happens, or don’t be afraid to make a new one.

This version is 11″ x 17″. You can find larger sizes at Start Here HQ.