Purpose Canvas

1024 578 Michelangelo Canonico

Write Down a Powerful Statement of Purpose

A truthful inner purpose is what drives us as an individual or as a team.

It answers the question of what to accomplish and why it is essential.

Once clarified the fundamental purpose, next one is stating the Vision to illuminate the land of our destination, and last but not least, how to make remarkable the journey clarifying the mission we want to undertake.

For this article, I am going to introduce how to facilitate the discovery process to declare the Purpose statement, putting forward Vision and Mission in a future article. If you want to know more about the importance of clarifying and stating purpose, vision and mission, you can have a look into my previous article What drives Agile Squads to achieve goals.

Here an overview of my favourite, the Purpose Canvas and relative sequence of steps that will guide us into the process to develop a statement of purpose.

The Purpose Canvas

First off, to set up a team exercise to come up with a draft version of our squad purpose.

To do that divide the activity into two parts: Each squad explore the inner why’s first, then the relative actions to create the first draft of their team’s purpose.

Purpose canvas Part 1 – generate valuable options

Focus the team on a specific point in the future so that they can imagine themselves living in the future.

It would be nice to introduce the exercise, providing some good example, then, put on inspirational music, light, or anything to create a positive atmosphere and let them go for a few minutes.

Use the Purpose canvas to and ask the team members to write a few words individually for each of the following scenarios on the purpose canvas board:

Scenario 1 (Green line): If we were a group of individuals and didn’t become a squad, what would our business or customers miss out on?


Scenario 2 (Blue line): If we did become a squad and were brilliantly successful, how would that impact people who aren’t on the side like business or customers?

Stick all the answers on the Purpose Canvas, group and reduce them using an affinity map (group them where they are of a similar theme).

Use dot voting to select a max number of three options in total from both green and blue line.

These finally selected options will be the remarkable reasons that will drive your squad.

Purpose Canvas Part 2 – state actionable outcomes

With the three selected reasons in mind, ask the team to write down some ideas following this question:

What actions we will make to keep our purposeful reasons alive and how we are going to implement those actions?

Stick all the answers on the Purpose Canvas in the centre of the arrow, group and reduce them using an affinity map, finally use dot voting to select a max number of three options. These options will outline your actionable path.

Stick on the big picture poster the three reasons and the three paths, do a final review and make adjustments as necessary, finally, try to synthesise everything in one sentence.

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