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Build the MVP Canvas

In the ‘Build the MVP Canvas’ activity, you will delve into the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Canvas, a dynamic tool inspired by the lean startup philosophy. This canvas serves as a powerful template for validating new product ideas or refining existing ones, offering a structured approach to innovation and product development.

The MVP Canvas is a visual chart featuring key elements that define an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), including the MVP’s proposal, business hypotheses, metrics, features, segmented personas, customer journeys, and a schedule. This comprehensive canvas empowers individuals and teams to align their ideas with the essential groundwork required to create and validate their product visions effectively.


  1. Explanation: Explain each block within the MVP Canvas.
  2. Block Completion: Fill up each block of the MVP Canvas with pertinent and compelling information.
  3. Review and Adjustment: Review and fine-tune the content within the MVP Canvas blocks, ensuring they are aligned with the desired outcomes.

For Step 1, here are the essential questions corresponding to each block:

  1. MVP Proposal: What’s the primary proposal for this MVP? What specific problem or need does it address?
  2. Segmented Personas: Who is the intended audience for this MVP? Can we further segment and test this MVP within a smaller group to gather more specific insights?
  3. Journeys: Which customer journeys are expected to be enhanced or improved with the introduction of this MVP?
  4. Features: What components or features are we including in this MVP? How will these features simplify or enhance user actions within the product?
  5. Expected Results: What learnings or outcomes are we aiming to achieve through this MVP? What specific results are we seeking?
  6. Metrics to Validate Business Hypotheses: How can we effectively measure the results and outcomes of this MVP? Which key performance indicators (KPIs) will validate our underlying business hypotheses?
  7. Cost & Schedule: What are the projected costs associated with developing this MVP? What is the expected due date for the MVP? When can we begin examining the data to validate its performance? Are there any schedule constraints to consider?

The MVP Canvas typically marks the conclusion of a Lean Inception workshop. However, it can also be employed as a standalone tool or in conjunction with other canvases, such as the Business Model Canvas, to further refine and validate product concepts.

The duration of this session may vary significantly depending on factors like the complexity of the initiative, the number of participants involved, and their familiarity with the concept of MVP. This duration can range from as short as 30 minutes to a full-day workshop, as needed.

The MVP Canvas serves as an essential bridge between ideas and action, providing a structured approach to turn innovative concepts into viable, customer-centric products.

This post is part of a series of posts on inception related activities.

Paulo Caroli

Paulo Caroli is the author of the best-selling book “Lean Inception: How to Align People and Build the Right Product” (the first on a series of books on business agility). He's also the creator of FunRetrospectives.com , a site and book about retrospectives, futurospectives and team building activities. Caroli writes on this blog frequently. Receive the next post in your email. Sign up here.
Participation Level Activity: Clarify the Participation Level and Engage Your Workshop Participants Effectively

Participation Level Activity: Clarify the Participation Level and Engage Your Workshop Participants Effectively

The “Participation Level” activity is a simple yet effective tool for collecting participant information and gauging their involvement in a workshop or session. By utilizing color-coded post-it notes and encouraging interactive introductions, this activity not only enhances understanding but also infuses energy and engagement into the group. Whether you’re organizing an inception or any collaborative session, this activity sets a vibrant tone and fosters a sense of active participation among attendees.

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