PBB Canvas tip sheet


Please find below a few tips for each of the PBB Canvas blocks, when running a PBB session.

PRODUCT NAME: Imagine that this product is in a box; what´s the name written on the box?

PROBLEMS: What is the current state for this product context? What are the problems and needs that the product users have?

EXPECTATIONS: What is this product desired state? What would you change, eliminate and create? (Try not to describe the solution).

PERSONA: Who are the users, roles and people involved in the product?

Write these as personas profiles in post-it’s.

Persona example: First-time online groceries shopper

For each persona, ask what they do? (Write on post-it and place it to the left of the persona past-it); ask what they expect? (Write on post-it and place it to the right of the persona past-it).

Typically, responses describe the user’s actions or interactions with the product: the features.

Feature Example: Buy Online Groceries

FEATURES: Select a feature post-it (from the personas block). Write on a post-it and place it on the feature block (top-left position).

Next, describe the “Problems” and the “Benefits” related to each feature. Write down the feature’s problems and the feature’s benefits on smaller post-it notes and position on the left and right side of the post-it with the feature description.

Feature Example: Buy Online Groceries

Benefits example: Spend more time with the family, don’t have to carry heavy weight, shop faster.

Repeat for the next feature for the persona. Try to follow an order that makes sense for the persona using the product.

Bring at most 10 features.

PRODUCT BACKLOG ITEM (PBI): break a feature into small work items. Each step will be a PBI.

Start by asking the very first work step to get started on the feature. Write it down. Then ask about the second work step. Then the third and so forth, until completing the feature workflow, step by step (from top to bottom, underneath the feature).

For example, consider the sample feature “Buy Online Products” steps:
1. Conduct a product query
2. Select a product
3. Add to shopping cart
4. …

USER STORIES: represent each PBI as a User Story, with the 3 Ws: WHO – WHAT – WHY, on the template:

As a WHO
I want WHAT
So that WHY

The “WHO?” is on the persona block, the “WHAT?” is on the PBI block, lastly, the “WHY?” is in the features block, the benefit next to the feature description.

User Story example:
As a First-time online groceries shopper
I want to conduct a product query
So that I can shop faster


Disclaimer: I´ll write a few more blog posts about the PBB. This content has already been available in Portuguese. I´ll be translating it from Portuguese to English and sharing more about it soon. PBB has been created and shared by Fabio Aguiar.



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 about Lean Strategy and Delivery). 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 .
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