The Lean Growth Canvas helps agile teams focus their efforts on activities that lead to growth.
We really like the Pirate Metrics for Startups Model (AARRR) presented by Dave McClure a few years ago. The model helps with growth by highlighting the critical parts of the user funnel. It consists of five steps:
- Acquisition. How the product reaches its audience and gets traffic.
- Activation. How a visitor turns in to a user.
- Retention. To what extent users come back to the product.
- Referral. To what extent users share the product, in order words the viral factor of the product.
- Revenue. How the app makes money.
This is a good model for understanding how growth happens. Based on this, we built a tool that a team that’s working with growth in a lean environment can use in their day to day operation. We call it the Lean Growth Canvas.
It is meant to be used as you would use a scrum board or a Business Model Canvas: up on the wall where everyone in the team can see it and with post-it notes or whiteboard pens for making quick edits and changes.
As you can see, the canvas is split into different zones, each one roughly mapping to one of the funnel stages in the AARRR-model. In the upper left corner you write:
- Persona or market segment. You can potentially have multiple growth canvases for different personas but anyway it’s good to put a picture or a name of a proto persona to make is visible to the team.
- Onboard stage or commitment stage. Most apps have some sort of “commitment ladder”. Perhaps you have a freemium and a premium version of your product? Many social apps follow the 90/9/1-distribution of users, with 90% of the users as readers or “lurkers”, 9% as contributors and 1% as heavy creators. Sometimes the experience of using the app is so different for different stages that you may need multiple growth canvases but if not, simply make a note of the different stages here.
- Key KPI. I recommend you try to calculate the Lifetime Value of a customer and put it here but you may have other KPIs. How much is one user worth? Put that number here. If necessary, put one value for each user stage as described above.