The Simple Power of The Agile Canvas

The Agile Canvas is a responsive, question-based process that makes us smarter together in any kind of planning and organizing efforts. It's the simple power of four conversations.

In the Dream conversation, we prioritize what we most want to see possible.
In the Clarity conversation, we decide what new learning will help to realize our dreams.
In the Gifts conversation, we identify the talents and resources we have available.
In the Doing conversation, we engage our gifts to learn and achieve what we want to see  possible.

We translate everything that emerges in the Dream and Clarity conversations into questions because every effort begins in more uncertainty than certainty and questions have several times more power than statements to make us smarter together. The process keeps groups continuously aligned, responsive, realistic, inspired and collaborative.

There are several distinctive features of this unique process. The Canvas:

  • Engages any number of people, in person or virtually
  • Doesn't require any prerequisite training
  • Focuses on strengths and passions rather than weaknesses and fears
  • Leverages the diverse personalities and perspectives of participants
  • Doesn't require any special leadership or technologies
  • Keeps planning accurate anywhere from 2 weeks to 20 years
  • Excels in contexts where change and uncertainty are givens

We use the canvas in any kind of strategic planning, project management, community engagement, startup structuring and economic development initiatives. Depending on the scope of effort and participants, creating a canvas can take anywhere from 2-20 hours. The simple design of the Canvas supports every step of the process from beginning to end.

The first iterations of the process were developed in the mid-1990s by Jack Ricchiuto, inspired by research for his first book "Collaborative Creativity" (1996 Oakhill Press.). The process in its current iteration is fully detailed in "The Agile Canvas Field Guide" (2014 DesigningLife Books).

Here is the Agile Canvas Strategic Planning Guide: AgileCanvasStrategicPlanning final and the

Workshop Slides Agile Canvas-Strategic Planning Workshop Slides

Sample Agile Canvas Sample Agile Canvas Trello Board

Self-Guided Worksheet for the Agile Canvas: AgileCanvas-Quick Worksheet