What is a Team Canvas?
The Team Canvas was firstly developed by Alex Ivanov and is designed to work through with your team. By working through the elements outlined, you’ll collectively map the purpose, objectives, metrics, values, behavioural standards, influence, inclusion, rituals, and symbols that help teams function.
You can use the Team Canvas for new teams or teams that may be struggling and could do with some improvement.
The Team Canvas is also used to guide better choices, solve conflicts, lift, or add more meaning to the workday.
Elements for brainstorming in a Team Canvas can vary from a “basic” five elements of Purpose, Goals, Roles and Skills, Values and Roles Activities to a full version that that explores key aspects personal and team alignment, key values and goals and as well as the expectations and capacity of the team.
Elements explored in the full version of the Team Canvas include:
- Identifying People and their Roles in a team;
- Outlining the Purpose of “why are we doing this in the first place?”
- Looking at the Common Goals that as team you would like to achieve in a feasible, measurable and time-bounded way;
- Brainstorming what each team member’s Personal Goals are;
- Sharing what are the Values of the team that they stand for and guide the way they work and operate;
- Looking at the Strengths and Assets available now within the team to achieve the Goals set;
- Understanding what Weaknesses and Risks are recognized individually and as a team;
- Checking to see what Needs and Expectations are required for each team member to achieve the Common and Personal Goals;
- Setting the Rules and Activities that the team together would like to introduce after completing the Team Canvas.
Why do a Team Canvas?
The Team Canvas exercise is for every team member to participate actively with help from a facilitator. The canvas helps everyone map out their desired future state and goals.
It makes it visible for everyone and transforms abstract team concepts into visible concrete ones.
The outputs of the canvas are the guide rails that will help prevent team members falling off the edge when there are conflicts, decisions, or problems. It’s designed to help you foster team performance.
Who should use a Team Canvas?
The Team Canvas has been designed to assist leaders and teams in organizations in challenging the current state and imagine a better future state for how they work. Use the exercises to adopt new team norms, introduce practices and rituals for how they can work more effectively.
Use the Team Canvas to help:
- Your team navigate the ups and down and provide some early warning signals so the team can adjust;
- Your team to understand and agree on purpose, goals, measures, and values;
- Your team decides what behaviours and rituals to support your goals and values.
Team Canvas template
People & Roles
Strengths and assets
Rules & activities
Needs and expectations
Weaknesses and Risks
How to do a Team Canvas
Encourage the sharing of ideas and opinions for each of the nine elements included in the Team Canvas. Structure brainstorming by explaining each element and providing example questions.
Identify common themes from the brainstorming session that can be grouped into a focus area. By doing this you can condense ideas into one key idea and be able to view them easier and better.
Invite participants to vote on the ideas that they see as the most important. Define the objectives of voting, such as “can be easily measured and is time-bounded,” or “can be done with the current resources available.”
Collate and then share the results of your team exercise so that everyone can easily reference the agreed upon decisions, behaviours and rules going forward.
Start by showing the team canvas and explain that together you’ll be using it as a brainstorming tool to help you understand each other better:
- People & Roles: start by identifying who’s involved in the Team Canvas exercise. Ask people to put their names and roles down.
- Purpose: then work through brainstorming ideas to define what is your team purpose. Sharing a sense of purpose helps connect and propel people forward. It would help if you always mapped your team purpose to align with your organizational mission and values.
- Common Goals: Brainstorm the goals that each team member thinks for their overall team purpose and/or projects you might be working on. If your team show polarizing goals, it might come across as a red flag to be addressed in another exercise.
- Personal Goals: Ask team members about the individual goals that they personally have for the team and/or for projects or initiatives discussed.
- Values: When mapping your team values, they should align with your organizational values and mission. Team values include things like, what you value as a team, your team norms, when and how you work best. Try to ask your participants to capture their ideas in one word for this.
- Strengths & Assets: Identify the key pieces of skills (hard skills and soft skills) and assets available within the team.
- Weaknesses & Risks: Brainstorm together to share the key weaknesses and areas for improvement that team members face individually, as well as obstacles they face as a team.
- Needs & Expectations: In this step, we want to map what practices you value most as a team and what else is required to make sure the team is successful.
- Rules & Activities: Collaboratively agree on rules and activities that will help support responsibility, better conversations, inclusion trust, and ultimately, designed to support the behaviours you want to see from each other.
Online collaboration tools like GroupMap significantly reduce the amount of resources required to combine independent lists. They also make organizing and prioritizing the ideas faster and more straightforward, thus providing savings in time and effort over traditional brainstorming tools such as a whiteboard or post-it notes.
Save effort, time and money with GroupMap
Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.
Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.