The S3 Canvas Series

A set of lighweight tools to explore and evolve an organization's business model, structure and teams.

S3 Delegation Canvas

The Guide Downloads Examples the Delegation Game


The S3 Delegation Canvas is a tool for negotiating and clarifying the delegation of a domain to a group of people (e.g. a team or a department) or to an individual (who can take on one or several roles).

Sections of the canvas are numbered to indicate the suggested order of moving through the canvas.

The Delegation Canvas

Each canvas is available in many different formats, so that you can print it for use in a workshop, create an online version (e.g. in Google Drive or in cnvrg), or create an offline version. See the format guide for more information.


The delegation canvas (and this guide) uses a few terms in a rather specific way you might not be familar with, so here’s a brief explanation:

A domain is simply a distinct area of influence, activity and decision making within an organization.

Delegation is the grant of authority by one party (the delegator) to another (the delegatee) to account for a domain (i.e. to do certain things and/or to make certain decisions).

Responsibility for domains is delegated to groups or individuals, who then may do whatever they think will help them achieve their purpose, unless it is outside the domain of the organization, explicitly forbidden, they violate somebody else’s (explicit) domain, or impede other people’s contribution to the organization in some other way.

The delegator selects the delegatees and retains overall accountability for the domain.

You can find more information about domains an delegation in the introduction to the S3 Practical Guide and in the pattern Clarify and Delveop Domains

Delegation Canvas Guide

1. Primary Driver / Purpose

What purpose does the team (or role) serve in the organization?

2. Key Responsibilities

What are the delegatee’s main responsibilities, i.e. objectives, or essential work and decision making being delegated? _

3. Dependencies

_What are the essential dependencies between this domain and other parts of the organization?__


4. External Constraints

What are important external constraints to the autonomy and influence of the delegatee(s)?

Constraints may be related to customer requirements, to the outside world, to essential stakeholders in the organization, to other responsibilities the delegatee(s) may have, or to the preference of the delegator.

Some examples:

5. Key Challenges

What are the three most important known (or anticipated) challenges the delegatee(s) might face?

Consider the outside world, the organization itself, the delegator and the specific delegatee(s). Look for

6. Key Deliverables

What does the team/role provide to achieve its purpose and meet the key responsibilities and key challenges?

When describing deliverables (products, services, experiences or transformations), take into account what other parties would expect from the team / role.

7. Competencies, qualities and skills

What competencies, qualities and skills are required – or at least preferable – to successfully achieve the purpose of this domain?

Consider what you listed as Key Responsibilities, Key Deliverables and Key Challenges.

8. Key Resources

What are essential resources the delegatee(s) can make use of?

Examples: time allocation, budget, privileges, facilities, hardware, software, etc.

9. Delegator Responsibilities

What is the delegator’s contribution to the success of the delegatee(s)?

Responsibilities should be specific and measurable, so they can be reviewed and developed over time.

10. Key Metrics

What are the critical indicators of progress, project health or performance?

Prefer simple, continuous and actionable metrics related to the domain’s purpose, key responsibilities, challenges, deliverables, and delegator responsibilities, and define specific targets, acceptable range or tolerance.

11. Monitoring and Evaluation

How will you monitor the key metrics, and when (and how) will you evaluate success of the team/role?

Monitoring: When will you check the key metrics, and who will do it?

Evaluation: Agree on a schedule for evaluation of success of the team/role, any evaluation criteria in addition to the key metrics, and any other relevant aspects of the evaluation.

The Delegation Game

The Delegation Game is a simple and fun activity for defining and delegating a new domain, or for developing shared understanding and revealing misconceptions about an existing domain. To play, gather those delegating the domain (e.g. a manager) and those the domain is delegated to (e.g. somebody in a role or position, or the members of a team). Set a timer for 15 minutes and have each participant fill in their own copy of the canvas, then go through the canvas section by section, compare notes and agree on the details of the domain.


Here’s a few examples for delegation canvases as they might appear in a digital logbook:


printable canvas
(A3 or larger, includes facilitation guide)
download pdf
canvas for
visual planning tools

(png, 140dpi)
plain canvas
or canvas with guide
or facilitation guide
or canvas slide
print on A4view online or download pdf
online versionview on Google Drive or make a copy
facilitation guidedownload pdf


The S3 Delegation Canvas by Bernhard Bockelbrink is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

More information on the S3 canvas series, and versions for printing the canvas in various formats can be found at

S3 Delegation Canvas rev. 2021-05-15