The S3 Canvas Series

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

The S3 Organization Canvas

The Guide Downloads


The S3 Organization Canvas is a tool for exploring new business models or product ideas, or for communicating existing ones. Sections are numbered to indicate the suggested order of moving through the canvas.

For new business models or products, it’s a good idea to create several canvases, which each explore different tangents, and then integrate the best ideas into a smaller set of canvases. Those can then be tested through pretotyping or other means of interacting with (potential) customers.

Organization Canvas Guide

Here’s how you create an organization canvas for your organization:

1. Purpose

What is the overall purpose the organization exists to fulfill?

Describe the primary driver and main requirement the members of the organization strive to fulfill.

2. Core Values

What are the fundamental principles that guide how members of the organization interact with each other and with the outside world?

List those guidelines for behavior and/or ethical constraints you consider essential to the identity or success of your organization.

What is the legal status of the organization? Who are the shareholders, if any?

4. Key Constraints

What significant internal or external constraints limit people’s autonomy to decide and act in the organization?

Consider legal or regulatory constraints, decision-making, stakeholder influence, sharing gains and losses, etc.

5. Key Deliverables

What does your organization provide to achieve its purpose?

Describe at least the top three deliverables (products, services, components or materials).

6. Customer Segment

Considering the organization’s purpose, who are your ideal customers?

Early Adopters: Which initial customers can help you discover whether your organization is fulfilling its purpose effectively?

Identify a small group of your customer segments that will help you find out fast whether or not your business model is viable.

7. Unique Value Proposition

What is unique about your organization that will convince potential customers and partners to choose your organization over others?

8. Sales and Marketing Strategy

How do you reach and engage prospective customers, and how do you provide and deliver your products and services to them?

How would customers find out about your products and services, and how would you deliver your products and services to your customers? What are your customer segment’s preferred channels? Which channels are most effective, which ones are cost-efficient?

9. Key Challenges

What important challenges (risks, vulnerabilities, uncertainties, etc) are you aware of that could impede the organization’s ability to fulfill its purpose effectively?

Challenges often relate to deliverables, customer segment and unique value proposition, but also to sales or marketing strategy, resources, costs, partners, or revenue streams. Look for

10. Key Partners

Who can provide essential products, services or support to your organization? What might you outsource or buy?

11. Cost Structure

What are fixed and running costs for your organization? What are the most significant costs, and how do costs relate to the number of items produced or acquired?

12. Revenue Streams

How will you (start and) sustain your organization financially?

Consider both short-term and long-term revenue.

13. Key Metrics

How will you measure the organization’s effectiveness in fulfilling its purpose?

Define simple, continuous and actionable metrics.


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


The S3 Organization Canvas by Bernhard Bockelbrink is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This work is a derivative of the Business Model Canvas by Alexander Osterwalder and Strategyzer, and of the Lean Canvas by Ash Maurya.

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

S3 Organization Canvas rev. 2024-04-16