Workshop Exercises: Understand

Business Model Mapping

Build a refined and shared understanding of an existing or new business model

Illustration of Business Model Mapping
Run a Business Model Mapping play

Timing: Planning

Origin: Alexander Osterwalder & Business Model Foundry AG

Prep time
10 minutes

Run time
60-90 minutes

Group size

Why: Enable teams to identify gaps, assess viability, and explore new business opportunities within a business model

When: Use to develop a new business idea, refine an existing model, explore new markets, or undergo strategic planning

This workshop exercise is part of the Workshop Patterns printed card deck.

A collection of workshop exercises that will help you ditch dull meetings and facilitate with confidence. It will help you master the design process and have more productive time with your team. The card deck will be ready for purchase in the end of 2023 and is now undergoing rigorous testing.

Reserve your deck!

Instructions for running this play

  1. Draw the following canvas on a large surface:
  2. Begin by describing each customer segment using different colored sticky notes for each type of segment.
  3. Map out the value propositions your organization offers each customer segment using the same color sticky notes for value propositions and customer segments that go together. If a value proposition targets two different segments, the sticky note colors of both segments should be used. Consider Value Proposition Mapping for step 1 and 2..
  4. Map out the remaining blocks of the canvas, trying to use the colors of the related customer segment.
  5. Assess strengths and weaknesses by marking weak notes with a ⊖ and strong notes with a ⨁.
  6. Use one or several additional canvases to map out either improved business models or totally new ones.
  7. Follow up with an Assumptions Mapping to prioritize research efforts and decrease uncertainty.

Tips to perfect this play

Master and adapt the play to fit your context and needs.


Maps are for creating a shared understanding across disciplines – between you, your team, and your stakeholders. Invite everyone relevant.

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