I previously introduced the Project Canvas, a tool to help define design projects. It was also presented as a poster session at the Euro IA 2012 conference in Rome. In preparation for that event, I created a filled-out version of the project canvas with example content for a fictitious project. You can download the example here.
Figure 1: an example of a filled-out Project Canvas
Keep in mind that a canvas of this nature is merely a tool. It helps frame and guide conversations around the project, and it can capture decisions in a common format. But filling it out is not a science. You can start with any box, for instance. Or, you can tweak it and expand it to fit your needs.
In the above example, the project I created consisted of two parts: a concept & design phase followed by a discrete testing phase. These activities were to be carried out by different teams, as well. So I took the liberty of separating the information under Activities, Deliverables and Scope into sub-lists. This is perfectly acceptable since it brings more clarity to the project definition.
On another note, a word of caution when filling out the Project Canvas: be careful of a project that sits within a broader program. The discussion of the larger can quickly take over the discussion of the smaller. Sure, there is a relationship between projects and programs, and you shouldn’t ingore that. It may be necessary to note program goals, for instance, along side of project goals in the canvas. The point is to keep the two — projects and programs — separate and to be clear about boundaries of each.