Publications Operating Model Canvas: a picture is worth a thousand words

Operating Model Canvas: a picture is worth a thousand words

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An Operating Model Canvas (OMC) builds bridges between the business on the one hand, and the tech and data organization on the other hand. The OMC is setup from a business perspective, not from an IT perspective. It focuses on what the business does, its value proposition and the main stakeholders such as customers and business partners. The model provides a solid base for a shared understanding for the business. It forges a single language for everyone involved and visualizes the essence of the business is one picture (A0 poster). This whitepaper explains the concept of an Operating Model Canvas.

What is this whitepaper about?

Building a canvas is a well-known approach to capture complex matters in a structured way in a single picture. Such an approach, as used by for example the Business Model Canvas as well, has yielded popularity by its simplicity and powerful graphical nature. Anderson MacGyver therefore uses a similar approach as one of our key instruments in assignments where we develop Digital business strategies and technology roadmaps for our clients.

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The OMC of an organization shows its value propositions, activities and actors, and offers a common language for business, tech and data.

  • The OMC is setup from a business perspective
  • The OMC strives to visualize and describe the essence of the business in one picture
  • The OMC aligns business, tech and data by building a single picture of the business
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One of the most important tools we use at Anderson MacGyver is the Operating Model Canvas (OMC). It draws a single picture of the organization in terms of its business activities, value propositions, products, channels, customers, and main stakeholders. The OMC has proven to be an excellent basis for effective discussions about the impact of strategic choices, and for setting the digital agenda. It is an intuitive, simple, and comprehensive visual representation of the organization. The OMC is developed with a clear eye on the creation of business value. With the OMC, digital landscapes, technology roadmaps, and enterprise architecture can be strongly and logically related to the shared business perspective. Building an OMC proved not only to improve the collaboration between business, tech and data, but also helps to bring business, tech and data on a shared level of understanding the business. 

It is our core business to develop a single visualization that appeals to both business, tech and data, and which is clear and easily recognised. A logical alternative to adequately represent digital landscapes and digital roadmaps would be the enterprise architecture approach. However, that immediately leads us deeply into detailed models and structures, lacking the powerful communication that is required towards business directors and line managers. 

For that reason, we have created our Operating Model Canvas. Almost each of our clients have A0-posters on the wall with their Operating Model Canvas. They use it to show the impact of digital transformations, to visualize digital roadmaps or project portfolios, new business models et cetera. The OMC helps organizations to reflect on the most effective and value-add use of technology and data, and to shape the digital landscape.

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Crystal Reijnen
Product lead | Management Consultant 6 831 967 98