If you have a class of students in courses like Entrepreneurship, Innovation or Business Development etc. where students are supposed to develop new ventures or business projects in groups, the Business Model Architect tools are well suited to help the students in the process of building a business around a specific product or service concept.

Actually, this was originally what Business Model Architect was developed for.

How to arrange a classroom workshop

Get ready

  • Organize the tables in small group tables.
  • Place the BUILDING SITE (canvas) on the table and let the teams seated around the board.
  • Place the cards around the board according to categories and colours.

Get started

  • Pick up the cards in the CUSTOMER VALUE category. Place them in the center of the board or read them out loud.  Discuss which card(s) best define the customer value of the product or service you offer.
  • Place the selected card(s) on the board in the CUSTOMER VALUE field.
  • Continue around the board and select cards in all fields. No specific order is required, but starting with the orange PRODUCT-related cards and the green SALES-related cards is recommended.
  • Place the board on a table and place the 13 catgories of cards next to matching colours and category names.

  • Begin with the CUSTOMER VALUE category. Spread the cards at the centre of the board or let a group member read them out loud. Pick the card that best answers the question on the board “Why do our customers buy our offer?”

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    Pick the cards that should define your business model in each category.

  • In categories like CUSTOMER RELATION you will find multiple subcategories – GET, SERVE, KEEP, GROW customers. An elaborate business model will consider cards in all subcategories.

  • Tadaa!
    When you have selected cards from all categories, you business model is finished! Capture it on this website.

Get creative

When the business model is finished and cards are selected for all categories, it is easy to give a think-out-of-the-box-challenge:

  1. Give the cards that are not used in the business model to another group.
  2. Let the other group pick three (preferably random) cards from different categories.
  3. Ask the group who made the business model to discuss what their business model would look like if they had to implement the three random cards.

This little exercise will sometimes just be fun, other times it will lead to brilliant and original/innovative ideas.

Get finished

  • When you have selected cards in all categories, you have a business model.
  • If you want elements in your business model that were not represented in the ELEMENTS cards, you can add your own elements on sticky notes.
  • Capture and save your business model by filling out  the checklist: My Business Model (FREE membership required), where you can also add short comments.

How much time do we need?

A good guideline is that you should have 3 hours to work on the business model. This includes some time for instructions in the beginning and some time for conclusion at the end.

However, it is actually very dependent on the composition of the group. Groups with one or more strong decision makers, the group may be finished within an hour. In groups with creative and talkative innovators and no decision makers, it sometimes seems like the session – and the stream of ideas –  never ends.

This is originally how the “Get creative”-obstruction mentioned above was invented – to force conventional decisionsmakers to spend some time on out-of-the-box thinking.

How many can play simultaneously?

Business Model Architect is recommended for groups of 2-4 people, so the number of group members is flexible.

It can also be applied for individuals, but an important value lies in the group discussions.

In a class setting it is possible to let until 10 groups work simultaneously, since the game requires a minimum of instructions and guidance.

What do we learn?

Business Model Architect is a tangible and visual way to learn about business models. After working with the tools your students will have an answer to the following questions:

  • What are the elements of a business models?
  • What are the different options in each elements of the business model?
  • How can I think out of the box and look for creative business models?

In general your students will have expanded their vocabulary about business models.