Ways of Working114

Activity Canvas

A visualisation tool, like the Activity Canvas, provides teams with a simple way of planning the backlog.

Evan Leybourn

August 16, 2018


A visualisation tool, like the Activity Canvas, provides teams with a simple way of planning the backlog.

How to use the Activity Canvas

By definition, doing nothing takes no effort and produces no value - and so sits at the bottom left.

Activities in the ‘Do’ quadrant are relatively easy to perform and make measurable progress towards the outcome. Those in the ‘Defer’ quadrant are important, but costly, and need to be planned appropriately. The ‘Limit’ quadrant, usually your hygiene processes, should still be undertaken but only when needed or as time permits. At the bottom right is the ‘Avoid’ quadrant, and it would be rare for you to undertake any activities here.

Activities that you know are coming up, but you’re not ready to plan yet can be placed beside the canvas in the ‘Upcoming’ section. This allows you to keep track of anticipated work without overloading the board.

This begs the question: why would you bother adding anything into the avoid quadrant? In short, because this is an active management tool and each activity will be continually reassessed and may change quadrant (e.g. from ‘Avoid’ to ‘Do’) as circumstances change.

Downloadable Tools

Download Activity Canvas PPTX

Download an editable Activity Canvas template

Download Original SVG

Download an SVG file of the Activity Canvas

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