new strategic decision support tool

The Decision Model Canva, a decision-making support tool for managers and decision-makers that fits on A4 paper, is inspired by the Business Model Canva, a project modeling tool for entrepreneurs.

The Canva Business Model for Entrepreneurs

In the entrepreneurial world, the “Business Model Canva” tool has been completing the traditional business plan for almost 10 years (if not completely replacing it). Concretely, the Business Model Canva is a tool for modeling an entrepreneurial project and an economic model. It is based on 12 questions which the entrepreneur must answer accurately. It takes the form of a visual board.

The Business Model Canva makes it possible to set up a project without going through the business plan, the long and tedious writing of which proves to be incompatible with the need for rapid creation, especially in new technologies which are evolving in changing markets. The other advantage of the Business Model Canva is that it is based on assertions and not on probabilities, as is the case with the financial forecasts of the business plan. This vision of project set-up is adapted to the unstable and unpredictable markets that we know today.

The Decision Model Canva for managers

In the same spirit as the Business Model Canva for entrepreneurs, the “Decision Model Canva” is entering the world of management. This tool was created by Valérie Fernandez and Thomas Houy, both teacher-researchers at Télécom Paris. The Decision Model Canva was designed to obtain better visibility on a project, a difficulty or an uncertainty, in order to make a decision with better knowledge of the facts.

The tool is coming to the market at the right time, according to the two researchers, because we are evolving in a period of uncertainty linked to Covid, but above all linked to digital, the latter generating a lot of questioning and immobility among decision-makers and managers.

Presentation of the tool

The objective of the Decision Model Canva is to succeed in taking action, despite the absence of all the information necessary for the best decision-making. For this, the Decision Model Canva offers the method ” small steps ” or « test and learn “, namely to move forward little by little, to be able to reverse / pivot easily.

The process fits on an A4 page. It is based on 12 steps corresponding to 12 questions that the manager will have to answer. These 12 steps will help him to clarify his thoughts, to put words to situations, to determine the essential criteria for his decision-making. These 12 steps will also help him to “debias” his decision-making.

The 12 questions were designed on the basis of numerous studies in the social sciences, management, psychology and behavioral economics. The works of Dan Ariely (professor of behavioral psychology), Nassim Taleb (writer, statistician and essayist), Frank Knight (economist) and Daniel Kahneman (economist) were used. Ultimately, these 12 questions have the advantage of taking into account rational and economic elements, but also the instinct, values ​​and aspirations specific to each person.

Using the tool

Here are the 12 Decision Model Canva questions for managers and decision makers. Be sure to answer them in the chronological order given. The exercise takes time since some issues require action. If you still hesitate at the end of the 12 questions, you can start the exercise again on a new A4 sheet, then compare your two papers and your possible differences in answers.

Faced with uncertainty: 12 questions before launching a project

1 – Are the project objectives aligned with my values?
2 – What are my certainties?
3 – What are my blind spots?
4 – What “explorations” (trial and error tests, editor’s note) am I ready to carry out to learn more about my project?
5 – What do I expect and how can I measure what these “explorations” teach me?
6 – On what dates can I commit to carrying them out?
7 – Did these “explorations” call into question the certainties I had?
8 – Have they allowed me to reduce my blind spots?
9 – What changes should be made to the project following this learning?
10 – What are the benefits and risks associated with these changes?
11 – Is it then relevant to continue my project?
12 – If so, how then to reformulate the new objectives and the new values ​​that it defends?

The Decision Model Canva is available in the book ” Unfolding the uncertain, When social sciences help to decide in an unpredictable environment by Valérie Fernandez and Thomas Houy.


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