What is on this site?

The tool

The Operating Model Canvas tool is about high-level operating models (one page or 10 pages) not detailed operating models (100 pages or 1000 pages). The tool defines the term operating model as being about – POLISM

  • Processes – the work that needs to be done to deliver the value proposition or service proposition
  • Organization – the people who will do the work and how they are organized
  • Locations – where the work is done and what buildings and assets are needed in these locations
  • Information – the information systems that support the work
  • Suppliers – what organizations provide inputs to the work and what sort of relationships exist with these organizations
  • Management systems – the planning, budgeting, performance management, risk management, continuous improvement and people management processes needed to run the organization

The tool is displayed as a Canvas – the Operating Model Canvas.  The objective of the Canvas is to capture thoughts about how to design operations and organization that will deliver a value proposition to a target customer or beneficiary. It helps translate strategy into choices about operations and organization.Slide1The Canvas is used to capture those elements of POLISM that are important to the value proposition (or service proposition) that the organization wants to deliver. Often an organization is delivering more than one value proposition, which can make the visual representation a little more complicated (scroll down to HR example).


The Canvas can be used to understand or design the operating model of a group of businesses, a single business, a function, a charity, a department, a club or a government department. Examples of all of these types of Canvases are available in the book.  Blogs connected with the Canvas are hereA video about the Canvas is here.  A video explaining how the Operating Model Canvas links to the Business Model Canvas is here.

The book

(Published 15 March, 2017)

slide1Buy from the publishers who also have e-copies, Van Haren Publishing (Note: cheaper to buy from Amazon)

The Canvas can be used to understand the “as is” or “current” situation and to design a new or “to be” or target operating model. In the book there are examples of how to design a target operating model as well as examples of the difference between “ as is” and “to be” models. The HR example below includes thoughts about the management system (clock icon) as well as the other five elements.



Buy from Amazon (link to Amazon.co.uk books at £27, link to Amazon.com books at $40)

The toolbox

The book describes five core tools and thirteen additional tools. The tools that are highlighted and underlined are further explained and debated on the blog pages of this site. You can click directly to them below or go to the blog site look down the navigation on the right hand side to find “categories” and then click on the category connected with the tool you want.

Core tools:

Additional tools: