Frugal management canvas

Abhinav Agarwal
The Frugal Company
Published in
3 min readMay 27, 2023


Change management is a wicked problem !

The Frugal Management Canvas is a strategic framework inspired by various concepts, including the Lean Canvas, effectuation, polarity mapping (to manage resource scarcity), the theory of constraints (TOC) and the OKR (Objectives Key Results) framework to empower your teams for changement management or innovation. It aims to provide a one-page, constraint-based strategy document for solving operational and strategic problems by leveraging available resources and finding creative and efficient solutions. I have created it after testing it through various workshops and this format helps participants get an overview of the strategy.

Download the pdf version of the Frugal Management canvas from

The Frugal Management Canvas consists of the following components:

  1. Needs: Clarify Needs and Jobs to Be Done: Identify the specific needs and problems that your business aims to address. Understand the jobs your customers or stakeholders are trying to accomplish and the outcomes they desire.
  2. Objective: Find an Inspiring Objective and Goal: Define an inspiring and meaningful objective that the business will work towards. This objective should align with the overall purpose and vision of the organization.
  3. Results: Identify SMART Results: Set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) results or key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help track progress toward the objective. These results should be measurable and provide a clear indication of success. Based on the OKR framework ideally, identify three Key Results.
  4. Allies: Map the web of partners and collaborators: Identify and map out the network of partners and collaborators who will benefit from the desired change or are also working towards solving similar problems. Understand the potential synergies and opportunities for collaboration.
  5. Resources: Brainstorm Resources and Skills Available: Take stock of the resources, skills, and capabilities available within the organization or team or through external partners. This includes both tangible resources (e.g., financial, physical) and intangible resources (e.g., knowledge, expertise).
  6. Activities: Based on effectual thinking, brainstorm solution activities based on available resources. Generate potential solution activities that leverage the available resources identified earlier. Focus on finding creative and efficient ways to address the identified needs and achieve the desired results.
  7. Hypothesis: Identify Hypotheses to be tested and next steps: Formulate hypotheses that can be tested to validate the effectiveness of the proposed solutions. Determine the next steps and actions required to implement and test these hypotheses.
  8. Rituals: Identify Rituals for planning and retrospectives: Establish rituals and practices for planning, tracking progress, and conducting retrospectives. These rituals help ensure alignment, accountability, and continuous improvement.
  9. Obstacles to change: Identify processes and habits as obstacles: Identify existing processes, habits, or behaviors that may act as obstacles or constraints to change. Obstacles mobilize key resources that would otherwise be used for new activities. Boxes 9 and 10 are derived from polarity mapping to identify and manage resources strategically, and diplomatically that could be blockers to change.
  10. Health metrics: Identify overuse of resources: Recognize new activities or processes and resources that have been mobilized that affect ongoing activities and quality of business as usual. Resources if overused or misallocated, could negatively impact the health metrics of existing activities. Ensure proper allocation and management of resources to maintain a balanced approach to address change resistance.

The Frugal Management Canvas provides a concise framework for strategic decision-making and problem-solving, leveraging available resources and focusing on efficient solutions that drive impact and outcomes. By considering constraints and aligning actions with available resources, organizations can find creative and effective ways to achieve their objectives.

There should have been an eleventh box for governing team or organizational values which acts as a filter for conflict resolution and prioritization also.

Please comment if you have any suggestions or remarks. You can download the pdf version of the canvas from



Abhinav Agarwal
The Frugal Company

#Frugal Innovation #Polymath #Minimalist #Biohacker #Ethical Leadership