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This content is taken from the University of Leeds & Institute of Coding's online course, Decision Making: How to Choose the Right Problem to Solve. Join the course to learn more.

Planning to solve your own problem

In the last step, we thought about how Shona might fill out a Proposal Canvas document to help her get permission to run her fundraising celebrity dog show.

Young man writing at a desk

As you’ve been following along, you may have had your own problem that you identified last week in mind. Now you have a chance to work through the same process to create and share your own Proposal Canvas for your problem. You’ll be sharing this with other learners in the peer review activity in the next steps.

You may want to refer back to earlier steps in the course to refresh your understanding of each section.

The sections are:

  • What’s our problem?
    Who’s got the problem? Why is it a problem? How might we…?

  • What’s the solution?
    What are we going to do? What won’t we do? Why will it work?

  • What are the benefits?
    What’s good about our solution? Why is this better than other solutions?

  • How much will it cost?
    What will we need to pay for? What resources do we already have? Will we make money back?

  • What are the risks?
    What could go wrong? What will the impact be? How can we plan around that?

  • What does success look like?
    What do we get out of doing this? What will be better when we’ve finished? How can we measure the benefits?

  • What’s the plan to make it happen?
    How long will it take? What are the big deadlines? What are the next steps? When do we need to decide?

Don’t worry if you’re not quite ready to submit your personal Proposal Canvas. Instead, you could pick one of Shona’s other solutions to work on:

  • Campaign to get more high-value donations from businesses and rich patrons.
  • Set up a second-hand book stall in the foyer to make extra money.
  • Put a button to add an additional donation on all of the tickets bought on the website.
  • Re-do the café menu to get more people in and make more money.
  • Apply to the National Lottery Community grant fund for money to get the roof fixed.

You can use your creativity to decide what each idea might involve. You only need to write a few sentences or bullet points for each section.

Your canvas can use either of the different formats we have provided in the Downloads section. The document is good for writing up, while the Canvas version is useful for working together on the wall with stickie notes.

As you work on your proposal, and before you move on to the peer review, go back to the Comments in the previous step to test ideas with other learners and to ask for peer advice.

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This article is from the free online course:

Decision Making: How to Choose the Right Problem to Solve

University of Leeds