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How Telefónica uses Business Model Canvas?


How Telefónica uses Business Model Canvas?

In its effort to become the leading digital telecommunication provider, Telefónica launched a parallel development stream to their traditional R&D; the Lean Startup stream. To support the development of new and breakthrough solutions and business, the company needed a way to bring teams together and provide them with a tool to simplify the communication and presentation of their outcomes. They found the answer in the Business Model Canvas, which combined with the Value Proposition Canvas from Strategyzer provides a systematic way for defining and demonstrating how the company intends to deliver value to the customer, users and the business itself.

In the Lean Startup approach, Business Model Canvas (BMC) is typically used to frame the hypothesis in a clear and systematic way. Rather than engaging in months of planning, research, and building the prototypes, employees accept that all they have on the first day is simply a bunch of untested hypotheses, or put in another way, a series of good guesses. Therefore, how could a team at this stage develop an intricate and accurate business plan? The answer is they can’t. Instead, the Business Model Canvas, a framework on a single sheet of paper (commonly put on poster size format), can be used to summarize the hypotheses and use this piece of paper to communicate it and iterate on it, instead of wasting days or weeks for every single change.

Learn how the Business Model Canvas works from its creators:

(source: Strategyzer)

In Telefónica, teams use Business Model Canvas to describe how they envision the new idea or solution will achieve success in a simple but complete way. Essentially, BMC is meant to show how the company will create value for itself and its customers. Therefore, at the beginning of a new project, teams usually start working with the Value Proposition Canvas. In this way, they focus on the customer segment and the value proposition elements – the ones they should start with. Only after the two elements are clearly defined and validated, teams will proceed to complete the rest of the BMC.

By applying the Business Model Canvas, Telefónica is capable of quickly highlighting key uncertainties from any of the nine elements. These can then be tracked, analyzed and resolved in a consistent manner. In this way, innovation is rendered faster and more flexible.

We would like to see how you or your company is using Business Model Canvas to support teams walk through the innovation processes and generate amazing new business ideas, services and products. Share your examples and experiences with us on Twitter (@Lean_LAA) or via info@lean-analytics.org!

Telefónica is one of the world’s leading telecommunication service providers, operating in 21 countries, employing 120,000 people, and serving over 360 million customers around the globe. In 2011, the continuous and rapid changes in the telecommunications market led Telefónica to reinvent itself and transform into a digital telecommunications company. The combination of traditional telco assets combined with digital ones, enable Telefónica’s customers to access and enjoy the latest technology. To achieve this, the company defined its path towards success by applying three values: Discover, Disrupt, and Deliver.

Book 2017 - Mockup 01 (small-900px)

Telefonica’s Best Practices are presented and described in more than 36 pages in the Lean Product Development Best Practices book. Telefónica’s chapter is only one out of the 10 chapters presenting the real-world application of lean product development in multinational companies.

The hard copy of the book with the 10 cases is available for only 74.99 EUR.


Telefonica’s Lean Product Development case is available digitally free of charge to our members.


Interested to become a member?



Lean Analytics Association

Dr Flores has over 20 years of experience collaborating as an internal or external consultant in different manufacturing and services organizations, leading several initiatives related to Lean Thinking, Business Process Improvement, Six Sigma, Supply Chain, Change Management, Open Innovation, Digital Transformation and Human Centered Service Design; providing also training and coaching.

She is co-founder and president of the Lean Analytics Association (LAA) and visiting scholar at the College of Management of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland.

She carried out her Post-doc at EPFL collaborating at the Lean Product and Process (LeanPPD) FP7 European project from 2009 to 2013. She completed her PhD in 2006 at the Politecnico di Milano studying Open Innovation Models to enable Industry-University collaboration for innovation. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Manufacturing Systems in 1999 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Monterrey Tec (ITESM) in 1996.


Susana is the Head of Innovation Portfolio at Product Innovation in Telefónica. After fourteen years working on different areas at Telefónica, in the last five years her career has focused on innovation and strategy. She has been also a member of the core team that defined the current innovation model at Telefónica I+D. In her current role, she drives the innovation process, the key tool for managing innovation projects funnel; and runs the innovation calls, where employees submit their ideas (these calls are thus the main source of projects for the innovation funnel). She has co-authored the Lean Elephants report, describing the experience and learnings of applying Lean Startup to innovation projects at Telefónica since 2012.

Susana holds a M. Eng. in Telecommunication Engineering and an Executive MBA from IE Business School. And is also currently Associate Professor of Lean Enterprise at the IE Business School.

Lean Analytics Association

Matic has over 5 years of experience in working with global organizations from various industrial sectors, either leading or supporting the development and introduction of bespoke lean innovation and new product development solutions. Over the past years, Matic led the development of a framework to enable better, faster and more integrated innovation across the entire value chain, empowering companies to maximize their innovation capability and deliver truly customer-centric solutions, while minimizing the risk of market failure.

Matic is a certified Service Design Thinking Facilitator, and the creator of the Set-Based Integrated Innovation Business Game co-developed with a multinational Swiss company. He completed his Master’s degree in Global Product Development and Management at Cranfield University in 2012.

In 2017 Matic co-authored the Lean Product Development Best Practices book, and several journal and conference publications. He regularly appears as a speaker at various lean, product development and innovation conferences.

Coordinator of the CONFyE Center at IAE Business School

Dr. Ordóñez is responsible of the Research Center for Family-Work Balance (CONFyE) leading projects integrated to the strategy of the IAE Business School from the Universidad Austral in Argentina. She joined the Lean Analytics Association (LAA) in 2015 as a Sr. Researcher investigating how companies implement lean thinking in the innovation process. Dr. Ordóñez collaborated with Airbus and Telefonica in Spain and supported the organization of the Lean Innovation Forum which took place in Lausanne, Switzerland.

She has over 15 years of experience working in different organizations and her research interests are: Innovation, Change Management, Corporate Social Responsibility and Work-Life Balance.

Maria Elena obtained her PhD in Business Administration from University of Navarra in 2014 (Spain) an MBA from IAE Business School in 2004 and Bachelor’s Degree as a Public Accountant from the National University of Córdoba (Argentina).


Myrna Flores
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