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Ways to Grow Framework

This easy-to-make chart will help you understand how potential concepts might require your organization or capacities to grow.


Suggested Time

30-45 Minutes

Level of Difficulty


Materials Needed

Pens, Post-its, a large sheet of paper


Design team

Process Phase

A Ways to Grow Framework is a quick and visual way to understand just how difficult your design solutions might be to implement. This exercise will help you identify whether your concepts extend or adapt existing offerings, or create a totally new offering. You’ll also clarify whether your solutions are targeted at your current user group or whether it expands to a new group of users. By seeing your solutions in relation to each other, you’ll quickly ascertain which ones your organization has the means, manpower, and capacity to undertake.


  1. Draw a 2x2 matrix on a large sheet of paper. The vertical axis represents the novelty of your offering and the horizontal axis represents its users. Totally new offerings land above the horizontal axis and existing ones land below. An idea aimed at new users falls to the right of the vertical axis and one that affects existing users falls to the left.
  2. Now, write your solutions on Post-its and plot them on the map. Revolutionary new ideas that will attract new users will fall in the top right quadrant. Incremental ideas that offer small builds on existing services will hit below the horizontal axis.
  3. Look at the distribution of solutions from incremental to revolutionary. If there are lots of revolutionary concepts is this something your organization is ready for? If the concepts are all concentrated in the incremental space have you pushed your ideas far enough? Or are you missing any obvious incremental offerings? Brainstorm again with your team to address any gaps.
  4. Lots of organizations say that they’re interested in revolutionary thinking, but often, incremental change can have the greatest chance for big impact. Think hard about what your organization can realistically achieve and what will benefit your users most. Check out the Capabilities Quicksheet to dive deeper into what it will take to put your ideas into practice.