Lean Storytelling

Lean storytelling: pitch and share your business idea in one minute

License: CC BY-SA 4.0

What Lean Storytelling is:

  • Technique to tell stories easily, using common good practices, to be understood by your audience


  • It is a basic set of recipes to help shape a story
  • It is quite easy to read and understand, but difficult to master
  • Fit for a products and features development, not to be a succesful Hollywood screenwriter or awarded novelist
  • Usable from early stage to delivery: empathy, problem discovery, ideation, specs, development, test, deployment, communication, sales, advertising, explainer videos, documentation
  • Keep everyone in sync and aligned across different teams, remove some of the natural friction
  • People will understand the "why", the goal, the guiding light
  • Inspired by Lean Canvas, Monomyth, and The Golden Circle
  • Roots in Agile, Lean Startup, Design Thinking, UX research
  • Very simple and humble, voluntarily limited by design, using the systemic approach

Overview of the playbook

  • Tell a story, using the base ingredients.
  • If you want/need to detail, use the options.
  • Try, learn, get feedback, remix, change, and adapt to your audience, always & continuously!
  • If you reduce your story to the bare minimum, just a few words, you might land on your Unique Value Proposition (UVP).
  • If you want to seriously learn strong story telling techniques, read the right litterature.
  • This story telling technique differentiates: it is lean and agile, not generic, more dedicated to businesses

Basic story

  • Target
  • Problem
  • Solution

Detailed story

  • Target
    • Empathy
  • Problem
    • Consequences
  • Solution
    • Benefits

Full story

  • Context
  • Target
    • Empathy
  • Problem
    • Consequences
  • Solution
    • Benefits
  • Why

Extension pack

Add any item, wherever you feel:

  • Alternatives
  • Competition
  • Unfair advantage
  • Challenge, question mark
  • Self-benefits
  • Stages in AARRR
  • Warnings
  • Quote


Core items Detail items Complete story
Context: where and when, the surroundings of the hero
Target, the hero, who it is about
Empathy, what the hero sees and feels
Problem the hero faces, that slows down (NOT the absence of YOUR solution)
Consequences of the problem
Solution, what you offer, and how
Benefits, the advantages your solution delivers
Why, he guiding light, your internal compass


What is Lean Storytelling ("TopSol Playbook")?

Lean Storytelling ("TopSol Playbook") is a set of recipes, templates and good practices, to help you shape your story telling. It is a guidance aimed at business-oriented people, like product owners/managers, scrum masters, agile coaches, marketing people, sales people, founders and C-levels CxO.

Story telling, you say? What else?

Lean Storytelling ("TopSol Playbook") may help you tell stories, but also may help you shape your {unique|key} value proposition.

How is it used? From A to Z?

It can be used to:

  • describe a User Story or Epic, within an Agile team, using Scrum or Kanban, allows to project and better picture the expected outcome
  • in a customer interview, test a solution, or a {unique|key} value proposition, validate or invalidate, persist or pivot, useful for Lean Startup and Design Thinking approaches
  • sell a solution, product, or feature

Lean Storytelling helps you synchronise and align all the people involed in the User Story factory/pipeline.

What does "TopSol Playbook" stand for?

  • Playbook, because I didn't want another "framework" ;-) and to underline it is not an advanced story telling technique
  • TopSol, because To-P-Sol:
    • To: Target, the people and personas you are targetting with your product or service
    • P: Problem, the problem they face and suffer from, that is worth fixing
    • Sol: Solution, the solution that you bring to your targets

Where does it come from?

Standing on shoulders of giants who stand on shoulders of giants, Lean Storytelling has its roots in:

What can I do to help?

  • Star this repository
  • Share this in your networks
  • Ask questions in the issues
  • Suggest modifications
  • Submit a patch or a merge request
  • Share your knowledge and experience

Can I use, share, and modify Lean Storytelling?

Lean Storytelling is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0).

You are free to:

  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

Can you organise a workshop?

Yes, for 10 persons max, ping me on:

Lean Storytelling

Lean Storytelling

Lean Storytelling Info

⭐ Stars 18
🔗 Source Code github.com
🕒 Last Update 8 months ago
🕒 Created 6 years ago
🐞 Open Issues 0
➗ Star-Issue Ratio Infinity
😎 Author Nyco