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Even though it may be difficult to plan the phases of an innovation process, it can nevertheless be useful to frame the process by using a process model. Below you will find a number of different process models or process approaches that are useful in providing structure as well as supporting learning objectives of the course. 

Business Model Canvas

Suitable for courses about business/project development or business start-ups or specific project development in the course. The canvas can be used as a management and documentation tool for student work and reflects a non-linear process in the course.

Design Thinking

Innovative solutions to complex problems inspired by design processes. Design thinking is particularly suitable as an approach to solving complex problems where it is necessary to integrate knowledge from many academic disciplines to interpret and solve the problem.


A process model inspired by the professional design process that entails emphasis on problem analysis as the basis for creating a solution for an external client. The model is particularly suitable for structuring a course with external collaboration and user involvement in the development of solutions.

Hero’s Journey

A model for organizing courses with the use of dramaturgical elements based on the understanding that an outer journey of discovery also reflects an inner development of the student. The model is suitable for understanding and planning the dynamics in a course, particularly those with learning outcomes related to process understanding, innovation management and entrepreneurship.


NABC was originally developed by Stanford Research Institute and it is used to frame the development and communication of innovative solutions based on user needs and value creation.


This phase model describes the process of ongoing exploration of new ideas and solutions for a relevant innovation challenge as well as an action plan for execution and realization of the final idea.

Sarasvathy’s principles for effectuation

Apply Sarasvathy’s principles of effectuation as an approach to entrepreneurship in your teaching. Effectuation can be used in education to support self-efficacy and process understanding by letting the students identify the next, best step in order to solve the problem that they work with.

The Lean startup

An iterative process divided into Build, Measure & Learn, where the solution is qualified continuously with potential customers and users. The process model can be used independently by the students as a management tool, or the teacher can decide that the students must go through the Lean Startup phases a specific number of times during the course.