Getting Started - Creating a Lean-Case Project

We are happy that you are setting up a new Lean-Case project.

If you are new to Lean-Case, we advise you to benefit from our Product Training which combines the Lean-Case Methodology and a comprehensive Product Tour.

First things first, at any time in Lean-Case - you can re-play our Getting Started videos when you click the video icon in the upper right corner of this Menu Bar.


A 2-min example: How to create a back-of-the-envelop business plan

Let's start with a quick example to show you what you can do with Lean-Case and create a back-of-the-envelop business plan for a SaaS Business in 2-min. Let's assume that the business  

  • has a Marketing Budget of $10,000 per month 
  • creates leads coming to its website at 1$ via Google Advertising
  • converts 1% of your leads into signups 
  • converts 10% of signups into paying customers creating monthly revenues of $10 and 
  • retains 95% of customers on a monthly basis (i.e. 5% churn away)

You can follow the the video below to get guidance or use the step-by-step instructions below.

These are the 3 steps you have to take to create this business plan in the Lean-Case Revenue Menu. For the sake of time, we switch off the Beginner Mode.

Lean-Case logo
Getting Started Example - Step-by-Step

  • Add Revenue Stream "Signups" with Marketing Budget and Cost per Lead
  • Click <+Add Revenue Stream> 
    - enter name "Signups"
    - select "Funnel Stream"  
  • Go to tab Forecast
    select Forecast Model "Marketing Budget" from dropdown
    select Timeframe from January to December
    - add Marketing Budget of $10,000
  • Go to tab Cost of Leads
    - enter Lead Channel Name: "Google"
    enter Cost per paid Lead: "1"
    enter Conversion in %"1"  
  • Click <Save>
  • Add Revenue Stream "Customers" with Revenue and Churn
  • Click <+Add Revenue Stream> 
    - enter name "Customers"
    - select "Subscription Revenue Stream" from the list of revenue streams
    - select subscription model "Sales Volume remains the same over lifetime" from the list 
  • Go to Customer Contract 
    - enter Name for Contract Type: "Customer"
    - enter Price per Unit: "10" 
  • Go to tab Churn & Conversion
    - enter Customer Churn at Renewal: "5"
  • Click <Save>
  • Add Conversion Rule to connect revenues streams "Signups" and "Customers"
  • Click <+ Add Conversion Rule> 
    - enter Conversion Rate: "10"
    - select Convert from Revenue Stream: "Signups"
    - select Convert into Revenue Stream: "Customers"
    - enter delay in Months: "0" 
  • Click <Add Rule>

We just created a simple - what we call - Customer Lifecycle Model. Think about it. How long would it take you to create in Excel what we just calculated in 2-min in Lean-Case?

If you like what you saw, stay on. We will give you a quick overview about Lean-Case so that you know your way around and understand the tips & tricks when

  • setting up your Lean-Case project,
  • understanding the Lean-Case menus
  • checking results
  • modelling the customer lifecycle
  • getting guidance in Beginner Mode 
  • using context sensitive help
  • tracking your performance against your plan
  • saving scenarios, exporting, sharing or pitching your business plan
  • simply getting stuck

Setting up your Lean-Case project

How should you get started? Onboarding a Lean-Case project is really the hardest part. Before you create a Lean-Case Project, you should have an idea how your customer lifecycle model looks like. To get some ideas, best is to check out 

The Blueprints are available within Lean-Case. You can select them when you set up a new project. 

You can access the Product Training, the Blueprint Tutorials and our Help Center via the Help Icon in the upper left corner.


As already said, if you are doing your first Lean-Case project, best is to check the Product Training which provides the most detailed introduction. The Product Training will teach you five things at the same time

  • the basics of financial metrics
  • our Customer Lifecycle methodology of How to build a professional Business-Case
  • the smart way to pitch your business case on just 1 page
  • how to answer the key business questions which decision makers ask and…
  • of course, the fun of Getting started with Lean-Case 

The training will show you step-by-step how to answer the key business questions which decision makers ask:

  • What is your revenue potential?
  • Are unit economics positive so that your business is viable to grow? (Is CLTV >> CAC)
  • When will your business become profitable?
  • How much investment is required and
  • How you can track your business performance on a monthly basis

Browsing the Lean-Case menus


Let’s take a look at the Dashboard, Planning and Tracking menus in Lean-Case. You find

  • the Dashboard Menu which shows all results for your Lean-Case project
  • Planning Menus to create your business plan: 
  • In the Revenue Menuyou capture revenue assumptions and all the assumptions regarding revenue related cost 
  • In the Headcount Menu, you capture salary relevant assumptions for jobs, groups of jobs, team roles and manager roles
  • In the Expense Menu, you capture relevant expenses to manage and run the business
  • In the Capital Menu, you capture your cash balance, funding events and capital investments which must be depreciated over time
  • in addition, you can enable the Pitch Menu to pitch your Business Plan with some additional information
  • the Tracking Menu Lean-Board which allows you to track your business plan against your actual performance
  • in addition, you can enable the Pitch Menu to pitch your Business Plan with additional information about your proposition, your market and your team.

Dashboard Menu - Check results 


In the Dashboard Menu, users can review a Lean-Case project. They find all combined results answering the key business questions on revenues, unit economics, profitability and cash-flow requirements. 

  • The sub-menu Dashboard > Profit & Loss summarizes the profit & loss as well as the cash-flow statement and - at the same time - serves as a small simulation board. You can filter which revenue streams, teams or expense groups you want to include in your Profit & Loss statement allowing you to analyse different views of your business plan.
  • the sub-menu Dashboard > Insights shows in much more detail results on customer numbers, revenues, headcounts, expenses, capital, profitability and cash-flow
  • in the sub-menu Dashboard > Key Metrics you can check
  • how customers, units and revenues move through the customer lifecycle
  • if Customer Lifetime Value is higher than Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and how long it takes to recover your CAC (the so-called unit economics) and
  • how key metrics develop over time
  • the sub-menu Dashboard > Scenario Analysis will be enabled if you save more than 1 scenario in your Lean-Case project. It allows you to compare two project scenarios next to each other.

If you share your project with another user, e.g. you invite a potential Investor as a Viewer to your project, she will directly be sent to the Dashboard Menu when opening the project. This allows her to immediately review the results. However, you - as the Project Owner - when opening the project - will first land on the Revenue Menu to continue working on your plan. 

Revenue Menu - Model the Customer Lifecycle

All 4 Planning Menus work very similar to capture and review the assumptions of your business plan. However, it is most relevant to understand the Revenue Menu well to model a meaningful plan. 

In the Revenue Menu you capture revenue assumptions and all the assumptions regarding revenue related cost. You set up your customer lifecycle model by creating revenue streams and connecting the revenue streams with conversion rules


Revenue streams combine 

Beginner Mode - Get guidance

Once you create a new Lean-Case project, Beginner Mode is activated by default. We recommend that you use Beginner Mode until you have become familiar with Lean-Case projects. 


Beginner Mode guides you through a list of questions to set up a new revenue stream or cost item. You can deactivate/activate Beginner Mode at any time using the switch in the Top Menu Bar. 


Answering the questions in Beginner Mode will create Lean-Case models - pre-filled with your data. These are the same models which you create and edit when Beginner Mode is deactivated. 

How to plan, check, edit and view

Each of the Planning menus have sub-menus which provide different views to plan, check, edit and view your plan.

In the sub-menu Plan, you can plan your assumptions and look at high level results, you can browse through the data, and look at it by month, quarter and year. You also have 2 different ways how to look at the assumptions

  • in Editing Mode, you can edit your assumptions for the revenue streams, headcount teams and expense groups in either Beginner or Standard Mode.
  • in Viewing Mode, you have a much better overview of all your assumptions as they are shown in table-like format. You can filter them by revenue stream and model type. You can even describe your assumptions, assign a status to them and modify them. This is how users which you invited to your project will look at your project.

In the sub-menu Checkyou can check all calculations in detail, browse through the data, filter it along revenue streams and metric categories and export it.

In the Revenues Menu, you also find the sub-menu Key MetricsIt is exactly the same as the sub-menu Key Metrics in the Dashboard Menu. We duplicated it to make it easier for you when planning your case. If you build up a new model, we strongly advise to keep assumptions simple as long as possible and use this sub-menu to check expected results. If your model grows, it becomes difficult to understand the impact of all your assumptions at the same time.

Lean-Board Menu - Track performance

While the Planning Menus in Lean-Case enable you to build a business plan with  forward-looking projections, the Tracking Menu Lean-Board allows you to measure these projections against the actual performance and set, manage and track your business objectives - even by connecting to 3rd party systems.

Lean-Board strategically combines 2 components

  • KPI Dashboard to track Goals vs Actuals and
  • Planning Dashboard to track Objectives against progress made

Using context-sensitive help

Across Lean-Case, you find context specific help. 

  • a Getting Started Box for each menu
  • Tooltip information for all fields
  • Help Icons to access information, videos and benchmarks

By default, you find the Getting Started Box on the top of the screen in each menu. It provides

  • a short explanation what you can do in this submenu
  • a video explaining the functionality within this submenu and
  • links which take you to our help center
gettingStarted Box

You can hide the Getting Started Box – and at any time, you can show it again by going to our help menu and select the option Show Getting Started

In Lean-Case Models, we provide Tooltip information for most fields. If you mouse-over those fields, Lean-Case shows a short explanation. 

In addition,  you also find 3 different Help Icons across Lean-Case models:

  • info icons – which take you to context sensitive help in our help center
  • video icons – which provide you short video tutorials and
  • benchmark icons – which take you to relevant benchmarks in context of your work

Project Menu - Save Scenarios, Export, Share, Pitch

The Project Menu in the upper right corner enables you to trigger project specific actions,  in particular

  • to save new Project Scenarios and switch between them,
  • to export data from charts and check pages  and even export a fully functional excel model  
  • to share your project scenarios with viewers or other editors or completely transfer your project to another owner and enable and
  • to edit your Project Pitch


Save and switch scenarios

Lean-Case allows you to save  different scenarios of your project (e.g. Worst Case, Best Case, ..). The name of the scenario which is currently loaded appears in the upper right corner of the top bar menu. 

  • The menu option Save new Scenario allows to save a new scenario with a name and a description.
  • The menu option Switch Scenario allows to show all existing scenarios and switch to another one.

Export data and models

Via the Project Menu, you can also trigger exports

  • if you are in any of the Dashboard or Check Menus where you can browse Lean-Case data, the menu option Export > Data Export in the Project Menu will be enabled. You have the option to export monthly, quarterly and yearly data in summary or full detail format.
  • if your Lean-Case Projects is built only with Revenue Stream Types which allow Model Export, then the menu option Model Export is enabled and you can create a fully functional Excel Model (yes, with formulas!).
    Export > Model Export triggers a background job which can take a few minutes. After the job terminates, you are notified via email and the menu option Export > Download Model appears. (Note: You can check which revenue streams support Model Export upon creating revenue streams).  
Export Data
Model Export

In addition, you can export the data of any of the Lean-Case Charts via the context menu of the chart in its upper right corner.

Export Chart

Share your project 

As the Owner of a Lean-Case project, you can share your Lean-Case Project at any point in time via the Project Menu.

  • The easiest way of sharing is to copy a Dashboard Link for the current project scenario. You can share this link with anyone. Having access to this link, allows anyone to view the dashboard results.
  • You can also decide to control access to one or several project scenarios in a more granular way by sending invitations to specific users. You can define
  •  which project scenarios you want to share,
  •  if the invited person becomes a Viewer, Editor or even the new Project Owner and
  • if invited users also have the right to invite other viewers to your projects.  
Share Project

For security reasons, the Project Owner has some special rights. At any point in time, he is the only one who can 

  • invite Editors and delete the project. 
  • revoke editing and viewing rights and 
  • delete the project

Please be careful when transferring Owner rights. Then the project will no longer be accessible for you.

Share Owner

Edit your project pitch

The Project Menu in the upper right corner enables you to trigger project specific actions,  in particular

When simply getting stuck

The last thing – when you get stuck – we are here to help. We can answer questions via or you can schedule a web call with us at  Besides answering your questions, we can guide you building, validating and tuning your case in workshops.

Thank you. Have fun