Consultants and Management Coaches
Consultant and Client Value Accelerator
Jim Johnson, Co-Founder, ActionMap Inc.
My goal is to increase your consulting revenue
by providing you with a tool and skill
that expands your capability
to add value to your client’s business operations.
Significantly increase your capability
to produce value and earn revenue
within a few weeks or less
by adding a “utility service” that increases your ability to deliver what your clients want
In addition to deliverables and the “Three A’s”: ability, affability and availability, what clients want includes:
Clarity: clients are in a situation where they do not fully understand what’s going on, or they would not be hiring a consultant. First and foremost they want clarity.
Speed: time is money, in both consulting costs and delayed benefits.
Strong, persistent impact: or else why bother with the overhead of engaging?
Low disruption: let us keep working or quickly get back to work.
Engagement: must have staff buy-in to support all the rest.
The ActionMap Solution
The “utility service” is based on a
“process workshop in-a-box” SaaS application, the ActionMap Toolkit.
The ActionMap Toolkit delivers fast, reliable, high value on-line process modeling, evaluation and action planning workshops, with wide application, low administrative overhead and short startup time.
ActionMap workshops rapidly produce CLARITY about the current situation and stakeholder goals and interests.
The workshops quickly diagram and share all the major players, interactions and transactions in the situation and while capturing and sharing all stakeholder goals, issues and ideas associated with those interactions.
This gives the client (and the consultant!) a clear structured understanding of the situation they are in and the issues and opportunities in front of them.
The workshops are FAST to set up and operate.
The workshops can typically cover a major business function and even an entire small organization in 2 to 4 hours of online meeting.
Workshops require no prior knowledge of the content by the consultant and no prior training for the participants.
ActionMap workshops produce STRONG, LASTING IMPACT.
Using strong analytic techniques combined with the collective intelligence of the workshop participants, the workshops quickly uncover core issues and opportunities for improvement while developing strong understanding about them. This strong shared understanding is “not un-knowable” and is the basis for clear commitment to take positive action.
The workshops have MINIMAL DISRUPTION to ongoing client operations.
The speed of the workshops combined with the fast startup time, low administrative overhead, and high immediate impact a mean the key values of the workshops, the shared understanding and supporting documentation, can be created in just the time it takes to conduct them. Because of the strong shared understanding, resulting change plans minimal organizational alignments in order to be implemented.
ActionMap workshops create strong stakeholder ENGAGEMENT.
– The workshops cross-share stakeholder tasks, value, ideas and plans. This holds great mutual interest for both contributors and observers.
– The combination of process mapping and evaluation has a strong attractive effect on participants’ attention, as both a personal and combined group learning experience.
– Meeting participants contribute to the resulting change plans, giving them ownership and resulting sense of responsibility for the outcomes.
As a consultant, do you experience these issues?
Limited to a narrow market segment?
Are you limited by what existing clients and new prospects think you can deliver?
Are you limited by what you feel confident that you can deliver?
Too much time spent in developing new client relationships?
Are you spending too much time in marketing activities and initial conversations before even proposing a contract?
Is a large part of your available billable time spent generating interest and establishing trust?
Long discovery cycles before value can be added?
Discovery is important, however, clients can become impatient.
And while you need to meet staff, routine information collection is often the least rewarding and least value-producing part of the job.
Low adoption of recommendations to clients?
A big part of the reward in consulting is actually having impact. If clients don’t adopt your recommendations, that reward is lost.
It’s discouraging to do weeks or months of work and seeing it turn into shelfware that you cannot even use as a reference.
Are these goals of interest to you?
Broader markets for your skills and services
The more you have to sell, the greater your opportunity to make a sale.
There’s one thing that is needed in all industry sectors and all project phases: fast-paced, high-impact process analysis, design and planning.
Shorter sales cycles
The best way to generate interest is to show interest in the client. The best way to create trust is to start adding value.
Low overhead, fast-paced, high-impact process review workshops deliver both.
Faster and more complete discovery
The core work in discovery is to capture “personal tacit knowledge” and turn it into “shared explicit knowledge”.
What would it be like if you could to that across an entire group in hours instead of days and weeks?
Greater client adoption of recommendations
Lots of things can prevent your recommendations from being implemented.
Consensus among key stakeholders should not be one of them.
What would it be like if you could create detailed consensus, to the fullest extent possible, in reliable, systematic way?
ActionMap can deliver capabilities to achieve the above goals to your consulting practice within a few weeks (or days; it’s mostly a matter of scheduling meetings and practice.)
We do this through our software-as-a service application, the ActionMap Toolkit, for conducting high-engagement, high-impact online process workshops, along with the training and documentation contained in the application.
We developed a highly repeatable, widely applicable, easy-to-use flipchart-based method for conducting high-energy process-focused workshops.
We have conducted over 100 of these workshops for organizations including those shown here:
These workshops can cover a wide range of process-focused activities, including the following:
Great for business development too
We have also used the method in scores of early-sales-cycle meetings as a business development tool, both for selling the workshops and for initiating large-scale Tier 1 Consulting engagements. The method was a primary tool in winning $5M in consulting work during one 12 calendar year.
Putting ActionMap into Software
We converted the method to software for conducting highly structured, high-engagement online meetings. The software provides real-time guidance through a compact process improvement cycle. Free online self-training takes about an hour; no training is required for meeting participants.
With our software application, the benefits of the ActionMap method can be economically offered to small and medium-sized businesses and enterprise departments across a wide range of geographies and industry sectors
An Underserved Market = A Market Opportunity
We believe there is a large underserved market for providing process-related services to small and medium-sized businesses and departments in larger businesses.
While skills with process methods can be beneficial to many small and medium-sized businesses, as currently offered most methods:
– are too complicated for those organization’s needs
– are too costly to learn in terms of staff time and training fees
– require too much culture change for smaller organizations workplaces.
Key values of the software
The ActionMap Toolkit software application addresses the market for process services with the following features:
– requires no advanced training for workshop participants,
– requires no advanced knowledge of client content for the workshop leader,
– includes step-by-step real-time guidance for leading a group session through a compact process improvement cycle,
– provides highly-automated process mapping, which reduces the need for graphic diagramming skills,
– features rapid capture and organization of structured discussion comments for faster-paced meetings,
– supports online delivery for flexible scheduling,
– is powerful enough to serve as an “on-ramp” to more comprehensive process approaches, e.g. Lean,
– is sufficiently nimble that it can add process review and improvement capabilities to standard business meetings.
Built-in methods training
In addition the application provides detailed training in how to use the method without the software, for example on flip charts or in office automation tools, for offline and informal situations.
ActionMap’s User Support Value Add
ActionMap adds value for software users in following ways:
– Extensive online training and help
– An online community around the software and its uses
– Training to consultants in our network
– Starting with the free, online self-training to learn the software mechanics in about an hour, with suggestions for follow-on confidence-building practice exercises
– Including a fixed price Training and Coaching Package (see below)
– Initial client workshops with network members to accelerate training and use with the method, as requested
How this program can increase your consulting revenue
ActionMap workshops have high intrinsic value and are competitively differentiated.
Rapidly creating strong shared understanding, agreement and commitment in hours instead of days and weeks, supported by high quality process maps, evaluations and action plans.
ActionMap workshops are widely applicable.
– There are many opportunities to utilize them.
– They are compatible with virtually any other methodology.
ActionMap workshops are easy to engage clients with.
– A short demonstration of the method very often engages interest.
– The low overhead, fast startup time is attractive.
– The ability to rapidly produce value make an easy closing point.
Virtual meeting facilitations are needed and valued.
– Virtual meetings are the “new normal”.
– Facilitations are an important way to speed up project results and overcome “Zoom fatigue”.
Virtual meeting facilitations pay well.
Rates range from $125 per hour for “juniors” to $350+ per hour for “seniors”.
ActionMap workshops are powerful “door opener” offerings in new business development.
– They rapidly and reliably generate interest and create trust.
– They are inexpensive in terms of time and overhead to deliver free or with significant discounts
ActionMap workshops create stronger solutions and greater client team buy-in, resulting in greater adoption of recommendations.
– This contributes to more repeat business, stronger testimonials and more frequent referrals.
Consultants and Management Coaches
Consultant & Client Value Accelerator
Software, Training and Coaching Package
for increasing Client and Consultant Value
using the ActionMap Toolkit SaaS application
■ Consultant / Coach has confidence to:
■ Apply the application to different client situations
■ Communicate the value of ActionMap workshops to clients
■ Use the application effectively in online meetings with client groups
Deliverables and Curriculum Overview
■ 1-year software subscription
■ Free online startup self-training (solo by the Consultant, about an hour; required for further training)
■ Online Training/Coaching Session 1
■ 75 minutes of online interactive training on using the ActionMap Toolkit software application, covering:
■ Facilitation: practice using the software in a simulated workshop facilitation run by the consultant
■ Mechanics: Q&A on software operations, during the simulated workshop
■ Solo practice by the Consultant (between Sessions 1 and 2)
■ Online Training/Coaching Session 2
■ 75 minutes of online training and coaching, covering:
■ Application: how to apply the Toolkit in different situations, using your current consulting opportunities
■ Client engagement: how to present the value of using the software to clients
■ Ongoing free self-training, Q&A email support and community forum at the ActionMap support site
(includes $98 annual subscription)
■ Payment Schedule
■ $78 for the annual subscription (with $20 discount coupon)
■ $150 for Online Session 1
■ $150 for Online Session 2
It starts with a demonstration
After selling and conducting 100+ workshops, and hundreds more ad hoc uses, we have found that people most effectively understand ActionMap when they see a demo, at which point they usually get it right away (and can quickly decide whether of not it is of value to them).
To see a demonstration of ActionMap focused on a topic of interest to you now, please click on:
Jim Johnson, ActionMap co-founder, software author and principal consultant, brings over 30 years of experience to accelerating process change in business and technology, along with hundreds of experiences in leading high energy group meetings.