Sample Engagements Using the ActionMap Toolkit Method
The ActionMap method has been used in over one hundred flipchart-based meetings including with HP, Chevron, Target, ConAgra, PG&E, Kaiser Permanente and the Cities of San Leandro and Fairfield
- Designed and led strategic planning sessions for a cross-organizational team in a
5-year department store expansion program. Resulted in acceptance of a new cross-functional and outsourcing-based approach for expansion activities.
- Conducted a three-day strategic planning/team building workshop for a worldwide order fulfillment program involving five international regions and three major systems platforms. Resulted in firm consensus on a selected multi-year development approach.
- Conducted a planning session for a senior management team of a semiconductor manufacturer to review operational management approaches. Resulted in acceptance of three new strategic metrics.
- Trained team and led capture of future-state process models in the reinvention of a convenience store network for a major energy producer.
- Modeled key processes in support of a business launch in supply chain management outsourcing, involving the integration of three major software packages to support business functions.
- Developed future state CRM process models in support of the transformation of the IT organization of a large utility.
- Led design of key processes in support of a re-engineering program for the sales and promotion planning functions in a major packaged foods manufacturer.
- Applied method to structure and drive a 12-week, 51-member Citizen’s Task Force on City Finances, resulting in acceptance of a detailed $4.3 million budget reduction proposal.
- Conducted training, project design and process mapping for an Activity Based Costing project covering a 4 million-customer billing and collection operation for a major utility.
- Delivered planning session for a Product Marketing and Development department of a major semiconductor manufacturer.
- Led analysis, design, and action planning sessions for Production Change Control, Job Scheduling, and User Support functions in a worldwide data center consolidation program.
- Conducted process mapping, evaluation, and action planning sessions for a multi-department Asset Management activity undergoing consolidation and realignment.
- Delivered experts session, project team training, and process mapping and evaluation for re-engineering the capacity management function of a major energy distribution channel.
- Applied method in a multi-team effort to evaluate and make improvement recommendations for the revenue management functions of a major consumer goods retailer.
- Conducted strategic planning/team building sessions for merging two departments in the corporate communications function of a major manufacturer.
- Led workshop for a combining three teams in the newly formed vendor management department of a computer OEM.
- Delivered sessions for defining a mission statement and performing process improvement in the merger of the Materials Management and Purchasing departments of a major utility.
- Conducted end user/developer analysis and design sessions for a work order entry and tracking system for the field force of a major utility.
- Applied method in support of developing an IT strategy for a mid-tier container lessor as part of a 10x business expansion program.
- Led client/developer planning sessions for both the business and technical steps required to implement an internal telephone billing system for a major energy company.
- Performed process analysis, design and planning in support of customer solutions intended for joint-delivery with system integration partners for a major PC software manufacturer.
- Conducted process modeling in support web-based Marketing Communication initiatives for a semiconductor manufacturer.
- Applied the method in a multi-team effort to document the code of an existing insurance agency software package in preparation for a major rewrite.
ActionMap started on flipcharts
ActionMap Toolkit method is now delivered through an online meeting application
In all of the above flipchart-based engagements the standard Toolkit method was used: ask a specific pattern of questions, record answers in a specific format, follow the simplified development cycle. Variations were based on what to focus on, how much detail to dive into and how far to go in the cycle.
As it evolved, the method became increasingly mechanical for us to operate, and yet increasingly engaging for the participants. This was so much so that if we diverged from the method, the group would ask us to go back to it. So we learned to stay with the method consistently (and thought a lot about “automated facilitator support”.)
As “method operators” we did not need to know anything about the topic in advance (and the subject was sometimes changed at the start of the meeting). We found regularly that participants needed only a few minutes introduction to the method before we started capturing and organizing information in earnest.
One aim in sessions is to capture everything that each participant might want to say about the area in question. The specific procedures and formats of the method allow large amounts of information to be captured very quickly.
For example, the structure and guidance provided by the method helps keep discussion of individual points brief. Instead all points are captured in one stage and then voted on in the following stage. Engagement occurs quickly and becomes highly focused. Participants have described the sessions as exhilarating from the level of exchange and accomplishment.
Session participants have come from all different organizational roles, from admin support to senior management. Many of the sessions were highly cross-functional.
Most of the above engagements were one day long; a few ran to multiple days, some extended over several weeks. Some sessions were divided into half day or quarter day segments.
Many other uses of the Toolkit have been ad-hoc white board conversations. In particular we have marketed engagements by offering 90 minute demonstrations sessions, with no advanced information about what might be discussed. We have turned a large percentage of those demonstrations into engagements.
Each engagement was unique, so there was no basis for comparative results. However, clients regularly reported that the sessions greatly accelerated the collaboration results that were being sought.
In many cases, stakeholders had been “stuck” for some time, and the ActionMap session provided a breakthrough. After extensive client feedback we became comfortable using the phrase:
“Results in hours and days instead of weeks and months”.