Testimonials for ActionMap

Please also see:
– a list of sample engagements at this page.
– examples of work products from client engagements at this page.

The ActionMap® Toolkit™ method has been used in hundreds of meetings with organizations including these.


Jim used his ActionMap software to conduct strategy planning workshops with our core team at Planet Project.  After modeling our current operations, we followed Jim’s method into detailed evaluating and prioritizing of our activities.  In addition to sorting out which parts of our program were most effective, the workshops helped us clarify the interests and intentions of the core team. The whole process was a deep dive into every aspect of our organization. This gave us clarity on moving forward with our plans. Jim is a phenomenal meeting facilitator and an able consultant concerning organizational change. We appreciate Jim’s support and are continuing to work with him on other projects.

Roger Briggs, author “Emerging World”, co-founder, Planet Project (planetproject.io)


Jim Johnson has been a superb support for Gaianet. Last year I learned to use ActionMap initially for my job in Gaianet and later for the whole organization. The results: a very aligned team, clear objectives, and a strategy that everyone is happy with. Jim has helped us many hours creating our map. Reach out to him either to map your job or an entire organization. You won’t regret it. We loved it. Thanks again, Jim.

Daan Goerter, Core Contributor, Gaianet.world

I experienced ActionMap as a very simple, practical, useful, and overall valuable tool to understand our organization better. The mapping exercise gave us an overview of our assets, stakeholders, and information flows, which was greatly needed. It also helped us identify new opportunities and ways to improve certain elements.

Alexander Keehnen, Core Contributor, Gaianet.world

ActionMap Training

In three online training conversations with Jim and with some personal practice, I was ready to conduct my first “live” working session using the ActionMap software.

This was with a colleague at work. It went smoothly and succeeded in increasing our shared understanding of the topic area, and in identifying potential improvements. The ActionMap tool is extremely effective in surfacing nuances of operations and organizing this information into a visual that reveals insights and alignment across participants.

I enjoyed working with Jim and learning a new way to look at complex interactions, and am already planning my next session with a non-profit where I volunteer.

 A. Farmer, Change Manager

ActionMap Training

Before meeting Jim, I had disorganized discovery meetings, and never felt satisfied with the level of thoroughness of the process. I wanted to try out ActionMap to see if it could add to my leadership mentoring practice.

After a brief period of online self-training, Jim and I conducted two and a half hours of live training over zoom, fine tuning my understanding, role playing “operator” and “client” and discussing how to introduce the method in client engagements.

I was quite pleased when I used the software with one of my clients to model and evaluate their main job functions, which worked quite well.

The best part of the experience has been getting to know and work with Jim. What I admire most about him is his genuine interest in the well-being of others, and really of all life on our planet. This genuine car,e doesn’t take away from but enhances his training and guidance. He is highly skilled, sincerely helpful, generous and fun to work with. I expect ActionMap to be a valuable and versatile extension of my leadership development activities.

 Deborah A., Leadership Development Coach

Strategic Planning

PSE Healthy Energy is a science policy research institute that examines how energy systems affect public health, the climate, and the environment. During the process of developing a strategic plan for expected growth, Jim supported our efforts with four workshops and a planning session.

During planning sessions, Jim helped us to customize the workshop according to what our team was ready for, which required flexibility, creativity and at times (good) tension. As a result, engagement during our strategic planning process was high, and participants contributed in meaningful ways to capture process maps, process evaluations and prioritized action plans.

Jim was honest, friendly and professional, switching as appropriate between being a neutral facilitator and proactive consultant. Jim’s ActionMap software was very useful in providing detailed structure and direction, while maintaining a fast productive pace for engagement and exchange.

The workshops were successful in creating strong shared understanding among the PSE leadership team of both current operations and forward-looking ideas and interests, with high-quality supporting documents. Jim’s support has made a significant contribution to our strategic planning initiative!

Regine Zamor, Grants and Development Manager, PSE Healthy Energy

Business Expansion Strategy Project

After several years of stable, gradually expanding operations, our Board of Directors asked us to develop an expansion strategy.  We engaged Jim through Taproot.  Jim recommended that we start our strategy effort by modeling our current operations. An online ActionMap workshop, with our core team members participating, provided a very clear view of our current activities, capacities, needs and challenges.

From that we looked at several paths for growth, leading to a set of stages that we needed to accomplish.  Jim provided a step-by-step outline for turning those stages into a detailed expansion plan, which could also be used as the basis for a presentation to our Board.  Jim provided both energizing guidance and serious thought partnering throughout this effort. His contribution has been a real boon to our overall mission.

Barb Thayer, Executive Director, Candor Health Education


ActionMap techniques “played a key role in meeting aggressive schedules in a major marketing and sales development program aimed at a $30 million annual benefit” at Hunt-Wesson.

Bruce Bayless, VP Customer Marketing, Hunt-Wesson

CRM Project Launch Workshop

We made a decision to integrate our major CRM functions around a central platform, including marketing, sales, customer support, billing and registration.  I met Jim through a LinkedIn conversation and we agreed to do an ActionMap workshop prior to our formal project launch, with managers from those different functional areas. The two-hour workshop captured all of the major interactions between the different external entities, functional areas and other systems in our value network, along with many goals, issues and ideas to be addressed in ongoing work. The workshop was very useful in both cross-sharing knowledge among the managers of our different areas and outlining the work needed for the formal integration project.

 Chris Taylor, CEO, Actionable.io

Grant Application Support

Jim was very professional, helpful, and responsive in helping us strategize how to best connect with a large network of partners in preparation for a major grant submission. He helped guide our thinking on how to structure a facilitated strategic planning session, getting our members together for shared understanding of the scope of our project. We were very limited on time and Jim was incredibly responsive and attentive to help us plan. The session helped us gather input from many voices and the notes and action map generated have proved useful in crafting our proposal. We are grateful for his time and dedication to this!

Rachel Berglund, Assistant Director at the University of Texas at Dallas Center for Children and Families

Process Improvement

ActionMap methods “in 8 hours saved us roughly 4 four weeks of confusion and stress, and moved us 4 weeks closer to providing professional orderly service to our customers” in an IT process improvement initiative at Hewlett-Packard.

Hudi Cantrell, ISST Training, HP

Process Assessment and Action Planning

Jim Johnson thinks differently than most people, and that’s a very good thing. Jim’s ActionMap process took our start-up nonprofit and systemized it in order for our program to grow.

Ms. President US provides a program for girls in grades 4 through 8 to participate in a full cycle of “running for president” in local communities, described at https://www.mspresidentus.org.

After a few successful years in our local area, we were looking for help in reviewing our processes and exploring ideas for how to expand to other communities. Jim volunteered through Catchafire, and we did multiple workshops and planning sessions together using his ActionMap software.

Jim was friendly, dedicated, intelligent, and professional. The workshops and the resulting work products gave us an amazing level of detailed understanding of our work along with very useful process documentation and a substantial list of action items for strengthening our processes and pursuing our expansion strategy. 

We appreciate Jim’s work and recommend him to anyone interested in better-shared understanding, process improvement, and planning.

Amanda C., Executive Director, MS. President US


Strategy Planning

Originating in 1970, Acterra’s mission is to “Bring people together to create local solutions for a healthy planet” with a particular focus on climate change. Through Stanford University we have a well-researched set high-level strategic goals for expanding our reach.

Jim has been helping us translate those strategic goals into detailed action plans. Our first two ActionMap workshops, which were highly engaging and eye-opening, have given us a strong shared understanding of our current operations as the basis for growth.

Jim is professional, organized and a pleasure to work with. We would gladly recommend his work to others.

Lauren Weston, Executive Director, Acterra

Software Development

ActionMap process mapping techniques “brought immediate organization to a startup $10M software project; and facilitated the product to be delivered 6 months ahead of schedule with 25% less staff and hundreds of thousands of dollars below budget” at Fireman’s Fund.

Mike Gantos, General Manager, Enwisen

Strategic Alignment and Direction  

ActionMap procedures “helped produce breakthrough results in strategic alignment and direction setting in a reengineering program for an 8000-location convenience store network” at Chevron.

Joe McKinney, Partner, CSC

Business Expansion Strategy Project

Jim worked with us on developing our business expansion strategy.  Our organization provides services in a complex food recovery and distribution network that involves many different entities. The initial online ActionMap workshops, which were highly energizing, gave us a clear overview of what we are currently doing. 

With that understanding, we identified three major strategic alternatives and sorted them down to one. Jim structured and facilitated those conversations then provided a step-by-step procedure for turning that strategy approach into a roadmap and plan which led to a projected budget that would extend over several years.

We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Jim and his support has greatly accelerated our efforts in developing an effective strategy for extending our mission to multiple regions throughout the U.S.

 Mike Learakos, Executive Director, Abound Food Care

Rachel Otair, Program Manager, Abound Food Care

Start Up Support

I had a very productive meeting with Jim and another colleague about my startup idea for a healthcare app. With little prior information exchange, we were able to produce and review an operating model of my MVP (minimum viable product) and create a plan for the initial steps in getting it built. Jim’s ActionMap software was used in capturing and organizing the MVP model, evaluations of the model, and major elements of the plan. In two and half hours we were able to advance my idea significantly more than I had been able to accomplish in scores of conversation with several other parties.  As a result I now have a clear, doable plan for moving forward to success.

Craig Becker, PhD, Positive Health Leadership

Business Planning

“Participating in an ActionMap workshop led by Jim Johnson showed me the full power and effectiveness of the software. We captured about 180 pieces of information in as many minutes, all well-organized and immediately exported to PowerPoint and Excel for broader review. Our customer described the workshop as a life changing experience. I’m very pleased to be partnering with Jim in bringing this capability to my clients.”

John Allen, Allen Business Advisors 

Board Goals Setting Meeting Preparation

Our Trees San Diego team and board were very impressed with Jim’s attention to detail and process. We needed to work with someone who understood both the philosophy and process of strategic goal setting and development — we found that in Jim. Both the director and board chair would recommend working with him on your upcoming organization’s goal setting projects.

Electra Fike-Data, Executive Director, Trees San Diego

Strategy Support

Jim helped us with our every-five-year strategic planning cycle. In seven hours of online workshops over four weeks, using Jim’s ActionMap software, we captured the data required to create a detailed map of our entire operation, along with scores of goals, issues and change ideas (about 360 pieces of organized information). This process helped new members in our Strategic Plan Task Force understand the services we perform and the relationships we are engaged in.

The results, exported in PowerPoint and Excel, have created a basis for refining our vision and mission and for defining our major goals going forward.  We also hope to use these results in explaining our work to our community members, volunteers, partners and donors. Jim was organized, professional and a pleasure to work with.

Gordon Davidson, Executive Director, Mount Washington Community Development Corporation (MWCDC, Pittsburgh)

(MWCDC’s work products can be at this link).

Business Development Strategy

Jim Johnson was unbelievably helpful, responsive and professional in his work with us at Zen Caregiving Project. He gave us a path forward for our business development by working with us to hone in our strongest areas of growth potential by providing the tools we need to implement an action plan. Jim is thoughtful, caring and understands the needs for growth and capacity. He recognizes the challenges we face as a nonprofit, and he pivoted his work with us based on the needs of the organization and the direction we needed to go in. I would hire Jim and ActionMap again and recommend him to any organization struggling to implement their business plan and growth as a company. 

 Sarah Bain, Chief of Staff, Zen Caregiving Project 

Organizational Planning

Catholic Prison Ministries Coalition (CPMC) organizes, train and supports Catholic chaplains who minister to all people who are affected by incarceration or detention. CPMC initiated a project to focus on developing and improving internal organization, processes and strategy. Jim Johnson worked with us in conducting a series of six workshops using his ActionMap Toolkit software. This process was far broader than creating or fine tuning a strategic plan. It opened up a vision for immediate actions, long term goals and the importance of current relationships and needed future relationships. We are grateful for Jim’s talents and time.

 Karen Clifton, Interim Executive Director, CPMC

Business Launch

Jim has made a major contribution to our launch of Jeunes Braves, a non-profit focused on helping young women in Africa escape poverty. Using his ActionMap software, Jim helped pull together a diverse team of new volunteers around a clear common understanding of what our operation would look after we get going.

This has set the stage for developing a pilot approach, a pitch deck, a business plan and a marketing strategy. While Jim’s software did much of the work, Jim provided valuable facilitation of these meetings, and contributed many ideas and suggestions based on his business experience.

We have achieved in a matter of a few weeks of time and several hours of team workshops much more than I had thought possible.  As a result the team and I have a sense of positive energy and direction toward the success of our mission.

Som Kpante, Executive Director, Jeunes Braves

Business Planning

Our organization is a non-profit foundation in its’ early stages of development. Jim’s Action Map was immensely helpful in allowing us to see our work at a very granular level and places in which we need to focus our attention. The software Jim has created is brilliantly designed to break down the work such that it creates a visual of the steps taken to fulfill on the commitment of our foundation. It also is valuable in allowing us to determine our next steps in growing our organization. We are excited to use this information in the near future in educating others outside our foundation on the work we do, its value to those we serve and the long term impact it has in the communities we serve.

Mojgan Besharat, O.D.
Founder, In Her Vision Foundation

Strategy Sessions 

Jim generously donated his time to lead two productive strategy sessions that helped our small nonprofit focus on process and maximize results. An excellent communicator, Jim supplied tools that enabled our organization to implement new systems and is a reliable as well as discreet sounding board. ActionMap made a large positive impact on our group.

Michelle Arnot
Vice President at Gray Panthers NYC

Startup Support

A note of appreciation for Jim Johnson.

My colleague Anton Magnus has been struggling to define a breakthrough idea in the app space. He went into an ActionMap session with Jim and emerged with an action plan and much more confidence. Jim really does know how to help.

Bring his service into your #workdesign for more #confidence in your #actionplan.

Geordie Keitt
Agility Coach and Organizational Design Consultant 

Business Planning

“Jim Johnson worked with me to create a dynamic approach that I could follow to develop an effective detailed business plan for Museum Hue. His collaborative approach was crucial.  A key work product was an ActionMap diagram that clearly outlined Museum Hue’s current operations. Jim encouraged me to think about how to effectively advance my work and create better strategies for the organization. Jim also highlighted Museum Hue’s unique programming and provided ideas on ways we can grow and take advantage of other opportunities. Jim’s assistance and guidance will help take Museum Hue to the next level.”

Stephanie Cunningham, Creative Director, Museum Hue 

Business Planning

The 90-minute online ActionMap process modeling session that I did with Jim Johnson was a real eye-opener about the amount of work I’m doing. In addition to highlighting the stress areas, the session gave many me insights about where we can strengthen our procedures and how we can expand our operations. The process maps and evaluations were immediately helpful in getting my advisory team on the same page in terms of contributing time and moving forward with strategy, financial planning and fund raising. I highly recommend working with Jim, he is incredibly thorough and easy to work with!

Mary Haberski, Founder, Daana Blue

Please also see a list of sample engagements at this page.