Toolkit: Partner from the start

Help your clients
solve the real problem

Sound familiar?

Your client thinks training will solve their problem,
but they haven't even defined the problem.
If you create the training they want, you could waste everyone's time.

What can you do?

By changing how you talk to stakeholders, you'll steer them away from an information dump.
You'll help them find targeted solutions that improve lives.

Be a partner, not an order taker
with Partner from the Start.


Help diagnose the real problem


Set a goal that matters


Identify all solutions, not just training


Learn from short videos and interactive text


Use the toolkit to navigate every project

For training designers who work
with large organizations

Challenge the beliefs
that limit L&D

  • Why people think our job is to present information
  • Why the client might not have examined the problem
  • How to identify and challenge your own beliefs

Steer the first conversation

  • What you should say to keep the client focused on the problem, not the "course"
  • The eight words you should never say in the first meeting
  • How to get the client to agree to a kickoff meeting to analyze the problem

Help find the real problem

  • The two questions you need to answer to prepare for the kickoff meeting
  • The three questions that will help your client set a goal that matters to the organization
  • How to use "outsider" questions to challenge assumptions

Determine if training is necessary

  • How to help the client see for themselves whether training really is the best solution
  • How to target any training so it's lean and powerful
  • Why you shouldn't write traditional learning objectives, and what you should write instead

Scripts you can customize
so you always know what to say


More than 50 mini-challenges
to build your consulting muscles


Immediately apply each step
to your job


Download and customize worksheets


See your on-the-job tasks and track them in the toolkit

Practice with the fictional client

Carla wants you to create an online course about a personality inventory. She says it will help managers “be more empathetic.”

You discover that going ahead with this idea would damage an important relationship for Carla. You’d also waste everyone’s time with a dubious personality test.

And is “be more empathetic” really the solution? What’s the actual problem?

You'll help Carla see all of this for herself. Through branching scenarios and other activities, you'll decide what to say to Carla and see the consequences, building your consulting skills and confidence.

You'll complete the first steps
of action mapping

The toolkit walks you through the needs analysis steps of the action mapping workflow.

You'll identify all possible solutions to the problem.
If training is one of them, you'll have the insight you need
to design relevant, challenging activities with the scenario design toolkit.

Learn from 38 years of experience

I'm Cathy Moore. Since 1983, I've helped people solve performance problems in the corporate, educational, and government worlds. I created the action mapping design process that's used by organizations around the world.

Starting in 2003, I focused on writing scenarios for Fortune 500 and government clients. In 2009, I began sharing my scenario design tips in my blog.

Those ideas became a four-week course that ran from 2013-20. The hundreds of participants included designers from the International Committee of the Red Cross, Ikea, Thomson Reuters, YUM! Brands, and Habitat for Humanity.

Now this toolkit goes into more depth than the live course ever could. It will help you write strong scenarios, and you'll also practice persuading stakeholders to listen to your ideas.

You're in good company

Designers in these organizations (and many others) have used the toolkit to start projects right.

World Bank
General Mills

International Committee of the Red Cross
Novo Nordisk
US Air Force

Hoffman La Roche
US Geological Survey
Tetra Pak

It's not another course!

The toolkit is a how-to guide with lots of practice. You'll refer to it again and again.
See for yourself. Click the thumbnails below to see the full page. You'll need to zoom in.

What's the problem?
What will you measure?

Practice in realistic scenarios

Practice tricky client conversations with the toolkit story. Try it now.

Try a scenario with Carla.

Toolkit or course:
What's the difference?

You could use this toolkit, or you could sign up for a live course.
Which will be more useful?


Start now
You set the pace
Apply it immediately
Dig deep into design
Practice with branching scenarios
Use it often as a reference
Mix of interactive formats
Certificate based on work

Course or webinar

Wait until the next session
Presenter sets the pace
Can't work while attending
Not enough time to dig deep
Unlikely to have scenarios
One-time experience
Mostly presentation
Certificate based on attendance

What they're saying

about Partner from the Start and action mapping

I have recently managed to get the team to adopt your L&D philosophy and all my Learning Partners are having conversations based on action mapping. They are now able to change from simply responding to a request for training development to a discussion about performance. We've found this approach is more successful in engaging the business units and results in much better solutions.
Capability and Curriculum Program Manager, Australia

I love Cathy's process of action mapping. It has totally changed how I approach instructional design. It leads us to the right solution instead of assuming training is the solution. Saves a lot of time and money.
Director of Integrated Learning, US

Love this tool. It's my "go to" place when I start a new elearning project.
E-learning Experience Designer, Canada

The best dev model I have seen for L&D. This one resonates with ALL stakeholders, not just L&D folks (that seems to be its secret power).
Senior Learning Technologist, US

Your work and framework is so amazing! The value I provide as a consultant has improved by applying your methodology.
Independent ID, Canada

Get everyone on board

Change your entire team's approach to projects with a team license. You'll get exclusive content to help you embed the change in your organization.

Wide variety of practice

More than 50 mini-challenges help you practice guiding clients through issues with change management, sales, negotiation, software training, patient management, onboarding, cross-cultural communication, coaching employees, compliance, and more.

Use it for every project

Your payment gives you one year of access. After the first year, we'll give you free access at the same level for the lifetime of the product, as our gift to you.

Get instant access
to the Partner from the Start Toolkit


  • Videos
  • Branching scenarios
  • >50 mini-challenges
  • Downloads
  • 30 job tasks with tracking
  • Personal notes
  • Certificate when tasks are complete
  • Lifetime access**

Team of 3*

  • Videos
  • Branching scenarios
  • >50 mini-challenges
  • Downloads
  • 30 job tasks with tracking
  • Personal notes
  • Certificate when tasks are complete
  • Lifetime access**
  • 125-question PPT deck
  • Ideas for job roles
  • Coaching tips
  • Add team members

Team of 7*

  • Videos
  • Branching scenarios
  • >50 mini-challenges
  • Downloads
  • 30 job tasks with tracking
  • Personal notes
  • Certificate when tasks are complete
  • Lifetime access**
  • 125-question PPT deck
  • Ideas for job roles
  • Coaching tips
  • Add team members

* Add more people for $290 each:
Buy a team plan, then log in and go to "Team leaders > Manage your team." More info.
** Your payment applies to one year of access. After that, we'll give you free access as our gift, for the lifetime of the product.
All prices are in US dollars. This is not a subscription. Your card will be charged only once.
Purchasing, cancellation, and refund policy

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Create a team
of 3 or more

Give your team access

1. Identify a team leader. They'll have access to the toolkit and see team members' progress through the tasks.

2. Buy one team license. The team leader will log in and enter the email addresses of team members. The leader can also buy additional seats.

For more, see How does team access work?


Lead the change

Exclusive content for team leaders

When you get a team license, you'll identify a team leader. That person will be able to:

Host discussion groups: Download a PowerPoint deck with 125 discussion questions that will help your team adapt the model to your organization. The deck is designed for use in eight weekly sessions, but you can customize the schedule and content.

Coach staff: Get detailed tips for responding to common missteps made by people who are new to the process.

Consider job roles: Should one instructional designer do everything? Get ideas for how you might divide responsibilities so everyone enjoys their work.

Build these skills

This toolkit helps you build the action mapping competencies shown here.

o = Addressed at a high level

X = Discussed more in depth with examples, practice, or worksheets

   = Might be new or challenging for conventionally trained instructional designers

Still have questions?

Still need answers? Contact us.

Action Mapping SRL
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