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How Action Mapping can Transform your Learning Solutions

“Never bring the problem-solving stage into the decision-making stage. Otherwise, you surrender yourself to the problem rather than the solution”.

-Robert H. Schuller

An easy learning and development trap to fall into is rushing into a solution as soon as a problem is detected. Often this can lead to a solution that is not necessary or doesn’t target the root cause of the problem. Correctly planning your learning and development solutions is crucial in enabling your organisation (Personnel Today, 2010) to be the best it can and thrive in this quick-paced and continually evolving business world we live in today.

I am excited to share a process with you, that we at Belvista Studios, hold very dear to our heart called ‘Action Mapping’. Cathy Moore is the creator of the ‘Action Mapping’ process and we recommend you check out her website. She has some useful, bright and easy to access resources that support the ‘Action Mapping’ process. Cathy has created something legendary and we wouldn’t want you to miss out.

Action Mapping Website:

Cathy describes ‘Action Mapping’ as “a streamlined process to design training in the business world” (Cathy Moore, 2016). It is a process that has allowed us to design effective learning solutions that really tackle the root cause of the problem.

When I was introduced to this process it was almost like I could finally put a name to a face. Throughout my working life I have been in countless conversations and situations where decisions were made and solutions were implemented that had minimal purpose. I was fortunate enough to be part of a team who always had one question up their sleeve “What is the intent of this?”. Whilst this seems like a fair question, the amount of times it caught people off-guard was surprising. It was almost like people were making decisions for the sake of it and not putting effort into understanding the intent behind why the decision was made. After learning this process, I could finally rejoice and say that I finally had a process to support, the golden question, “What is the intent?”.

I won’t go into great detail around how the ‘Action Mapping’ process works because that’s best left to the expert – Cathy Moore. What I do want to do is provide you with some hot tips to support you in using the process and to spark some thoughts on how it could work for you and your organisation.

1. To gain an understanding of the ‘Action Mapping’ process I recommend you check out the interactive ‘Action Mapping Workflow’ on Cathy Moore’s website. It provides you with an overview of each stage of the process and will support you in applying it to your specific situation.

Link to interactive ‘Action Mapping Workflow’:

2. When a problem arises or a potential learning need is required to be filled, take the time to work through each stage of the process. You may be surprised at your change in thinking by the end of the process. For example, you may begin by thinking you require a face-to-face training course though after analysing your problem against each stage you could end up with a one-page job aid that is a tenth of the price and can be created in a couple of hours. On the other hand, what was going to be a one-page document may end up as a full day training course. It is all dependant on the intent of the training and how the purpose of it can be filled. Potentially a formal training course is not necessary.

3. There are useful questions that are interweaved throughout the ‘Action Mapping Process’ that are extremely useful when discussing/solving a problem. You may want to give them a go at your next problem-solving meeting. These questions are all thanks to Cathy Moore. Check them out below.

a. What are we measuring that tells us we have a problem?

b. How do we want to change it?

c. What do people need to do differently?

d. Why are people not doing it now?

e. What changes can you make now to help it?

f. Do they need to memorise the learning or just have access to the information in the moment?

By answering the above questions, you can generate some great data to support you in your decision making.

So what do you think of Action Mapping? Do you use a similar process in your organisation? This process is like a second limb to us here at Belvista Studios and we hope that by sharing it we can add value to you. We hope you enjoyed this blog and a big shout-out to Cathy Moore for her awesome creation. 

A little bit about the author... 

"I am Hannah and I am passionate about how we can create effective and fun learning experiences. I believe that if you create enjoyment and social connection through learning, learning outcomes can sky rocket! The world is changing and becoming more and more digital by the day. We need to harness this and see what's possible!".


Personnel Today. (2010). A Four Step Guide to Planning your Training , Learning and Development. Retrieved from:

Cathy Moore. (2016). Let’s Save the World from Boring Training. Retrieved from:

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