Metaplan uses Lucidchart to effectively collaborate with clients during workshops and meetings. The solution has allowed them to move their unique consulting approach to the digital realm and help clients succeed.Contact sales
- FACILITATE COLLABORATION
- The Metaplan team was searching for a solution that would allow for effective visual collaboration. Visio resulted in too much versioning and wasted time, but Lucidchart allows them to collaborate seamlessly in real time with clients.
- DOCUMENT IDEAS
- The team at Metaplan has created a custom shape library to easily and consistently document ideas using their unique consulting method.
- WORK REMOTELY
- Lucidchart allowed Metaplan to seamlessly shift from in-person to remote workshops. Regardless of location, consultants and clients can still come together in a shared space to brainstorm and organize ideas.
- SAVE TIME
- Lucidchart saves the Metaplan a great deal of time as they work with clients. The product eliminates versioning issues and allows everyone to work simultaneously.
INDUSTRY: B2B Services
SIZE: Medium (101-2,500 employees)
ROLE: Professional Services
Metaplan is a dynamic, international consulting firm. With almost 50 years of experience, Metaplan is a pioneer in strategy and organizational consulting. The company's discursive consulting approach creates collective insights and shared understanding on how to move forward in times of drastic change, or when significant change is needed.
When the team at Metaplan says they do everything in Lucidchart, they’re not exaggerating. Consultant Jonas Spengler says, “Lucidchart is the first webpage I open in the morning, and it's the last one I close at night. It's open all day.” His colleague Wiebke Gronemeyer agrees—she uses Lucidchart “every day.” So it only makes sense that consultants at Metaplan rely on Lucidchart to best communicate and collaborate with their many different clients.
Metaplan is an international consulting firm dedicated to helping clients solve business problems and improve overall strategy. Using dialogic consulting and Metaplan’s proprietary visualization methods, consultants seek to facilitate shared understanding with their clients and help them discover their own best practices.
Finding the right collaboration solution
The Metaplan team has a very visual approach to their consulting, but it’s also a very collaborative one. Initially, they found themselves lacking the right tools to facilitate effective collaboration during workshops and meetings with clients. They tried using Visio, but the lack of real-time collaboration meant they were constantly running into versioning issues and could never work simultaneously on the same document. The team wasted valuable time trying to integrate different versions of their work and sending documents back and forth.
Then Metaplan discovered Lucidchart—and with it the world of visual collaboration. Armed with this new solution, consultants can now interact seamlessly with each other and clients.
A key component of dialogic consulting is identifying a client’s problems and pain points and getting the right people in the room to solve them. Once consultants have assembled the appropriate group, they make Lucidchart the centerpiece of these problem-solving discussions.
Collaborating with clients
The team has a very specific method for visually documenting ideas within Lucidchart, and they have created a robust custom shape library to ensure consistency and ease of use in this documentation across the organization. Each color and shape has a distinct purpose and meaning, which helps everyone speak the same visual language.
The process starts with an initial interview with the client to discuss the problem they’re facing. A consultant comes prepared with a Lucidchart document populated with basic questions to get everyone thinking. They visualize the client’s responses using Metaplan’s card shape and the client can see them work in real time.
Next the consultant conducts a brainstorm with their internal team to review the initial information provided by the client and propose ideas on how to move forward. The team can all work in real time in the same Lucidchart document.
Jonas describes, “There's a lot of conceptual work going on in the background after this first meeting. We need to dissect what people say to see what is really at the core of it and apply the theoretical tools we have to determine what's really going on.”
They use this time to prepare for a larger workshop with the client, and they’ve found it’s much more efficient doing so in Lucidchart. Jonas says,
“Lucidchart makes internal processes much more efficient. When we were using Visio before, we always had to send these documents back and forth, or we would have them in a shared drive, but then one person would make edits while the other still had it opened. So the internal coordination gets much easier with Lucidchart."
Shifting to virtual workshops
Before COVID-19 forced Metaplan to conduct all work remotely, the next step in the consulting process was to hold an on-site workshop with the client. The consultant would print out the existing Lucidchart documentation and paste it onto giant boards. Then participants would walk around, adding their own ideas and providing feedback on others.
Since they were already working so extensively in Lucidchart, transitioning to virtual workshops was a seamless process for Metaplan. Now both consultants and clients hop in the same Lucidchart document and contribute their ideas in real time. Instead of physical notes, they use digital cards to structure their thinking. These cards are designed to help people express their thoughts in three to four lines, forcing them to be clear and concise.
By making Lucidchart their main collaboration space, people from around the world can still gather in one place to share, discuss, and organize ideas. Wiebke Gronemeyer, consultant at Metaplan, calls Lucidchart “the backbone of our visualization process.”
The ability for everyone to contribute simultaneously has been key. Jonas describes: “A lot of the techniques we use in workshops is to let people write their own cards, put them on the board, and move them around. Being able to still ‘do this with your hands’ in a digital setting has been a unique selling point for us.”
Using the custom shape library, the teams provide feedback and opinions on the various ideas as the teams work towards consensus. Lucidchart allows consultants to trace how the discussion evolves, providing living documentation around how a solution was reached.
Jonas describes the benefit of using Lucidchart for the Metaplan consulting process:
“Lucidchart allows us to transport our method of working or style of working into the digital realm. So we can do almost everything we would do in analog, online. Clients can work with the cards, clients can interact with the boards and we can share our screens like I'm doing now when we present something. We even have a bit more functions because we can pair it with breakout rooms in Zoom or introduce stuff like that.”
Reaping the benefits of visual collaboration in Lucidchart
Metaplan’s clients are pleased with the results. “Once you learn how to walk in the tool, clients start to see that it's actually really cool that you can be in the same document at the same time and use this technique. They often book us specifically for this card moderation technique,” Jonas explains.
The detailed process allows clients and consultants to work together to develop the best practices the client needs to succeed. Adopting Lucidchart has resulted in time savings for the Metaplan team as they do so.
“There is time saving through no longer having to integrate various versions. In Visio, you have a new version basically every day. We save time by being able to work simultaneously on it, so I don't have to say, ‘Can you maybe write in a yellow card and put it on the upper left corner.’ You can just do it.”
Metaplan’s unique consulting approach paired with the power of Lucidchart’s intelligent diagramming capabilities allows clients around the world to find the solutions they need to keep their businesses moving forward.