The Big Picture

The Big Picture is an organisational development framework for identifying the strengths and areas for improvement of an organisation across all of its activities. It is similar to the EFQM Excellence Model in that it is non-prescriptive and does not involve strictly following a set of rules or standards, but provides a broad and coherent set of assumptions about what is required for a good organisation and its management.1 It is designed around the planning cycle and essentially operates by:

  • Identifying the needs to be met.
  • Devising a plan to meet the needs.
  • Doing something practical to meet the needs.
  • Reviewing the extent of success in meeting these needs.
  • Identifying further needs to be met.

Each organisation can use The Big Picture in its own way to manage improvement, under the control of those who use the methods rather than an external evaluator. The Big Picture has been designed for and by the voluntary sector.


The Big Picture seeks to provide organisations with an approach that treats quality and impact issues in a holistic way. Its starting point suggests that an organisation can be defined by the ‘results’ it brings about and the ‘enablers’ that help to make them happen. There are four sections to the model. ‘Results’ in the model are interpreted as things that have a positive impact and ensure stakeholder satisfaction.  ‘Enablers’ suggest that an organisation needs the right direction and appropriate processes in order to achieve the results. Each quadrant is then broken down into six further strands.

The approach suggests bringing as many people as possible together in a room.

The Big Picture comes in the form of a workbook.

Development, ownership and support

The Big Picture is produced by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO).

Training Programme
For local authorities

We offer group online training and facilitate workshops, primarily for local authorities. Topics currently include Theory of Change, commissioning for outcomes, co-production, and more.

And for other organisations…

You might want to join our open training on Theory of Change or measuring social impact.

Find out more

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by @nefconsulting