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Rich Picture

History of Rick Picture as a Strategy Analysis Technique 

Rick Picture as a strategy analysis technique has been used since the early 1980s. It was initially developed by Richard Rumelt, an American professor of business strategy and policy at UCLA, as a way to help executives and managers better understand the strategic environment of a company.

The technique involves creating a visual representation of the company’s strategy. This representation is then used to analyze the current state of the company, identify potential risks and opportunities, and develop a strategic plan for the future.

The technique has been used in a variety of industries, including finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and technology. It has become an increasingly popular tool for strategists and decision-makers as it provides an effective way to visualize and analyze complex information related to a company’s strategy.

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Using rich pictures, one can portray a current / desired situation/process. Rich Pictures provide a mechanism for learning about complex or ill-defined problems by drawing detailed (“rich”) representations of them.


Typically, rich pictures follow no commonly agreed syntax, usually consist of symbols and sketches of “doodles,” and can contain as much (pictorial) information as is deemed necessary. The steps involved in developing a rich picture are:

  1. Identify the issue you wish to address
  2. Develop an unstructured description of the situation where the issue lies – how it is

Groups can produce Rich Pictures during group discussions. By having everybody contribute to a Rich Picture, they can be used to help develop a shared understanding of a given situation.  Download business analyst interview questions for free

Mind maps are often considered to be Rich Pictures but are mainly text-based and have some degree of formality with respect to their structure.

Rich Pictures


Usage Considerations

A rich picture helps to open discussion and come to a broad, shared understanding of a situation. This is best used as an initial exercise in an annual strategic initiative review or when designing the Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E) system with different stakeholders.

Advantages of Rick Picture as a Strategy Analysis Technique

  • Visualization: Using a Rick Picture can help to visualize complex data and relationships between different entities. This makes it easier to identify patterns and draw conclusions from the data.
  • Insight: Rick Picture can provide insights into the strategic landscape, helping to identify key areas of focus and potential opportunities.
  • Flexibility: Rick Picture can be used to analyze any type of strategy, from competitive market analysis to corporate strategy.
  • Clarity: By providing a visual representation of data, Rick Picture can help to simplify complex ideas and make them easier to understand.
  • Simplicity: Rick Picture is relatively simple to use, making it an ideal tool for quick analysis.

Weaknesses of Rick Picture as a Strategy Analysis Technique 

  • Limited Perspective: Rick Picture relies on the individual’s subjective knowledge and experience, which can limit the scope of analysis and lead to bias. 
  • Time-Consuming: Drawing a Rick Picture requires a lot of time and effort to get all the details right. This can be a major limitation when large amounts of data need to be analyzed quickly. 
  • Not Quantitative: Rick Picture does not provide quantitative data, which can limit its usefulness in certain situations.
  • Subject to Interpretation: As the Rick Picture is subjective, the interpretation of the diagram can vary from person to person. This can lead to confusion and misinterpretation.

Relationship of Rich Picture with Other Strategy Analysis Techniques 

Rich pictures are a visual representation of a complex situation that can be used to support the analysis of a wide range of strategic analysis techniques. These techniques include SWOT analysis, Porter’s Five Forces Model, PESTLE analysis, Value Chain Analysis, and Gap Analysis.

The rich picture provides a visual representation of the situation, which can be used to help identify the key elements and relationships between them. This can help to identify opportunities for improvement or areas of risk which can be further explored using the other strategy analysis techniques.

Additionally, the rich picture can be used to provide a visual summary of the results of the other strategy analysis techniques. This can be useful in communicating the results to stakeholders.

Future of Rich Picture as a Strategy Analysis Technique 

The future of Rich Picture as a strategy analysis technique is promising as organizations become more complex and competitive, and the need for effective strategic analysis techniques increases.

Rich Picture has proven its usefulness in helping organizations understand the nuances of their competitive environment and formulate strategies that can help them succeed. As technology advances, Rich Picture will become even more powerful and effective, allowing organizations to quickly and accurately analyze the complexity of their competitive environment.

With the right tools and resources, Rich Picture can provide organizations with the strategic analysis necessary to make effective decisions and stay ahead of the competition.

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