When Scriberia met energy suppliers, SSE, they were embarking on a new phase. A complex programme of projects was in place to transform supply operations and customer relations.
Vital to its success was finding a way to communicate a coherent, consistent message throughout the organisation that explained how these projects were linked and where they were leading. But in a large organisation, with staff working across various locations, including in the field, consistency of message can be a real challenge.
Paula Jackman, Communications Manager of SSE’s supply transformation programme, felt that a Scriberia rich picture could be the answer they were looking for.
‘We had to find a way of showing the whole organisation where were going. People working on one project had no idea how their work connected to, or impacted on, other people and other projects elsewhere in the business. This needed to be clearer to help the whole organisation to pull together in one direction,’ she says.
‘I had worked with a Scriberia rich picture before, and although this context was quite different, I could see how it might work.’
Rich pictures are best used as a means for communicating concrete plans. When ideas are still works-in-progress, Scriberia would recommend a live-scribing session.
‘Our strategists had “the big picture” clear in their minds. We needed some way of “downloading” their vision so that everyone could see it.’
— Paula Jackman, Communications Manager, SSE Supply Transformation Programme
‘The people responsible for our strategy already had “the big picture” clear in their minds,’ says Paula. ‘We needed some way of ‘downloading’ their vision so that everyone, from our engineers and meter-readers to our marketing team, could see it. I think that’s a pretty common challenge in big businesses like ours.
‘Not everyone likes to read. We all take in information in different ways and sometimes it works best to provide information in a visual format.’
‘Also, it’s important to recognise that not everyone likes to read. We all take in information in different ways and sometimes it works best to provide information in a visual format.’
So the process of creating a rich picture that fitted SSE’s brief began, as it always does, with in-depth discussions between Scriberia and the client.
‘My team found the process really interesting,’ says Paula. ‘We found Scriberia to be very attuned to what we were doing, and their instincts were on the money. That meant that they were able to create exactly what we were looking for with only a few minor tweaks necessary. It was totally painless.’
The resulting picture now hangs in large scale on the walls of several SSE meeting rooms, and throughout their offices. It has also been emailed to stakeholders and staff stationed elsewhere, providing everyone with the same vision.
‘It has become like a roadmap. It’s a reminder of where we’re going so no one gets lost along the way.’
‘We find it really helpful to have this physical embodiment of the plan for people to refer to. We’ve used it in briefings to stakeholders, training sessions and structured presentations. It has become like a roadmap. It’s a reminder of where we’re going so no one gets lost along the way,’ says Paula.
‘On a first viewing, we like to talk people through it. We can begin anywhere on the picture and tell different stories, depending on which of the teams you’re talking to. Each team can see their journey from A to B is part of the bigger picture. Their project isn’t isolated. We’re all working to the same end.’
A rich picture is exactly that. It’s rich in detail and content, to reward repeat viewing and allow multiple perspectives to meet in one place. It’s an effect that is hard to achieve in a written document where it is impossible to avoid a linear narrative.
‘I’ll certainly be recommending that we work with Scriberia again.’
For Paula, the value of SSE’s rich picture is clear. She says: ‘It has been a really powerful resource for us.
‘We have another big project on the horizon and I’ll certainly be recommending that we work with Scriberia again.’