Why Can’t You See The Big Picture?

January 31, 2013 — 5 Comments

halfthepicture 300x137 Why Cant You See The Big Picture?

I was doing my normal juggling of “leader” and “mom” roles.  I was feeling pretty good about the “mom” part as I drove to the stadium that night.

Sure I was on a conference call the whole way there, but I pulled into the parking lot well before halftime.  The marching band had not yet entered the field– that’s a win.

There was plenty of time to set up to take the pictures I had promised my son for his senior year.  I found the perfect spot, got some great facial expressions, and even some action shots.

I drove home proudly and uploaded them to Photoshop.  I adjusted everything just right and excitedly showed them to my son.

“Mom, did you get the guitar?”

Huh? “Ben, you play mellophone”

“Mom, the band moves into a fantastic formation… it looks like a guitar…right in time with the music… did you get a picture of that?”

I had completely missed the big picture…

It happens at work too

My phone rang, it was one of the leaders on my team.

“Karin, you know that project you asked me to look into?”

He continued”….well, all the milestones are on track… IT, HR, Operations… everyone has met their deliverables…but…”

The project looked good on paper, but we both knew something was wrong.

Results weren’t moving.

The big picture was messy.

“We have to stop thinking about this as a project….we need to step back and figure out what needs to be done.”

He was right.

Why We Miss The Big Picture

Sometimes we get too close, and put our heads down doing tasks.

There is danger in looking at a project as a project.

We miss the big picture because we…

Sometimes we need to stop.  Look up.  Take in the whole scene.

Stop looking at the project as a “project.”

Please share your thoughts, what prevents you from seeing the big picture?

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See Also

Project Off Track, Regroup, Re-engage, Refresh

Four Project Management Problems To Avoid

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5 responses to Why Can’t You See The Big Picture?

  1. WOW, did I use to struggle with this. Actually, for the earliest part of my leadership career…I didn’t even know I was doing it. It’s so easy to get going in the fast moving day to day operations and fun of the work. The biggest lesson I learned on this is from Andy Stanley. Work on it, not just in it. I have a regular time scheduled with my leadership team where we go off property to work on our organization. It’s good to take camp into the garage every so often, rotate the tires, change the oil and give it a good look under the hood.

  2. Eric, “work on it, not just in it.” perfect. Thank you!

  3. I think we sometimes miss the big picture simply because we don’t know what we’re looking for. – Just like the guitar-

  4. As a project manager, I use Scrum in my projects. The Guide to Scrum Body of Knowledge by SCRUMstudy provided a complete reference for the Scrum project I am working with. It is a very good book and extremely readable. I really liked sections on risk and quality. The tools mentioned in the processes were very helpful. I highly recommend this book if you are planning to implement Scrum in your organization. You can go through the first chapter available on http://www.SCRUMstudy.com

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