the big picture photo Photo by marfis75 [CC]

When we work on projects lasting more than a week or so, we can become increasingly caught up in the minutiae, and lose sight of the big picture. When we lose sight of the big picture, the details can end up driving the project; a squeaky wheel can derail an entire project.

If you struggle to stay in view of the big picture, setting up visual reminders in your workspace can help. That way, you will see it frequently.

You can:

These visual reminders need only be meaningful to you. In fact, making it not-obviously related to the project and your role can be a useful and fun exercise that forces you to really delve into what the project means to you.

You do need to change your poster, sentence or collage often. Just so you don't automatically start to ignore it because you see it all the time.

In meetings - especially those inevitable protracted ones that deal with details - practice mentally stepping outside of the current discussion to allow yourself a moment to reconnect with the big picture. Remind yourself why this project exists, why you are involved, and the outcomes you want to achieve.