It’s natural to get lost in the day-to-day project details. Schedule weekly reminders to make sure team members are keeping sight of the big picture.

I’ve been focused on an ERP system go-live this week with one of my key clients, and it reminds me that it is easy to go down the rabbit hole in details and forget the big picture. Whether we are implementing a system, racing around to satisfy customer orders due to growth or service problems, rolling out new and improved processes and programs, or something else, remember to take a step back to keep the big picture in mind. For example, if you question your current workload, how much of it would be focused on what is essential to the big picture? Is it possible you’ve gotten off track? Of course! It happens all the time – and no one is immune!

Recently, I was working with a client on a project. We agreed on our strategy upfront. Then we got lost in the details. There was debate and confusion surrounding the details. This alone is not a note of concern as debate over how to best handle details can be productive and end up at a better result. However, in this case, we got so lost in details that a strategy change was made without the full knowledge of the core team – it was well-intentioned but occurred without clarity and alignment.

It turned out that the strategy change had complexities (of course) and so frustration resulted. When talking about details, we each thought we were on the same page of the strategy but we weren’t. Somehow, we made our way through the details to a successful end result according to the new strategy even though we were still on two different pages. The new strategy was “better” from several respects but it created diversions from other critical tasks. Thus if some level of success resulted from this level of confusion, imagine what could have been achieved if we had taken a step back to review the big picture!

Hindsight is always 20/20 but the smart executives learn from all experiences. In this case, remembering to check the big picture and sync up would have been a great benefit. The great news is that it is easy to turn around – schedule time in your calendar. Ask your team members to put reminders into the weekly process. Why not have a “win” that generates 10 fold the level of success by following one simple rule – remember your big picture.