Today’s tech pros and leaders need more than just a robust skill set in order to bring value to their organization. Skills are important but the ability to see the “big picture” is just as critical for success. Big-picture thinking requires the ability to consider more than just the tasks you need to check off your list for the day. You must be able to understand and apply industry trends and the company vision and mission to your role and goals. Being able to focus on detail while considering the larger picture doesn’t always come naturally; it often requires a bit of brain training. Here are some tips to help you become a big-picture thinker.
Learn to Eliminate Extraneous Details
Tech pros are typically very detail-oriented thinkers. Solving complex problems requires you to consider all perspectives and to take every “what if” into account. However, in order to paint a clear picture of the broader perspective, it is critical to eliminate extraneous details.
Focusing too closely on minute details prevents you from seeing the larger picture. Think of it this way: When developers debug a program, fixing one problem can often cause a separate issue if that developer focuses too closely on that one problem without considering the broad picture. That same fallacy can happen in nearly any role. If you get stuck in the weeds dealing with the wrong details or too many details, you can overlook large problems.
Become a Master of Prioritizing Projects
Big-picture thinkers have the ability to allocate resources effectively. Not every proposed project is worth the team’s time and money in the long run. Prioritization based on the probability of success and the project’s impact on the company as a whole is a hallmark of strategic thinking in IT.
This skill can be difficult to master, because there will be times when the most exciting projects have to be put on the back burner or rejected entirely. The innovations and developments that drive business goals for the long term aren’t always the “sexiest,” and building a knack for prioritization requires a commitment to objectivity.
Learn the “Why” Behind What You Do
Tying your role to the organization’s overall mission and goals will shed new light on what you and your team do each day. This requires you to understand and get behind the company’s mission and goals. If you don’t know how you fit in, sit down with your boss and work to understand how your deliverables move the company towards a goal. This exercise can be invaluable in learning to balance detail against the larger picture.
If your organization is looking for strong IT leaders, or if you are an IT leader looking for the right talent to round out your team, connect with the award-winning recruiters at Talon. Contact us today to learn more about the ways we can help you achieve your goals.