The big picture

Sometimes it's important to look at the big picture.

When we look at the big picture, we view a situation as a whole. We do not focus on the small details of its individual parts.

Have you ever worked on a long-term project that was delayed because too much time was spent on the small details? When we look at the big picture, we focus on the most important facts of a situation. We then evaluate how those facts will affect the overall situation in the future. 

This expression can be used in both personal and professional contexts. It considers a decision, a task, or an issue related to a long-term strategy. For example:

  • I just got a parking ticket. I'm upset, but I know it's not important in the big picture
  • CEOs are usually very skilled at looking at the big picture

A. Your current project sounds really complex. How do you manage all the details?
B. Well, as the Project Manager, I focus on the big picture and make sure all of our objectives are achieved on time. I have a great team of Project Coordinators, who manage the details of each task.