A big picture view is a holistic view that shows an organization\u2019s many related parts that interact to get some things done. A big picture view is critical for you to define a scope that can help translate strategy. It is also needed to eliminate the two bad extremes: \u201ctechnology-injection\u201d projects and \u201ceverything-on-it\u201d projects.\nTranslate strategy\nStrategies are devised to realize an organization\u2019s overall goals. How do strategies do that? In part, they do it through business-as-usual. They also do it through new initiatives that eventually produce an improved business. How do strategies realize goals through the latter (new initiatives)? The answer: by taking a part of the corporate strategy and turning it into an architecture that demonstrates potential to generate targeted outcomes. That\u2019s strategy translation. And how does strategy translation work? The answer: by starting with a big picture view.\nViewing the big picture is about looking beyond a single technology, process, discipline, department or stakeholder to determine the \u201cright combination\u201d of multiple elements. The right combination would demonstrate strategic potential. And the right combination would \u2013 when transformed through innovation and then deployed \u2013 generate strategic outcomes. We call this combination a reservoir (akin to an oil reservoir that is potentially profitable). So, that\u2019s how strategy translation begins to happen.\nThe reverse is also true. Implementing a proposed idea without first seeing and working on the big picture means strategic outcomes uncertainty.\nAvoid \u201ctechnology-injection\u201d projects\nIn traditional projects, almost all activities were focused within the boundaries of a proposed piece of technology. Projects began by accepting such boundaries, without validating the strategic potential of what\u2019s contained within those boundaries.\nThis approach did generate some business outcomes. However, the outcomes often were generic and normally expected from \u201cautomation\u201d or from the functional category to which the technology belonged. These outcomes were not strategic.\nAnalyst firms like Forrester frequently pointed out the risks of injecting such siloed technology. If you look at the list of CEO concerns, the risks did not go away for a very long time. Thankfully, that\u2019s changing now. In today\u2019s business world, tech initiatives take an exploratory big picture view. The result: business innovation and technology come together. Siloed \u201ctechnology-injection\u201d projects are avoided.\nAvoid \u201ceverything on it\u201d projects\nThe simpler a project\u2019s scope, the higher the chances of completing it successfully \u2013 from a project management perspective though. A \u201ctechnology-injection\u201d project might be a simple project to run, but it is unlikely to generate strategic outcomes. So if you\u2019re targeting strategic outcomes, you need to be prepared for something more complex. Many processes and technology elements may have to come together to make a strategic contribution. But, we\u2019re not talking about transforming the organization overnight through a single all-included project. Such an attempt would turn out to be a disaster.\nWhat would be a good approach? Ask a basic question: what should be the scope to ensure that a project can eventually generate targeted strategic outcomes? Holistic view enables this approach. Holistic view naturally (because it takes a broader business view) avoids negative implications on the business. You will apply questions relating to feasibility: Do we have the needed resources? Is this technically feasible? Quality answers to all these questions will also be inputs to split a big project and to prioritize the smaller projects. So, that\u2019s how a good holistic view avoids complicated \u201ceverything on it\u201d projects.\nWhere to look\nThere are many opportunities to make a strategic contribution. For example, with today\u2019s technologies, disruption is possible. Even an organization\u2019s business model can be completely changed for better value creation, delivery and capture.\nThere is a growing awareness of the importance of a holistic view to tap such opportunities. Yet, there is resistance. Why?\n\nMyth that the holistic approach is wrong: the agile approach has misled some leaders and practitioners to think that a holistic approach is wrong. Well, from digital success stories, it\u2019s clear that the agile approach in fact works only if you\u2019ve already created an architecture that blends business innovation and technology elements. Only with this sequence will the pieces work as a single integrated whole.\nPerceived difficulty, delays and costs: While the discovery phase could be short, the implementation phase will likely require significant resources. So, feasibility must be examined, but preferably after you\u2019ve seen the big picture.\nLack of a discovery method to know where to look and how: we\u2019ll take a brief look at the discovery tasks.\n\nYou need a clearly-defined set of discovery tasks to find a reservoir.\n\nStart with the proposed idea; the idea may involve working on a technology or process.\nList the processes adjacent to that technology or process. Now you have what I call a \u201clead.\u201d Understand the lead.\nUsing proven business tools, choose processes that will form the reservoir.\n\nWhether you are validating an idea for strategic fit or exploring to see if there\u2019s something to help achieve a part of the organization\u2019s strategy, it\u2019s important to start with a holistic view.