Deep Dive the Micro to Understand the Macro


Over the past 10 years, Chris Cook has spent his career in the construction industry. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial Technology Management with an emphasis in Building Construction Management and Master’s of Science in Project Management. He is an accredited PMP. Follow more of Chris’s insights at his blog EntrePMeur.

“The learning principle is to plunge into the detailed mystery of the micro in order to understand what makes the macro tick.”

– Josh Waizkin, The Art of Learning

Projects can be daunting. The work breakdown structure looks like a plate of spaghetti. The schedule extends forever. The budget contains so many zeroes and commas. One may wonder how all of this work will get done and who is going to do it.

The macro always appears intimidating—a mountain-sized obstacle in the way of getting things done. The only way to rationally overcome the obstacle is to chip away at it. There is no five-point shot in basketball. To come back, you must score and get stops on defense.

The same logic applies to large projects. To successfully complete a project of that scale, you must first start. Often times, the ending is such a focus that the beginning gets overlooked. You see the bid items by the thousands, and it feels like too much to even start.

Resources are already scarce, and now this project needs to begin. Hiring people may enter the picture, which starts another daunting task of finding the right fit for your organization and team. Every answer provides more questions.

But you need to start somewhere, anywhere. It does not matter. Your mindset must shift from impossible, macro-level ideas to the insignificant yet important micro details. Every …

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