Those of us who bear the scars of battles and blunders can often point to various signals that flashed, blared or buzzed and yet were ignored.
And we wonder, "Why did I overlook that? Why didn't I at some point take an hour or two to consider the alternative course of action that now seems so right?"
One reason, I would submit, is that once we made our poor decision, we ruled out any periodic review. We stopped thinking macro and started thinking micro. Rather than stopping at certain points and asking if we were on the right track, we became oh-so-efficient train engineers, shoveling in the coal, watching the rails, and making sure that every station was reached on time. Our only questions dealt with How and not with Whether.
That's why teams - and individuals - need to set aside regular times to question their assumptions and ask, "If we were starting fresh, would we take on our current projects? If not, why not? If not, why shouldn't we change now?"