“What are we doing?” It might seem like a simple question, but it’s a fair one for an IT professional to ask. While the answers could be widely varied, David M. Stein claims there’s only one good response: “Are you asking about the entire project goal, or just this one task?” If the answer is anything but the latter, you might as well quit while you’re ahead. Stein claims that nothing is a surer sign of failure than concentrating on the little details while failing to see the big picture.
If the problem is not identified, then the solution will never be found either. A common miscommunication will occur when a business manager sends an IT professional off to estimate a project without making it clear what’s really needed. Is the priority speed? Number of megabytes? A low budget? If you don’t know, it may be time to ask “What are we doing?” It is only once this bigger picture is established that you can begin to work on the details.