Communicating the Big Picture


Use Multiple Channels
Face-to-face communication is only one way to convey the message. Address how tasks tie to strategy in written communication as well. When you create a project charter, state how the project's objectives meet company and department goals. When you develop release criteria, include an explanation of how the criteria relate to market and revenue goals.

It's an Investment
It's not as if you didn't already have enough to do, is it? And now I'm suggesting you take more time to communicate company strategy to everyone on your team. It is an investment, which will save you time in the future. You'll spend less time backtracking, you'll remove yourself as a communication/decision-making bottleneck, and you'll begin to see people function more independently. When people understand how their work fits in the big picture, they'll be better equipped to make decisions and set priorities.

About the author

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby

A regular and Better Software magazine contributor, Esther Derby is one of the rare breed of consultants who blends the technical issues and managerial issues with the people-side issues. She is well known for helping teams grow to new levels of productivity. Project retrospectives and project assessments are two of Esther's key practices that serve as effective tools to start a team's transformation. Recognized as one of the world's leaders in retrospective facilitation, she often receives requests asking her to work with struggling teams. Esther is one of the founders of the AYE Conference. She co-author of Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great. She has presented at STAREAST, STARWEST and the Better Software Conference & EXPO. You can read more of Esther's musings on the wonderful world of software at and on her weblog at Her email is

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