People who can see the whole complexity of the project “need to be paired with people that can deal with the details at other levels,” says Jack Vinson.
Looking back on what I have written, I haven’t made that entirely clear.
Everyone is important and necessary for the group to succeed. We need each other, each of us working at the level that challenges us, yet still within our own limits so that we might succeed. Having only strategic thinkers means that nothing ever gets done.
Information Technology often has people doing great work at the detailed and operational management levels. They work hard and are often dissed by the Business. Some projects need more high-level people involved, too.
Maybe your project truly needs someone at the Executive Vice-President level sponsoring it to have the right level of cross-over management and high-level context setting. You will then need all the layers in-between in order for the strategic vision to get to every level in language that they understand and in the chunk that is relevant to their work. It’s not that no one else can understand the vision, but that programmers at each level need more information about this or that.
You can’t have just high-complexity thinkers, nor can you just have shorter time horizon thinkers in the project: you probably need both. Depending on the project work, of course.
But you will definitely need every level represented between the shortest time horizon role and the longest time horizon role.
Image Credit: Space Shuttle Columbia launching (STS-1. 1981). NASA