Learn to Use a High-Level Filter

When you’re asked for a “high-level” plan do you panic? I don’t.

Whenever I hear “high-level”, I apply a High-Level Filter: I simply replace “high-level” with “vague”. Let me give you some examples of how the filter works.

Filtering a High-Level Plan

Imagine that you’re in a meeting with me, we’re drinking crappy office coffee, and someone sitting across the table says, “Let’s make a high-level plan.”

You might think, “How the heck are we going to do that? There is only half an hour until lunch.”

I apply a High-Level Filter and what I hear is, “Let’s make a vague plan.” We can certainly do that before lunch.

Filtering High-Level Requirements

Imagine that you and I are asked to provide high-level requirements for the next phase of a complex project and we have to be done by end of day tomorrow.

You might panic and mutter, “Crap. More unpaid overtime.”

I apply a High-Level Filter and smile knowing that we have been asked to provide vague requirements. We can certainly do that by end of day tomorrow.

Use a High-Level Filter

You will panic less often and work less overtime. More importantly, you will understand where people are coming from when they ask you for high-level plans or high-level requirements.

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