Even the most productive conversations can be hampered by technical details, unclear concepts, or attempts to discuss the practical application of an abstract concept. This can be hard for even the most supportive and open communications environment to overcome, because the real problem stems from a different origin. Sometimes, it’s just technically difficult to communicate, despite our best efforts. This is why another tool is often very helpful to IT project teams, and it’s one you learned long ago, as a child: drawing. Sketching out an idea is a really good way to get something out of your head and into a format that can be more easily communicated to others. The drawing can be very simple: sometimes, a couple of boxes or circles and an arrow or two are all that is needed. Even the most basic drawing helps, because it makes the idea visual, and therefore more concrete. People can now see it the way you do. They can understand it better and provide more specific feedback, perhaps by drawing something themselves. A sketch brings to life an extremely efficient explanation of a concept, and provides an easy way for others to gain an understanding of the point you are trying to relay. It can also seem far less intimidating to respond to than text, or even the spoken word. There’s something informal and approachable about a drawing, particularly when it is created on a temporary surface, like a whiteboard. Drawings encourage participation – which is exactly what you want.