When army officers issue an operations order, they include a statement in the order called "Commanders Intent." The purpose of this statement is to provide people with guidance so that decisions can be made and action can be taken in the face of ambiguity.
The same can be applied in the work place. If you are a leader, make sure your people understand the overall purpose of the task at hand. If you are a team member, take responsibility for understanding how your task fits into the bigger picture.
Add clarity in the face of ambiguity. Understand your "manager's intent."