How to Build a Powerful Deliverable Strategy?
In project management, a deliverable is anything tangible, verifiable or measurable that is produced to complete a set project milestone. Deliverables can take many forms such as code releases, posters, blueprint, wireframe, etc.
Why do deliverables matter?
A project plan is a roadmap to the completion of a successful project. Deliverables serve as guides in the maintenance and development of your project plan. They are similar to project management currency. It’s not the activity you complete that gets you the payout, instead of the production of the deliverable and its acceptance by the customer.
Therefore, it makes sense to place deliverables at the center of every project. All activities must be tied directly to the creation and provision of a specific deliverable.
Types of Deliverables
There are three types of deliverables in a complex project. These are:
1) Recurring Deliverables – Risk log or weekly status update given to the client.
2) Interim Deliverables – Inputs that aid the development of the final deliverable.
3) Final Deliverable – The complete project.
The Deliverable Strategy
To craft your deliverable strategy, you must undertake the following actions:
To define a deliverable, you need to work backward. Start by comprehending your client’s objectives. The deliverables you create should be designed to support these goals. You need to build each deliverable into the contract along with the estimated time required to finish each deliverable. Using a deliverable-based contract indicates that in exchange for defined deliverables at an agreed-upon rate, you will meet the client’s objectives. Clearly defining your deliverables is the foundation of a good project and it demonstrates that you are committed to collaborating on achieving the client’s goals.
After clearly defining the deliverables, you must break each of them down into small units for delegating and tracking; also called ‘work breakdown structure’. What work needs to be completed to finish the deliverable?
A key consideration in this step is identifying the types of dependencies:
On your client
On other deliverables
After the dependencies are identified, assign deadlines accordingly. Build in room for review and feedback. Useful deconstruction of deliverables ensures accurate tracking.
In this phase, activities are assigned to select team members, and This requires hiring the best talent. Your duty as a manager is to know each team member’s skill set and to determine who is best suited for the task. Consider the bandwidth and expertise of each team member, while seeking chances to capitalize on maximum efficiency. Share assignments and their related expectations with each team member as early as possible, This leaves some room for clarification, raising questions, etc.
In this phase, you need to implement the necessary processes and tools for tracking the progress of each deliverable. There are several tools and methods for progress tracking and risk monitoring of each deliverable. As a project manager, you may seek notification when a subtask or task is complete and when a deadline may be at risk.
A flexible project management tool that is seamless to use is required, This will significantly aid you as well as your team. Project management tools have built-in features that can track the progress of each deliverable, i.e. ‘percent completed’ or ‘on track’. You may request more elaboration if necessary.
Setting and budgeting time is a crucial aspect of your deliverable strategy and quality review, and This is the last level between the deliverable and the submission. When the assigned party finishes each deliverable, what will increase your confidence in the final product? The answer: a quality review process that validates the deliverable and this includes:
Upholds uniformity with other deliverables
Fulfills contractual requirements
Free from Errors
Aligns with the necessary style guide
Single or multiple resources can be used in the review process.
However, best practices include:
budgeting time for recaps on deliverables
sharing outlines or drafts to confirm progress
documenting sign-off from each person on the project
When managing complex projects, a degree of deviation is expected from the initial plan. Clients can require redevelopment of deliverables at any given time. Even the most experienced managers cannot predict when a deliverable may be removed, added or modified. The best thing to do is to incorporate a strategy for managing changes, and this entails outlining process steps for reviewing and approval to changes in the budget, timelines and or deliverables by project stakeholders. Establish this change process at the start of the project. Project managers typically initiate present recommendations to stakeholders as “change requests” and sanctioned by clients.
Learning how to build a powerful deliverable strategy will ensure successful delivery of your final project. A project management tool can serve as an indispensable tool in this process. Contact ViduPM to learn more.