Death By Deliverables

If you were able to justify the project as a whole based on some business benefit, you should be able to distill that benefit into component parts. For example if you are implementing a CRM solution with $10M in benefit, and one of the key features is enhanced reporting to sales managers, some element of the $10M should be tied to this reporting.

Link each deliverable to one of these critical success factors rather than focusing on the different types of deliverables in an aggregate state—“83% of all functional specifications complete” paints a far different picture than “14% of work required for $1.9M organizational value complete.”

Focusing on the end-game and the critical factors to get there also maintains momentum throughout the project team. Rather than pushing to get a deliverable done, which may add zero value to the organization, the team focuses on objectives that provide true, measurable value to the company.

Tracking the project based on value also helps prevent eleventh hour meetings, where the CIO gets the bad news that the project requires another extension and yet another injection of funding.

It is all too easy for a project to look like it is on track when counting deliverables, since they lack the connection to the overall value of the project. You cannot hide the fact that key contributors to organizational value are not being delivered, but you can bury project status under bullet points proclaiming “99% of all documentation complete!”

Imagine a builder measuring the status of project to build a house based on tasks rather than value. He could report impressive sounding statistics like “93% of all nails hammered” and “100% of planning phases completed” without having completed anything that even vaguely resembles a house.

Patrick Gray is the founder and President of Prevoyance Group, located in Harrison, NY. Prevoyance Group provides Strategic IT consulting services, helping clients deliver measurable monetary returns from their IT organization. Past clients include Gillette, Pitney Bowes, OfficeMax and several other Fortune 500 and 1000 companies. Patrick can be reached at [email protected] .