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Project Definition - Deliverables


Quick Summary
An "is/is not" worksheet for defining the major deliverables that the project is chartered to deliver.


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What this is

An "is/is not" worksheet for defining the major deliverables that the project is chartered to deliver. They are expressed in the terminology of the customer or end user. The Product Specification will translate this into internal terminology and objectives. This is useful during the vision definition phase of a project.


Why it's useful

You must be clear on results desired before you can successfully plan a project. Changes after significant work has begun are known to major causes of project failure. A common understanding of major deliverables provides scope and boundaries for the project team and serves to reduce rework cycles.


How to use it

List the major deliverables. Describe each deliverable completely. The "Customer Definition field should be a pure "what" requirement, describing attributes and functions as they will appear to the user. The "Internal Definition" can be used to augment the "Customer Definition" field, or it may be filled in alone to define a deliverable not seen by the customer/user. A deliverable must be tangible, quantifiable, and measurable. As you create these descriptions, you should be able to define a test, review, or inspection step that will verify that the deliverable meets the criteria established by end user needs. Include this validation definition and the acceptance criteria in the description.

Also, describe what will NOT be delivered. This is a way to limit "creeping elegance" at the start of the project and motivates people to really think through what is being committed to. If you plan to include an excluded deliverable in a subsequent evolution of the product, be sure to identify that fact so that the initial deliverables can be designed to accommodate the future deliverable.

NOTE: You can use this as a "worksheet" to feed an effort to write a Project Vision or Statement of Work. (See our template for those documents). They are both intended to provide a concise overview of the scope and business/customer drivers of the project. This "Project Deliverables view" provides a piece of the full high-levelproject definition that is needed - which is what the Vision and Statement of Work formats are designed to do.


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