A05 - Identify and plan deliverables
This management activity belongs to the Project Initiation group. This group of activities are run at the beginning to prepare us for the project.
Note: This is a draft of the second version of P3.express. Comments are welcome!
Conduct workshops to create a hierarchical breakdown of the building elements of the product: deliverables. Where necessary, add short descriptions to deliverables to explain their scope, quality, or any other important factors. Store this information in the Deliverables Map, which can have any format such as a mind map.
The Deliverables Map will be expanded depending on the natural dependencies among production activities. When there are many dependencies, the elements would be scheduled based on their dependencies and estimated durations, whereas when there are not many dependencies, the elements can be prioritized by a proper set of criteria and selected for execution based on priorities and improvisation instead of a schedule. Many projects can benefit from a dependency-based approach for the higher levels and a priority-based approach for the lower levels.
If a similar project was done before, check its archive and use that information to prepare a better Deliverables Map.
Based on the development of the Deliverables Map, you may need to make adjustments to the Project Description as well.
While Project Description is crucial and it’s always necessary to be aligned with it, it’s abstract and hard to use in day to day work. The Deliverables Map bridges the gap by creating a relatively concrete resource that makes the scope of the project clearer. It’s also the heart of what becomes a form of schedule for the project, which in turn, is a resource that helps us decide what to do next, and helps us measure progress.
It’s common for practitioners to think of “work” instead of “deliverables” when creating the Deliverables Map. You need to facilitate the workshop in a way that helps everyone focus on deliverables, independent of the underlying work. To ensure that, use noun phrases instead of verb phrases for naming the deliverables. Sometimes the use of a mind map can also help because it visualizes the hierarchy and is a reminder that those elements are the building blocks of the product.
The following principles have a significant role in this management activity: