Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Incorporating IT Project Deliverables

Your promise to complete a project by a particular date has fallen through. As you think back, you realize that you had no way of knowing whether or not things were progressing smoothly.
How can you ensure that you have a check process in place for your next IT project? One suggestion is to incorporate project deliverables.

Project deliverables are the final product or result of a particular phase of a project. Deliverables are ultimately passed on to another party, either professionals who will use the deliverable to begin the next phase of the project, or the customer if it is part of the final product.

When planning a project, IT professionals establish specific types of project deliverables to help determine when a stage in the process is complete. These deliverables also can help you identify whether a problem exists early in the process.

There is no limit to the number of deliverables you can incorporate into each phase of your project. The following are a few examples of the most common deliverables.
1. Organization charts. Organization charts show the breakdown of the responsibilities or duties of the individuals in each unit. These charts can include information about the sponsoring company, the customer's company if external, and the authority, responsibilities, and communication breakdown for a project.
An example of an organization chart is the organizational breakdown structure. Your company's OBS chart may include the name of the employee performing each of the roles identified on the chart.
2. Work packages. Work packages are comprised of a number of precise working documents that provide details on specific business tasks of the project. An example of this deliverable is the Statement of Work (SOW).
3. Planning documents. Planning documents are used to develop and maintain a feasible method for addressing the business needs of the project. The amount and detail of the information contained in these documents depend on the size of the project.
Work schedules and cost estimates are examples of this deliverable. Work schedules can help you determine the staff numbers and skill sets needed for the project. Cost estimates give you an approximation of the total project cost.
Remember, by incorporating deliverables into the project phases, you and you team can more effectively plan and manage your next IT project.

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