Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What In The World Is A Deliverable?

If there is one constant in consulting it is the production of deliverables. But what the heck is a "deliverable" anyway? This is one of the first lessons in consultantese that new consultants learn...

Deliverables are pretty much what we consultants do: Deliver stuff. So, leave it to the consulting mind to come up with a suitably vague yet descriptive term for whatever we crap out at the client site!

A deliverable can be anything, but traditionally it's a full written report, printed and bound, delivered with an accompanying presentation. That's the Ultimate Deliverable.

But lately I've been successful in lobbying for lesser deliverables. After all, aren't bound reports kind of "1970's Rand" and don't we live 4 decades in the future?

After wowing my clients with my mad PowerPoint skills, I began de-emphasizing the printed report. Finally, I just delivered my write-up via email, focusing entirely on the preso.

Then came The Big Move: I modified the SoW to specify the report as an optional component, leaving just the presentation as the master deliverable.

Wouldn't you know it, the clients jumped all over the chance to save $10k by not having a printed report prepared. Sales went up, and management got on board. Yes!

Now I loathe The Deliverable a little less, since it's usually just a presentation. And, as every consultant knows, you can get away with pretty much anything you want in a presentation!

"Project Report" illustration by Nick Bramhall

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