Addressing the sixth component of a general scope document

This month, we will discuss the sixth component of the general scope document (GSD): project deliverables.

Developing a general scope of work document is an important part of doing business. Your statement of work not only spells out specific phases and details for a project, but it also helps tell the story of the work you plan to do. The scope of work your business plans to do will be spelled out in the project deliverables section.

General Scope DocumentImage 1. Components of a general scope document (Image courtesy of the author)

The project deliverables portion is yet another critical part of the general scope document. Simply stated, project deliverables are the products or outputs that the successful completion of the project is intended to produce. A deliverable is a product or service created to achieve a project objective. Seems straight forward, right?

When you embark on a project, it should be obvious what you are going to create, right? Unfortunately, that is not always the case. That is why it is important to define and capture the description of the intended deliverable(s). The team needs enough details (from each stakeholder with vested interest in the project) to know what it is producing or developing, and how to measure the outcome during testing and review. Perhaps most important of all, the team needs to be sure of what the stakeholders want and that they will approve the final result.

Project deliverables is where many projects fail to achieve the desired results. Why? Because many general scope documents fail to clearly define the project deliverables. This one critical step can spell disaster during the owner’s acceptance process and most certainly when you are validating the cost benefits of said project.

Clarity Is Power

What should be included in the project deliverables statement? This is somewhat redundant but bears repeating: A clear definition of the result of the successful completion of the project.

Among project management deliverables, there is a distinction between project and process deliverables. As stated earlier, a project deliverable is a result, while a process deliverable is the path you take to achieve that result. Process deliverables include things such as the scope of work and a statement of work. A scope of work sets the intentions for the project at the start and includes such things as the project stakeholders, project goals and objectives, and intended deliverables.

Like the objectives they serve to achieve, deliverables must be specific and measurable. If a deliverable is not specific or does not directly serve the objective, it has no place in the project plan. The measurable aspect of deliverables means they must meet defined acceptance criteria (the owner’s acceptance criteria).

Listed below are a few examples of project deliverables. Each item is specific and measurable.

  • vibration (reference standard)
  • system efficiency (over operating envelope)
  • type of pump or configuration
  • speed (range or limitation)
  • head (process)
  • flow (process)
  • mean time between repair (reference standard)
  • horsepower (limits)
  • voltage (limits)

This is not a comprehensive list of project deliverables. However, it does give you a general idea of what should be included in this portion of the general scope document.

Next month, we will discuss the owner’s acceptance criteria. I have always found this portion of the general scope document to be a lively discussion when preparing a document for distribution to a third party for a quote. Again, attention to detail is critical.

Read more Pump System Standards by William Livoti here.