The Art and Science of the Deliverable

The Art and Science of the Deliverable

About the Book

The concept of ‘Deliverables Management’ has been present during much of my Project Management life but it took a long while before my understanding went beyond the superficial.  Deliverables Management is one of these ostensibly ‘self-evident’ concepts that requires no further explanation or expansion.  The term ‘deliverables’ seemed to have an obvious stand-alone meaning and was never properly described with process or usage, and therefore never properly leveraged as an effective tool in Project Management. 

In Project Management’s ‘conventional wisdom’ it appears that the idea of a deliverable and its management is so obvious that nothing else is required.

This seemed to be a waste: there had to be more than a self-defining term that ‘everyone’ understood but few could explain.  And so began my process of research and cogitation to find a better use for this term and to codify it as a useful model for software project development. I researched existing publications, I mostly found redundant, self-referential definitions and equally self-referential articles and little else - a “deliverable” is something that “gets delivered”; how it gets delivered is the subject of other techniques and processes.  Fortunately there was the odd academic paper and some magazine and blog articles that helped frame some detail.

I’ve now been using Deliverables Management as an enabler to my own project management activities over the last 10 years or more, and progressively codified this usage. But I have never been able to comprehensively put that knowledge into a coherent manner that can be shared.

Hence, this book; my intention is to provide both a definitional and practical elaboration on the concept of a deliverable, how to think about both its static and dynamic properties and how to improve just about any methodology or development process.

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About the Author

Adam Russell
Adam Russell

Adam writes about project management on his blog “Adam On Projects” and in his books and other content at He is also an expert in applying ChatGPT to project environments and has written several books on ChatGPT.

Adam coaches and mentors other project managers, and consults on various projects around the world.

Adam Russell has successfully delivered software development, software package, and systems integration projects for nearly 40 years, using both Agile and traditional approaches.

Adam started as a software developer, and then moved into pre-sales technical support when the IBM PC launched. He launched his project management career after he helped to close a significant government deal. The head of projects said: “You helped sell it. Now, you can deliver it”.

Since then, Adam has worked for companies ranging from 1-person startups to global tier-1 vendors and customer organisations in roles ranging from hands-on project manager through to General Manager of Systems Integration.

In those roles, Adam has been responsible for delivering hundreds of projects, ranging in budget from $5k up to over $100m. Adam also volunteers his time and skills with non-profit organisations.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1 – the Foundation for Deliverables Management


What problems are we solving for?

Software Development is Hard

Managing Software Development is even harder

What do we need to do?

A Solution is Deliverables Management

Methodology Neutral

Target Projects

End to End Technique

Deliverables Explicitly Drive Quality Criteria

Creates clear accountability

Provides Linkages and Closure

Self-Diagnosing and Integrative

When to Introduce Deliverables Management

Benefits of a Deliverables Management Approach


Chapter 2 – What is a Deliverable?


Purpose of a Deliverable

Discrete and identifiable

Producer and Consumer



Types of deliverables

Documents and Information Artefacts

Form, Compatibility and Management System


Quality (or “Fitness for Purpose”)



Date/Time Properties

Place or location

Delivery Method


Chapter 3 – Relationships Between Deliverables


The Problem with our Current Way of Showing Relationships

Interim and Boundary Deliverables

Project Solution/End-State Deliverables

Project Intermediate Deliverables

Deliverables are Produced and Consumed

Deliverables are a Delivery Mechanism for Requirements

Each Deliverable a Handoff

Is a document a deliverable?

Integrated Model of Deliverables

Deliverable Specification,  “Testing” and “Acceptance”

Deliverable Relationships

Chapter J – System Component Structure


What is the System Component Structure

As-Is Structure

To-be structure

Building the “To Be” Deliverables


Chapter 4 – Deliverables Management


Deliverables based planning

Deliverable Lifecycle

Integration plan

How does Deliverables Management Support the Integration Plan

Iterative/Progressive Elaboration

Chapter 5 – Project Delivery Model


Delivery Model

Deliverables RACI


Appendix 1 – Using Deliverables 0: The End to End Management System


Simple Deliverables Workbook

Integrated Deliverables Workbook

Appendix 2 – Using Deliverables 1: The Simple Deliverables register

Appendix 3 – Using Deliverables 2: The Integrated Deliverables register

Appendix 4 – Using Deliverables 3: The Work Breakdown Structure

Appendix 5 – Using Deliverables 3A: The Organizational Breakdown Structure

Organization and Stakeholder Roles

Appendix 6 – Using Deliverables 5: The Phase Plan


Appendix 7 – Using Deliverables 5: The MS Project Export Table


Appendix 8 – Using Deliverables 6: End-to-End Planning process


Deliverables Generate Tasks

Deliverables Management Approach

Prince 2 vs Deliverables Management


Appendix 9 – Using Deliverables: The Phase Plan


Combination Tasks

Multiple Output Deliverables – Not Recommended

Checks / Quality Indicators

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