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Define the Deliverable


Define the Deliverable
We’ve all created To Do lists, sent them around to our team and sat back waiting for responses and, hopefully, accomplishments. We might even feel a bit smug congratulating ourselves that one of our tasks is done. (After all, who actually took the time to send that email listing the proposed To Do items?) And we might even allow ourselves to think that it is up to the team now to get to work and complete those items one by one. No problem - right?

Wrong. Your inability to clearly define the deliverables can (and probably will) prevent your team from achieving goals and delivering success.

To Do Goals:

  • Improve relationships with Bender Corporation
  • Evaluate Trade Shows
  • Coordinate Territory Manager Travel

I'd really like to know—if your boss sent you that To Do Goals email, what would you do next?

  1. Say to yourself, "Great! I’ll get right on these goals and show the boss how spectacular I can be."
  2. Ask yourself, "These are unattainable. How am I ever going to accomplish these?"
  3. (Sigh) Go see your boss to clarify what she really wants.

Define the DeliverableUnless I am so in sync with my boss that we complete one another’s sentences, I am going with the third option (C). Why? As they are written, these goals are useless and, consequently, undeliverable. Even worse, they are dangerous because they are open to interpretation. Goal interpretation leads to misdirected resources, miscommunication, a lack of goal accomplishment, and lots and lots of frustration.

What exactly does "Improve relationships" mean to you? If you are the account representative for Bender Corporation, it may mean something completely different than it does to the VP of Sales and Marketing. If the VP of Sales and Marketing wants to improve relationships with Bender Corporation, he has to be very clear about the components that will constitute and define an improvement in the relationship. Will this goal be achieved if you call Bender five times a day instead of two? Will it be achieved if you increase sales? Will it be achieved if you reduce the number of times they call you and complain? What specifically needs to happen to allow you to check this goal off that To Do list?

I ask my clients to think about, list and define the deliverables. What needs to be delivered, completed, developed, demolished, moved, installed, increased or decreased to allow us to cross these goals off the list? Once the deliverable is defined, the goal is clear. For example, if the goal says: By the end of the first quarter, meet with Bender Corporation contacts, as needed, to understand and clear their complaint log on service/warranty work.

Ah, now we have clarity and now we have defined the deliverable — Clear the Complaint Log.

If the goals you are developing with and for your staff are not clear and do not define a deliverable, you are making it hard, if not impossible, for your team to deliver success.


Copyright MMV - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – +1.717.597.8890

Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching. Learn more about Liz on LinkedIn!

Liz Weber CMCLiz Weber, CMC CSP

Liz Weber coaches, consults, and trains leadership teams. She specializes in strategic and succession planning, and leadership development.

Liz is one of fewer than 100 people in the U.S. to hold both the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designations.

Contact Liz’s office at +1.717.597.8890 for more info on how Liz can help you, or click here to have Liz’s office contact you.

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on March 21, 2011 in Leadership Development and tagged , , ,