A deliverable is an instance where some aspect of a broader objective becomes real. It is a clear statement of a piece of work that has to be done and when it must be completed.
Mt. Hood, Oregon, USA. A clear objective focuses attention; deliverables build momentum.A clear objective focuses action. It is a clear point of agreement. In the language of complexity, this means that it can become a dynamic attractor, drawing various, sometimes disparate, activities together causing them to converge toward a common end.
But as long as the objective remains an abstraction, it never becomes an attractor. It can seem ephemeral, like a thought or a dream. In contrast, Deliverables are real. Their completion makes aspects of the objective feel tangible and lasting. This builds momentum toward the full realization of the objective.
Objectives can be about place with all parties converging toward a location, a meeting or a conference. They can be things, new products or services. Or perhaps they can significant events, like closing a funding round or hiring key employees. An objective can be a time or a date when something is expected to happen, a quarterly earnings report or a product launch event. It can be any or all of these things at once. But in all cases without tangible deliverables, objectives are intangible, they are just dreams, aspirations.
To make them real, each aspect of each objective must be collapsed into a deliverable with a due date.
To build momentum toward an objective, it is important that the deliverable is real, that it is clear, that it is shared by all; and that everyone believes that delivering it by the due date is critically important. All of this potential energy is focused in one direction, toward meeting the deliverable. This provides needed momentum, and once it begins, it is hard to stop.
As each deliverable is realized, the objective begins to feel more and more real. As it feels more real, it seems ever more achievable. In this way, deliverables add up, one by one, two by two, three by three, and so on, until eventually, the objective itself is fully realized. The objective becomes a completed whole, a collective achievement that expresses a unified sense of individual fulfillment for each individual “me”, and for all of “us” who have done our part.
This is an organization at peak performance.
This is what success looks like.