Deliverable vs Result

So as I have been delving deeper into Rapid Results and it’s nuances as we finalize our service offering around it I was exposed to a subtle shift of thought.

The difference between a deliverable and a result.  Those of us who come from IT are incessently forcused on deliverables.  How else do you measure whether you hit the goal or write a contract.

But the breakthrough is in thinking of the problem differently.  Not to say that there will not be deliverables assigned to various people along the way.  If we are focused on the result we change the way we see the universe.  So take for example:

  • Reduce cycle time of product development
    This has so many different facets depending on our industry, but if we think about it at this high a level we have an opportunity for a real breakthrough.  We are also able to break this larger issue into smaller achievable components that can cross business and organization.
  • Reduce the cost of manufacture of widget X
    A couple of weeks ago I had lunch with an old school hood friend and we were talking about offshore manufacture and his experience.  Locally their team was focused on making the manufacturing process as perfect as possible and then shipping that process to a foreign low-cost environment for manufacture.  When the team did an audit, they found that some of the changes were not done as the offshore manufacturer had 2-3 people at the end of the line fixing defects.  With this approach they were able to have a higher productivity then with the engineered productivity solution.

These are not perfect examples, but we need to be able to raise our heads above our past experience and exposure to look at the actual result not the deliverable we are asked to provide.

Finally, here are some definitions (Merriam-Webster Online):


a : to proceed or arise as a consequence, effect, or conclusion   <death resulted from the disease> b :resulted in death>to have an issue or result   <the disease

Deliverable (Deliver)

1 : to set free   <and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil  — Matthew 6:13(Authorized Version)>
2 a : to take and hand over to or leave for another  : CONVEY   <deliver a package> b : HAND OVER, SURRENDER   <delivered the prisoners to the sheriff>   <delivered themselves over to God>
3 a (1) : to assist in giving birth (2) : to aid in the birth of b : to give birth to c : to cause (oneself) to produce as if by giving birth   <has delivered himself of half an autobiography  — H. C. Schonberg>
4 : SPEAK, SING, UTTER   <delivered their lines with style>   <deliver a song>   <deliver a speech>
5 : to send (something aimed or guided) to an intended target or destination   <ability to deliverdelivered a fastball>
6 a : to bring (as votes) to the support of a candidate or cause b : to come through with  : PRODUCEdeliver the best results>   <the new car delivers high gas mileage>
intransitive verb : to produce the promised, desired, or expected results  : COME THROUGH   <can’t deliver on all these promises>nuclear warheads>

  1. Jim Reply

    I think your definition is of the verb, not the noun, which is what you are trying to achieve. Have a look at the noun definition.

  2. Jim Reply

    I think you are on to something very important and I think you could use it to develop this service offering. Rather than having to perfect deliverable service offering maybe thinking of the result you want which is a rapid results project, let’s get the project first and develop the deliverable as we go.
    We need to achieve a result for a client not ourselves. Focus on the client and the result they want to achieve. Everything else will follow.

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