Early communication about project deliverables important to understanding and success

Find out what you’ll get from Hanson — contact Dave Thomson at dthomson@hanson-inc.com.

Understanding what you will receive for a price is always of interest for anyone purchasing a product or service. When buying a new appliance, you want to know its features and capabilities. The same applies to planning efforts, design development and final construction drawings.

A clear definition of what is expected to be delivered (the deliverable) is key to project success. Each project requires thinking about how much detail is needed to define what you will provide to the client. A deliverable is a defined scope of work that has a schedule and budget. The deliverable must be clear enough so the final product is fully understood by all project personnel.

Different clients have different levels of understanding for terms that might be common in the engineering arena. And even different engineering disciplines have different terms. A civil and land developer client may understand “60% site design,” but it has no meaning to a process engineer. “Front-end engineering and design” may accurately describe a deliverable for a mechanical engineer and industrial client, but a civil engineer may not know what it is.

A good deliverable requires that you understand your client, know the client’s expectations and define the intent and end-work product of the deliverable so that is clear to you and the client. Project challenges begin when one party or the other doesn’t fully understand the deliverable.

A misunderstanding early on in the project that changes the design midstream can potentially cost a lot of money. At Hanson, we strive to clearly communicate at the beginning of a project what our clients will receive for the money they spend. This leads to many upfront questions and clarifying discussions. We have found that these discussions have huge value to our clients, because we design only what is needed for a project, and we design to the level and expectation of the client.