You are a consultant providing strategic services to organizations. You are in a meeting with a prospect interested in your services and they say “So what would be the deliverable?” The question of what’s the deliverable is really a way to say “I have no idea what I need or what you can do but I am results oriented and I need to know what can you deliver that I can measure” As a consultant I’ve heard this question asked a million times and each time I wanted to say:
- How the hell would you know if you don’t have a clue about how to fix your current problem or improve your results?
- How are the deliverables you’ve been creating doing for you? Did your measures really help you improve anything?
- My deliverable will be giving you the insight you obviously don’t have, the knowledge to understand it and the tools to use it effectively. Get it?
- I’ll find out what you should already know but don’t. I’ll share it with you and show you how it to apply to improving things. Then you can measure your own deliverable
- Deliverable results? How about I work with your competition and show them how to destroy you quicker than you are destroying yourself.
The question reveals the real problem an organization has. The problem is ignorance and the only deliverable to fix that is knowledge. Of course that means the buyer needs to understand the value of knowledge and how to use it. In too many cases neither is true so they continue to look for a measurable deliverable they don’t know how to measure.
Most people would call that stupid. Some call it management.