When you start a project for your small business, you must look at each phase of the project and identify deliverables you expect for those phases. Deliverables are tangible achievements by your employees. Examples include creating a database, laying a foundation for a house, an article from your public relations department and a completed cost analysis. You can develop measurable deliverables that help you gauge the progress of your projects.

Identifying Objectives

Project completion is your long-term goal, but each step along the way is an objective. Write down all of the objectives you expect to reach as you move toward completion. For example, if you plan to create a marketing department, have objectives such as, “establish space for marketing personnel, set up equipment and networking, hire staff, set initial policies and set goals.” Place your objectives in chronological order so you are sure your objectives lead logically to your goal.

Turning Objectives into Deliverables

Think about the tangible evidence you need to show that you have reached each objective. If you choose an objective such as, “identify personnel needs,” create a measurable deliverable such as, “human resources will create a written report detailing what personnel we need and what wages, payroll taxes and benefits will cost the company.” Your abstract objective becomes a measurable deliverable.

Establishing Quality Criteria

Each of your deliverables must have criteria by which you can judge them. Describe how you will measure quality. For example, it does you no good to receive a deliverable, such as a new database, if you cannot search it efficiently to retrieve information. Ease of searching would be one of the criteria you establish for such a deliverable. Choose your criteria before you assign work on the deliverable so that employees know the standards to which they must live up.

Monitoring Deadlines

Your measurable deliverables must come in on deadline so that you can move on to the next phase of your project. Create a monitoring system that tells you if the work on a deliverable is on track for timely delivery. This system can be as simple as a verbal report from your project manager or as complex as detailed entries in project management software.