Deliverables - What's the goal?

Jim McGee tells us that Deliverables [are] the fundamental secret to improving knowledge work:

I've been exploring the role of deliverables in understanding and improving knowledge work for a while. In January, I took another shot at articulating the link in a column in the Enterprise Systems Journal putting deliverables at the center of the challenge of improving knowledge work.

I like this perspective.  And as I read through the article, I get a connection to the Theory of Constraints work I've been doing of late.  One of the first things you do in TOC is define the goal of the organization you are helping.  If you don't know the goal, there is no chance of successfully applying the other principles of TOC, such as identifying the constraint and focusing the organization. 

Similarly with deliverables.  If you focus on how a job is done, rather than why it is done, you are sure to end up solving the wrong problem.

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Nine Shift's definition of a knowledge worker also reflects the need to focus on deliverables.

"Knowledge workers:

1. Are paid by their outcomes, what they produce, not by the time they devote.

2. Are only paid for products or projects that are valuable to the organization for which they work.

3. Bring something unique to the organization for which they work. Their value is not in being like other workers, but in being different.

4. Have a marketable set of skills."

Using this definition disqualifies a lot of people who think that they are knowledge workers ;-)

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