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Project Management for R&D

Deliverables & Boundaries


The aim is to create a sufficiently detailed definition of the project scope to achieve a clear-cut completion and set up the framework for the project's planning. Two things define your project scope:

  • Deliverables - what is inside the project

  • Boundaries - what is outside the project.

​Without a precise specification of the scope, the risks are high that the more work progresses, the more work is to be done. Requests will be made for new deliverables. There will be an outcry that these must be included, and the project will start sprouting in all directions. Keeping an updated list of the deliverables and boundaries, at all times, is therefore essential for project success.

However, some deliverables will be removed during the project, new will be included, and boundaries modified. These changes will all affect time, cost, and resources. Therefore, large changes to the scope may be a reason for renegotiating project time, cost, and resources.  


A project is a temporary organization formed to produce a defined number of deliverables.  The project is completed when all the deliverables have been produced and approved (verified) by their approvers (customers). Deliverables are usually physical objects and are formulated as nouns. 


Every deliverable is defined by:

  • Number – its unique identification

  • Deliverable – what is to be produced, delivered, and approved

  • Approver – who is/are the approver/s for the deliverable

  • Verification – how is the deliverable to be approved (verified)

  • Responsible – who is responsible for the deliverable. Always a member of the team and preferably from the core team.


Use small rectangular sticky notes (see below).


Small size



Rectangular sticky note

Deliverables should be defined within all project dimensions. For dimensions, see the information on “Overall plan.”


A deliverable is finished and completed when it has been approved. Being clear on this point avoids countless discussions during the project and paves the way for a clear-cut ending of the project. Clearly defined deliverables are also essential for delegating responsibilities to different team members. 


 For example, a deliverable can be approved by:

  • meeting specific requirements or tests

  • the approver signs a document

  • the customer settles an invoice

  • a picture is taken of a prototype

  • minutes from a meeting

  • an email from the approver.


A boundary is usually a deliverable that the project will not produce, but the deliverable is needed to achieve the project goal. Boundaries could be things that need to be made by the line organization or outside suppliers.


The scope line defines what is to be produced, controlled, and managed by the project and what is to be produced, controlled, and managed by others. However, many times the project needs to monitor the boundaries as the projected is depending on them. The monitoring of a boundary can be formulated as a deliverable or managed as a milestone in the overall plan.


It is crucial to list boundaries where the divergence from company praxis is made.

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