A deliverable is just an artifact

Project deliverables—a final draft, an app in production, a strategy or plan, etc.—are great. They’re not easy to make, and they only exist because a person or group of people gave a ton of emotional energy to breathe life into them.

We focus on the project deliverable because we can see and touch it. We’ve agreed this was the end, after all—it must be important.

The cost of paying too much attention to this is ignoring the assets that are much less visible.

There are the experiences, lessons, and memories of working together on a shared mission. The research that can be applied elsewhere. 

The refining of methods and taste. 

The persuasion required to get buy-in and resources. 

The accumulation of life experience, built on layers of accumulated wisdom, that each person will inevitably bring to their next project. 

The ability to communicate these invisible assets, and to make them more tangible, will also increase in value. These resources will enable people to learn from each other and create institutional memory.

As technology promises to make generating artifacts much easier, make these invisible assets visible will build up a person or team’s competitive advantage.

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