- Identify the decision maker for the deliverable
This way, if people disagree you can look to that person and have them make the final decision. If you have trouble finding one person with the authority to make the final decisions it means you are not looking high enough. For contracts it is a little different as you need the legal counsel from both sides to agree. In this instance make sure you have one lawyer from each side that can make the final decision on the wording.
- Plan ahead for review and rework
Too often I have seen a person deliver a rough draft on the day that the final deliverable is due. What ends up happening is that deliverable is pushed back a few weeks to finalize and (often times) the project has to keep moving forward with an incomplete deliverable due to time constraints. So if you know your requirements are due in three weeks, setup a review meeting for each week. And do this early so you can secure time from people’s schedules.
- Make the changes on the spot
This is needed when you are crunched for time and the deliverable is on the critical path. The document in question should be up on the wall (or via a web conference) with the document owner making the changes right there for everyone to agree on. The people in the room should consist of those that can make the final decision on issues and relevant subject matter experts. The group should be limited and not include the entire project team. Whoever is running the meeting should be firm and focused on completing the project deliverable. Depending on the length of the document and number of issues, the meeting length can be one to three hours long. For contracts this can be a whole lot longer.
When people are unable to agree on a project deliverable, like requirements or a statement of work, there are a few tricks you can do to ensure these deliverables are completed on time.