When we complete a project for a customer or employer, we give them a product.  Thus, there is a form of deliverable packaging that we need to consider for that hand-off.  This concept may be confusing, but it is not complicated.  You do not need to shrinkwrap a box with a USB drive in it or anything like that.  Instead, we are focused on documentation, scripts, and how you hand over the final product.

The Simple Stuff

When your deliverables are source code or a single document, then little packaging is needed.  It is either the file sent via email or committed to source control.  No installation is required.  However, you should provide comments or some sort of notes, so the recipient understands what they are getting.  There is no real packaging to be concerned about.  Just review and verify the deliverable.  An extra step and quality check can avoid embarrassing corrections.

The Common Stuff

The more typical situation is where a deliverable is a lengthy document, several files, and there is an opportunity to provide an “unboxing” experience.  You are not likely to reach the level of an Apple product or something high end like that.  However, you can get close.

When you hand over source code, provide deliverable packaging that you would want.  This package includes an easy-to-handle bundle like a compressed (zip) file.  Provide instructions for how to use the documents.  If some configuration is required, then include instructions on how to do so.  Include a packaging list just like any physically boxed product.  They should easily be able to determine what they received.

When you are providing a lengthy document, it should be easy to read.  Use formatting and white space as we discussed in the quality of deliverables.  Also, provide a cover page, outline, and reference section as needed.  In the end, deliverable packaging is your first impression.  The better the impression, the more a customer is pleased.  Do not pass up this chance to add value to your work.

Learn more in the book written for Develpreneurs at any stage in their progress:  https://www.amazon.com/Source-Code-Happiness-Finding-Success-ebook/dp/B07MKZBF6R


Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a lifetime learner as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is the founder of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences and a few about becoming a better developer. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although they have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax or working on his ballroom dance skills.

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