I have a list of deliverables below (draft)

Client Side

  1. User interface design for mobile app
  2. Registration module to allow end user register to the system by providing their personal information and CV
  3. Job listing to allow end-user to browse through available positions
  4. Push notification message to be sent by server, to ensure end users receive the latest information

Server Side

  1. API access to be consumed by mobile applications which provide interface between mobile application and server
  2. UI for server side of the system (Dashboard)
  3. User Account management for server side of the system
  4. Job management (to create/modify/archive [remove] position)

I am trying to find the right words to put it all together, so non technical persons would understand and know what to expect by the end of each milestone (when deliverables are presented).

  • 2
    Your "deliverables" are pretty high-level already. I would assume that someone who knows what the final application should do can understand them. So, where exactly is the problem?
    – Sven Amann
    Mar 25, 2014 at 8:28

3 Answers 3


The communication gap I often see between a technical person and a non technical person is getting from technical component to the end business result. When requirements are being developed and identified, it starts with what you want to happen for the business, which is decomposed to a functional requirement, which is decomposed to a technical requirement, right? So the deliverable or design needs to go the other way way, the technical solution which creates the functional solution which creates the business solution. The non technical person only cares about the functional and business solutions. So if your deliverable is designed to the requirement, use the requirements matrix, which you maintained, to map it to the functional and business requirement and talk to that.

The communicator is important here. Use a non technical person on the team to do the communicating of this. I have found that a technical person discussing business stuff to a business person is about as effective as a business person talking technical stuff to a technical person. Certainly there are folks that cross this line easily but I don't see that often. Treat it like people are speaking different languages and you need an interpreter.

  • 1
    It's so obvious and still I hadn't ever thought that! " I have found that a technical person discussing business stuff to a business person is about as effective as a business person talking technical stuff to a technical person." +1!
    – Tiago Cardoso
    Mar 25, 2014 at 15:02

Think 'business person' instead of 'non technical person'

If you have not read the business case for the project already, ask for it and get the tech team fully familiar with it. If you don't know why you are doing this project and what the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are, you cannot effectively communicate with the business people.

I am trying to find the right words to put it all together

Words are not enough. Business people are thinking brand image, ease of use (usability), attention span, training needs (for admin work) and so on. You did list a couple of user interface designs. I recommend the following:

  1. Mock-ups for more items. For example, provide mock-ups for the Registration module, Job listing, User Account Management and Job Management.
  2. Interactive mock-up tools are getting better all the time. Business people should be able to navigate and get a feel for the user experience.

The technical team should be thinking on the above lines and state how your deliverables will meet those needs. If not, you are setting yourself up for significant push-back from the business people and a lot of firefighting and death march in the last minute.


Present milestones as....

What functionality or technical capability you will be delivering to the end user at each milestone.

What you described in your question is not too far from that , you have to give it a spin ,with which your customer or customer advocate (business rather than technical oriented) can relate & perceive constant value being generated at each milestone.

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