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Project Management Templates Customer Acceptance

March 12 2007

Get Customer Acceptance by using these Project Management Templates

As a Project Manager, to ensure that your customer is satisfied with the deliverables produced by your project, then you need to implement an Acceptance Management Process. This process allows the customer to sign off on each deliverable in the project once it has been completed. By allowing the customer to approve deliverables as 100% complete as you move through the project, you will substantially increase your chances of project success. To do this efficiently, read in this newsletter about:

Getting Customer Acceptance for Projects

Acceptance Management is the process of reviewing deliverables within the project and gaining the customer’s acceptance that they are 100% complete. By gaining customer acceptance for each deliverable produced, you can:

  • Identify customer acceptance issues early in the project
  • Improve deliverables to meet a customer’s requirements
  • Maximize customer confidence in the delivery of the project
  • Keep customers happy and increase your chances of success

To perform Project Acceptance Management complete these steps using project management templates:

Step 1: Complete your Deliverables.

The first step in the Acceptance Management Process is to identify the completion of each project deliverable. The project team members inform the Project Manager that a deliverable is complete and is ready for acceptance testing.

Only when the Project Manager considers that deliverable to be complete in its entirety is an Acceptance Test initiated. The Project Manager might opt to perform the test immediately. Or, depending on the size and complexity of the deliverable, he or she may wait until other related deliverables are also complete and test the entire group simultaneously. Many Project Managers wait until the end of the Execution phase before they perform Acceptance Tests.

Step 2: Perform Acceptance Testing.

The Project Manager schedules acceptance tests for deliverables produced by the project. These tests involve reviewing each deliverable to determine whether it meets the criteria stated in the Acceptance Plan. There are various testing methods you can use, including:

  • Physical inspection of the deliverable
  • Third party audit of the deliverable
  • Analysis of the processes used to create the deliverable
  • Review of Project Plan re: time spent creating the deliverable
  • Review of Financial Plan re: cost of creating the deliverable
  • Review against the Quality Plan re: quality of the deliverable

To increase your chances of gaining customer sign-off, you may wish to involve the customer in the acceptance testing process itself. This gives the customer additional confidence that the deliverables meet the acceptance criteria and that the testing methods used to determine the completion of each deliverable are comprehensive and effective.

After the acceptance test is complete, the Project Manager commissions any additional work needed to meet specified acceptance criteria. Upon completion of that additional work, the deliverable is re-tested to determine whether it has achieved the required level of quality. This process continues until the deliverable is ready for customer sign-off.

Once the testing is complete and the deliverable is ready for sign-off, the Project Manager completes an Acceptance Form within their project management templates, which describes the acceptance criteria and the overall results of the acceptance test. This should give customers confidence that deliverables meet their requirements in full and should be accepted as 100% complete.

Step 3: Gain Customer Acceptance.

The customer reviews the Acceptance Form and decides to either:

  • Commission its own acceptance test
  • Request further information about the testing activities
  • Not approve the deliverable and raise a formal issue
  • Approve the deliverable as 100% complete

Throughout the Acceptance Management Process, the Quality Manager keeps an Acceptance Register up-to-date to allow the Project Manager to monitor and control acceptance of project deliverables.

To gain the full customer acceptance of all deliverables in your project, consider using these acceptance project management templates: Acceptance Management Process, Acceptance Form and Acceptance Register.