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Understanding project deliverables: Definitions, examples, and management techniques

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Updated on:
April 29, 2024
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Project deliverables are the essence of a project’s success, representing the tangible or intangible outcomes that stem from its completion. These deliverables are in sync with the project’s goals, scope, and tasks, forming an integral part of project management. 

Typically, deliverables are pinpointed and tracked via project milestones within the project’s timeline.

For proficient project planning, it’s imperative to clearly identify deliverables, which are often encapsulated in the project charter. This transparency ensures that all project stakeholders have a thorough understanding of what the project aims to produce or accomplish upon its conclusion. 

Meticulous management of deliverables is pivotal for the triumphant execution of a project.

Introduction to project deliverables


Project deliverables include both tangible and intangible products or results that emanate from a project. These could be as varied as a final report, a software product, or milestones that signify the completion of project stages. The explicit delineation of deliverables is fundamental to adept project management.

The project’s scope, objectives, and tasks collectively inform the deliverables, which are recorded within the project charter. The project schedule or timeline delineates the expected delivery dates, facilitating efficient project planning and execution. Fulfilling the specific criteria of each deliverable is crucial to achieve project completion and meet stakeholder expectations.

Definition of project deliverables

Project deliverables refer to the tangible or intangible outputs that are the fruition of a project, destined for delivery to customers or stakeholders. These outputs are pivotal to the realization of project objectives. Deliverables can range widely in scale and intricacy and may represent the endpoint of a particular project task or the project in its entirety.

Project management involves the delineation and creation of deliverables within the project charter, which also specifies the project scope, requirements, and timeline. Once defined, deliverables lay the groundwork for project completion and serve as milestones for monitoring the project’s progression and execution.

The importance of project deliverables

Project deliverables are critical components of project management, symbolizing the expected tangible results and milestones within the project’s timeline. They reflect the project’s progress and are crucial to its culmination. Deliverables, explicitly linked to the project tasks and scope as detailed in the project charter, clarify the project’s requisites and aims for all involved stakeholders.

This shared understanding is vital for all involved parties, guaranteeing a unified perception of the anticipated outputs and promoting a robust structure for project planning and execution. The hallmark of successful project outcomes is the timely delivery of these consensually determined deliverables

Types of project deliverables


Project deliverables are tangible or intangible goods or services produced as a result of a project. These can fall under various categories: project outputs, project milestones, and the project completion itself. 

Outputs could be software products or a constructed building, milestones represent significant stages or events in the project timeline, and the project completion signifies the finalized product or service.

The project charter marks the beginning of a project, defining the project scope and objectives. Meanwhile, project tasks and the project schedule aid in the project planning and execution, guiding the project management process.

Lastly, project stakeholders and project requirements are crucial for defining the project's goals and assessing its success upon completion.

Internal vs. external deliverables

In project management, understanding the difference between internal and external deliverables is key to successful project execution. Internal deliverables are primarily project outputs developed for internal stakeholders within the project planning and project execution stages. These may include project schedules, project tasks, or interdepartmental updates.

External deliverables, however, are presented to the project stakeholders outside the organization upon project completion. These typically align with the project objectives and are specified within the project charter. Some examples include final products, services, or project milestones that were outlined in the project scope and project requirements.

Both internal and external deliverables are integral to the project timeline and success, as they directly contribute to the overall realization of the project's goals.

Tangible vs. intangible deliverables

In the context of project management, tangible and intangible deliverables are often noted as keystones throughout the project timeline. Tangible deliverables, commonly referred to as project outputs, are concrete, physical elements such as products or devices. These are easily measurable and typically define the project milestones.

Intangible deliverables, on the other hand, relate to abstract items such as project charter, satisfaction of project stakeholders or the attainment of project objectives. These are essential components of project planning and project execution but can be challenging to quantify and evaluate upon project completion.

Both tangible and intangible deliverables are integral to the project scope and are critical indicators of a project's progress and success.

Examples of project deliverables

Project deliverables, a key component of project management, refer to the tangible or intangible products or services produced as a result of project execution. These may encompass project outputs such as a software product, a report, or physical structures. According to project planning, these deliverables are typically informed by the project scope and are used to measure a project's completion against the project schedule.

Other critical elements included in project deliverables are project milestones, which serve as significant points or goals within the project timeline. They further help in evaluating the progress of project tasks. Additionally, the supervision of project stakeholders and the documentation of project requirements within a project charter are also part of project deliverables.

Deliverables in a marketing project

Project deliverables in a marketing project can vary widely depending on the project objectives and scope. Often, they include outputs such as a completed marketing plan, research reports, campaign drafts, and analysis of marketing efforts. These deliverables also reflect the project tasks that were completed according to the project timeline.

Project milestones such as the completion of a market research report or the execution of a marketing campaign mark significant progress in the project schedule. These milestones, along with the deliverables, provide tangible evidence of project completion and are integral to effective project management.

It's important for project stakeholders to be well-informed about these deliverables and milestones, as they are a crucial part of project planning and execution. They are typically outlined in the project charter and form key project requirements.

Deliverables in a software development project

In a software development project, defined project deliverables play a crucial role in project management. These deliverables, which come in the form of project outputs, may range from initial prototypes to final finished software. They're clearly outlined in the project charter, which encapsulates the project objectives and project scope in detail.

Staying on track with project tasks and following the project schedule carefully is key in project execution. To facilitate the monitoring of project progression, project milestones are established. These milestones serve as significant markers in the project timeline, indicating the commencement or completion of notable aspects in the project.

Through effective project planning, deliverables are achieved, stakeholders are satisfied, and the project seamlessly moves towards project completion. Therefore, understanding project requirements is fundamental to the successful delivery of the software development project.

Deliverables in a construction project

The construction project deliverables refer to tangible outputs produced as a result of the project. They are essentially what the project is contracted to deliver in compliance to the project scope and requirements. The deliverables could be a completed building, installed equipment, or specific improvements.

Project milestones are integral parts of project management and are used to track the progress and project timeline. They are the key events in the project schedule, reflecting major progress in the project objectives.

The project tasks refer to the work the project team, contractors, and other project stakeholders need to complete to reach the project completion. These tasks are further broken down during the project planning and project execution stages, as laid out in the project charter.

Creating effective project deliverables


Project deliverables are critical components in project management. They encompass specific project outputs that meet project objectives and are delivered according to a project timeline. Key project stakeholders rely heavily on these deliverables to gauge project completion.

Effective project deliverables must be well defined within the project charter and align with the project scope. They are tangible project tasks, which are marked by project milestones aligning with the project schedule. Hence, their importance in project planning, project execution, and satisfying project requirements cannot be underestimated.

Setting clear objectives

Project management is significantly facilitated by setting clear objectives. These objectives should align with the project scope and directly influence project tasks. As a part of project planning, these objectives steer the project schedule and timeline towards the end goal; project completion.

They stand prominently among project deliverables and project outputs, providing measurable project milestones for all the project stakeholders. A well outlined set of objectives are a vital part of the project charter and serve as the foundation of all project requirements.

Defining scope and requirements

The project charter will elucidate the project scope and requirements detailing the proposed project tasks, timeline, and the predefined project milestones. This serves a roadmap for project execution and binds project stakeholders to a mutual understanding and agreement of project objectives.

Project deliverables and project outputs form part of the major project requirements to be achieved before project completion. It's essential to carefully outline these elements in the project planning phase to facilitate progress monitoring and management.

Establishing quality standards

Establishing quality standards is integral to project management and its elements such as project objectives, project scope, and project deliverables. These standards offer guidelines to ensure that project outputs meet the desired quality and adhere to the project schedule.

The quality standards should be clearly defined in the project charter which acts as a reference throughout the project planning and execution stages. 

To ensure project completion in alignment with these standards, it's important to periodically review project tasks and milestones, and facilitate necessary changes in tune with project requirements.

Managing project deliverables

The essence of project management involves the creation and monitoring of project deliverables. These are crucial pieces within the project scope, which are expected to meet specific project objectives. Deliverables could be tangible project outputs like a software application or intangible service results.

Monitoring project deliverables is a key responsibility in project execution. The project timeline is defined and based on these deliverables, and project stakeholders often measure project progress by achieved project milestones, which usually signify the completion of major deliverables. Regular tracking of deliverables against the project schedule is instrumental for seamless project completion.

Tracking and monitoring deliverables

Monitoring and tracking project deliverables are crucial to successful project execution. It requires a tight focus on the project scope, project objectives, and project milestones. Through meticulous project management, the project tasks can be efficiently tracked to ensure they are completed within the project timeline.

Tools such as the project charter, project schedule, and project planning should be skillfully used. Not only do these help in maintaining focus on project outputs, but they also allow project stakeholders to stay informed on the project's progress up until project completion. It is important to remember each deliverable is a stepping stone to meeting project requirements.

Using project management tools: Asana, Trello, and Jira

Effective project management is crucial for achieving project objectives, meeting project milestones, and ensuring successful project completion. Tools like Asana, Trello, and Jira can greatly enhance project execution by aiding in project planning, tracking project tasks, and monitoring project deliverables.

Asana enables teams to manage project scope and schedule through its flexible functionalities, simplifying project requirements. Meanwhile, Trello provides a visual portrayal of project outputs through card and board systems, simplifying prioritization. Meanwhile, Jira enables real-time updates on project milestones and points out any potential roadblocks hindering successful project completion.

Together, these tools empower project stakeholders with the necessary information, ensuring team collaboration and efficient workflow.

Delivering project deliverables

Project execution demands a systematic approach to fulfill project tasks, consistent review of the project timeline, and alignment with project objectives. Effective project management entails the vigilant monitoring and control of project deliverables to adhere to the project scope defined in the project charter.

Comprehending project requirements is essential for establishing relevant project milestones and delivering the expected project outputs. Robust project planning is characterized by dynamic communication with project stakeholders and strict adherence to the project schedule, ensuring the project’s successful completion.

Communicating with stakeholders

Clear and ongoing communication with project stakeholders is a cornerstone of effective project management. This communication encompasses discussions on project scope, deliverables, and milestones as integral components of project planning.

Regular meetings provide a platform for updates on project execution, including the status of project tasks within the established project timeline. Upon project completion, a thorough review of project outputs ensures that the project objectives, as detailed in the project charter, have been satisfactorily met in accordance with project requirements.

Reviewing and approving deliverables

The review and approval of project deliverables are critical stages in project management. This process entails a detailed examination of project deliverables against project requirements and objectives. It is at this juncture that project outputs are assessed for their alignment with and fulfillment of the expectations outlined in the project charter.

Key elements such as project milestones, tasks, and outputs are scrutinized in relation to the project scope. The project management team is responsible for ensuring compliance with the project timeline and schedule. This phase is pivotal in laying the groundwork for project completion.

Proper project planning and execution are instrumental during this phase. Additionally, valuable input from project stakeholders is sought to refine the deliverables prior to their final approval.

Common challenges in managing project deliverables


Managing project deliverables poses numerous challenges for many project managers. Key issues range from defining clear project objectives, executing the project tasks within the stipulated project timeline, to ensuring project completion against the given project requirements. These concerns often stem from poor project planning and unclear project scope, which leads to confusion during project execution.

Miscommunications with project stakeholders might lead to shifting project milestones. The inaccuracy of project outputs also complicates the project schedule, creating an overextended project charter. Thus, effective project management necessitates diligent oversight, planning and communication.

Scope creep

Scope creep occurs when there are unplanned changes or continuous increase in project scope. This can happen when the project requirements aren't effectively communicated or documented. It commonly leads to setbacks in project milestones and project timeline, causing a deviation from the original project objectives and project tasks. 

Hence, to prevent scope creep, project management must ensure a clear project charter and provide precise project deliverables during the project planning phase. Stakeholder involvement is crucial in understanding and managing expectations concerning the project outputs and overall project completion.

Quality control

In the realm of project management, Quality Control is a critical step in the route of project deliverables. It not only guarantees the consistency of project outputs but also ensures meeting project objectives. The process involves scrutinizing project tasks against the project scope and project milestones.

Quality control plays a pivotal role in project execution since ensuring quality adherence builds trust among project stakeholders. It's a key parameter to achieve project completion in sync with the project schedule. The standards for quality control are typically outlined in the project charter based on the project requirements.

Conclusion: The role of project deliverables in successful project management

In conclusion, project deliverables play a critical role in successful project management. They act as tangible outputs, contributing significantly towards achieving project milestones and overall project objectives. They define the project scope and are integral to project tasks, forming a key part of project planning and execution.

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