What Is a Project Deliverable? Definition, Examples & More
No matter the industry you work in, the term “deliverable” is one that you are familiar with. If you are a graphic designer, deliverables can be as simple as the logo design you are creating for a client or if you are a copywriter, it is the website copy you are writing for your client. Deliverables can be anything, it can be an app, product, or even documentation.
Every project has an objective that the project manager and team work towards achieving. The hallmark of a successful project is to deliver output to your client at the end of the project’s timeline to indicate successful completion of the project. That output is called project deliverable.
Defining, tracking, and managing project deliverables are vital for successful projects. You do not only have to know what their deliverables are but also have to clearly communicate what those project deliverables are to your team and stakeholders so you can achieve your project goals or objectives.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about project deliverables including how to define, present, manage and track them, and the best project management software that helps you build your project deliverables.
Let’s get started.
What is a Project Deliverable?
A project deliverable refers to the product or service that a project produces for its clients or key project stakeholders that must be provided upon completion of a project.
Every business owner when starting a business or a company has a set of goals they plan to achieve, which acts as a guide to complete their objective. A deliverable is anything that can be delivered to the client, customer, or owner.
Project deliverables are a key component of the project management process. They play a huge role in completing a task, project, and objectives, and provide step-by-step plans to achieve project objectives. When business professionals set a goal, the most important part of that goal is the ability to complete or have a finished project, product, or service.
One of the main reasons why project managers are the most sought after in the tech world presently even with their limited knowledge in coding is their ability to plan, organize and execute particular projects. Project managers ensure that these projects are on a budget and on time and not outside their range of topic or purpose. Being able to deliver is the uttermost purpose of any business.
Project deliverables can refer to the primary objective of the project or the documents generated from the process such as signed contracts, project plans, project reports, and expense statements.
There are different types of project deliverables.
- External Deliverables: These are products or services produced for clients, customers, or other external stakeholders.
- Internal Deliverables: These are products or services produced within your organization for internal stakeholders like managers, this includes training program goals or budget sheets.
- Final Deliverables: These are end-goal deliverables of a project, they can come in many stages of the project.
- Tangible Deliverables: These are physical objects that a project can produce such as computer hardware
- Intangible Deliverables: These are measurable outcomes for a project such as a certain number of new end-users.
Project Deliverable vs Product Deliverable
Project deliverables are outputs that relate to the project such as project plans and project reports while product deliverables are product outputs such as hardware, software, contracts, minor applications, or text assessment.
Product deliverables are intended for direct delivery to the customer while project deliverable refers to the items needed by the project but not intended for direct delivery to the end user.
Internal vs External Deliverables
1. Target Audience
The target audience of internal deliverables varies from that of external deliverables. Internal deliverables are services that are not provided to clients but goals or objectives within the company. External deliverables on the other hand are services provided or done to satisfy a client’s demand, these are specific outputs produced for stakeholders.
Internal deliverables are not created for the primary purpose of generating profit for the company as they focus on internal activities for running the day-to-day business of the company. This could come in the form of doing company taxes or creating corporate documents. External deliverables on the other hand are produced chiefly to generate profit for the company.
Deliverables vs Milestones
1. Primary Objective
Deliverables should not be mistaken for milestones, as milestones are basically the process and progress of ongoing work or project.
The primary objective of “deliverables” is to get the job done, that is being able to “deliver” and present the end result of the project. Milestones on the other hand refer to achievements and accomplishments while getting the job done or during the duration of the project.
2. Stage of the Project
They are steps on the hierarchy of completing an objective. Milestones are important in the progress or development of delivering and achieving a goal. They inspect or serve as checkpoints in the growth of a goal.
Milestones refer to all the stages of a project except the final stage. The final stage of the project is what is called the deliverable.
Celebrating a breakthrough on a project can be regarded as a milestone. For example, a company moving to a bigger space to accommodate more employees is a milestone in the growth of the company. A milestone can be a new product design while a deliverable might be a project report or a bicycle.
How to Define Key Project Deliverables?
Like every objective, there are primary aspects to every project. To do justice to these primary aspects, it is important to define them and determine which ones are key deliverables to set them aside for proper attention.
In defining key project deliverables one has to:
1. Gather the Right Information
This basically includes the purpose of the project, expectations of the clients, how to achieve these expectations, the cost, and duration of the project.
2. Mapping Out Key Project Deliverables
Decide with the clients what the key aspects of the project are to boost your chances of achieving project success. This is majorly the responsibility of the project manager and the key project stakeholders.
3. Use the Right Equipment or Tools
This refers to all the tools and equipment that will help achieve the demands of the clients and help run the day-to-day activities of the company. Also includes work management tools that will help keep the team on track towards attaining the project goals.
After defining the project deliverables and the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the project, the next step is to get approval on each project milestone from the relevant stakeholders. Review the deliverables and KPIs with relevant stakeholders to avoid affecting the quality of the project’s end product.
How to Present Project Deliverables to Stakeholders
The project manager is responsible for giving a status report on the progress of the project, this is one of the reasons why project managers are very important in different fields of business.
Who are project managers? A project manager is a person who plays a major role in the execution of a project which includes monitoring, controlling, and closing projects. They are operational masterminds who keep projects on track.
Through the project manager’s note or report, the project deliverables are presented to clients/stakeholders. Project management software can be used to arrange the many data inputs of a project to deliver a proper presentation to the stakeholders.
Tips on presenting project deliverables to stakeholders include project management tools such as:
1. Gantt Chart
This is a visual representation of tasks, milestones, and progress of the project that allows both the management and stakeholders to have an idea of where they are presented in terms of outputs and focus on the key components.
Some of the best Gantt chart software for project management include Monday.com, ClickUp, Wrike, Teamwork, and Scoro.
2. Kanban Board
Kanban board is a tool used to run the project at the organizational level which usually shows the level of progress, using columns to show each stage of the process. Some of the best Kanban software include Monday.com, ClickUp, Wrike, nTask Board, Celoxis, and Jira.
3. SWOT Analysis
SWOT stands for strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats. This is a tool project managers use to assess their project to get a view and review of the weaknesses of the project and strengths. SWOT analysis helps analyze threats and opportunities they may face during the project.
4. Pitch Deck
A pitch deck is the use of tools like PowerPoint to create a brief presentation to stakeholders on the progress of the project. This is simply an overview to keep them in the loop.
5. Mock Up
Mock-up is used to garner public opinion about a product. This allows the project manager to see the areas where the users would love and areas of criticism. Also, it affords the project team a better vision on how to produce a way more efficient product or service.
Project Management Software Helps You Build Project Deliverables
Best Overall Project Management Software for Building Project Deliverables
Monday.com is a web-based project management software tool founded in 2014 that is trusted by over 100,000 customers globally including top companies like Hulu, Uber, Adobe, and Unilever.
- Centralized Dashboard: Monday.com offers you a centralized dashboard that provides you with easy access to all your data in one central location. Track and manage real-time data with the aid of Monday.com’s visual and intuitive dashboard. With the insights provided on the dashboard, you can easily make decisions for your business and easily allocate resources among your team members.
- Integration and Collaboration: Monday.com integrates with over 40 external tools and software that facilitate team collaborations. From Monday.com’s application, you enjoy access to your favorite productivity tools such as Salesforce, Slack, Google Calendar, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Excel.
- Project Visualization Tools: This visual project management software tool offers users multiple flexible project views and templates such as timeline, kanban, and Gantt charts. You can choose any of its customizable pre-designed boards to use for your project needs instead of having to design a new one from scratch.
Simple Project Management Software for Small Businesses
ClickUp is a simple project management tool and task management software founded in 2017. This project management platform is trusted by over 200,000 companies worldwide including top companies like IBM, Webflow, and Google.
- Comprehensive Project Views: ClickUp provides you with a complete view of all the important details relating to your projects, making it easy to track and manage multiple projects successfully. From ClickUp’s centralized dashboard, you get an immediate view of all your project activities such as finished tasks, pending tasks, as well as comments and updates from key project stakeholders and team members.
- Multiple Visualization Options: With this visual project management tool, you enjoy 15 multiple visualization options that make it easy to track and manage your projects through the five phases of the project management life cycle. These multiple visualization options include calendar view, box view, list view, line view, kanban board, mind map, Gantt view, timeline vires, forms, activity views, and others.
- Team Collaboration Options: ClickUp offers you a wide range of tools that facilitate easy collaboration among team members for your projects. You enjoy collaboration features such as comment addition and assignment options, live chat with other team members, notifications, and document sharing.
- Time Tracker: Never miss a project deadline with ClickUp’s time stamp feature. This feature helps you manage your time and that of your entire project team efficiently.
Best Project Management Application for Functionality, Time Tracking, and Project Budgeting
Teamwork is an all-in-one project management platform that is trusted by over 20,000 companies including top brands such as PayPal, Spotify, Disney, HP, and Panasonic.
- Built-in Templates: Teamwork offers you access to its pre-made task templates which you can customize for your reporting, accounting, or project management needs. These pre-made templates help you minimize your workload, save time, and boost your team’s productivity.
- Multiple Project Views: Enjoy multiple views for your projects for better insights and tracking of milestones and deadlines. You can use its visual Gantt charts and Kanban boards to view and organize all your projects in such a way that it is easy for your team to visualize their tasks. Teamwork also offers a visual calendar view which you can share with your team members.
- Team Tracking: Teamwork offers you time and resource management features that enable you to track the performance of your team members. With these features, you can easily track how much time your team members spend on allocated tasks and the resources shared or used up among them.
Most Configurable Enterprise Project Management Software
Wrike is a fully-equipped enterprise project management software tool founded in 2003 and trusted by over 20,000 companies globally including top companies such as Dell, Google, and Lyft.
- Customizations: Wrike offers you extensive customization features that you can use to change your project management framework to suit your specific needs. You can customize your workflow and dashboard to enhance productivity. Wrike allows you to make edits to your menu and hide those items you do not need for your specific project need.
- Visualization: This project management platform allows you to switch between various visualization options such as Gantt charts, Kanban birds, workload views, and drag and drop charts.
- Integrations: Integrate with your everyday business tools such as CRM tools, sales and marketing tools, file sharing and cloud storage tools, communication systems, and over 400+ native integrations.
- Reporting: Wrike provides you with the tools you need to build and edit real-time reports for your projects. You can create project status reports from your dashboard, schedule notifications, and share your reports easily with your key project stakeholders and team members.
Affordable Project Management Software for Small to Medium Enterprises
Scoro is one of the best project management software for building project deliverables and managing other aspects of your projects. This project management application is trusted by top companies such as Mediacom, Newton, and Grant Thornton.
- Visualization: Scoro provides you with multiple visualization options for tracking your project details, progress, and performance. These visualization options include a drag and drop planner, Gantt chart view, and Gantt chart view. With the aid of these intuitive visualization options, you can easily plan your workflow and know which tasks to prioritize.
- Real-Time KPI Board: Visualize and track your team members’ performance and use the information to improve resource allocation. Scoro produces real-time detailed reports for different aspects of your projects such as budget and team performance on a single dashboard.
- Time Management Tools: This project management platform provides you with time management tools to track and monitor billable and non-billable hours on your client’s work. Effectively manage your time and that of your team members using Scoro’s built-in time tracker, calendar, and timesheets.
Top-Rated Project Management Software with Free Business Plan Templates
Smartsheet is one of the best project management software for non-profits that are trusted by top companies such as Apple, P&G, and Pfizer.
- Visualization: This project management application offers you multiple project visualization options such as Gantt charts, bar graphs, Kanban board views, line views, donut charts, and more.
- Workflow Automation: Smartsheet provides you with a drag and drop automation builder which you can use to plan projects, set up work schedules, create advanced workflows with critical paths.
- Time Management Tools: Avoid missing out on deadlines with the Smartsheet reminder function. This project management software tool helps you track your working hours and that of your team for better accountability.
- Collaboration Tools: Smartsheet offers you multiple collaboration tools which you can use to communicate effectively with your team members. You get notified of real-time changes as they happen within your project.
Tips to Manage and Track Project Deliverables
1. Outline the Project Deliverables
This will give you an idea of what your goals are or help you set new goals to deliver the project. By carefully outlining the project deliverables before you start work, you will avoid scope creep situations as well as budget changes.
2. Use Project Management Software
Track and manage your project deliverables with project management software tools for small businesses like Monday.com and ClickUp. These project management tools give you access to distribute tasks, track how much work has been done, and what more needs to be done to complete your project.
3. Involve Project Stakeholders and Project Team
Communicating with the key project stakeholders and your project team on the project is essential for managing and tracking project deliverables. Doing this can help gather more information on the strengths and weaknesses of the project and how to quickly manage the weak spots.
Involving stakeholders and your project team makes managing risks easier. Online collaboration tools like Slack can provide an easy link between the project manager and the team.
4. Identify the Deadline for Each Deliverable
Planning schedules and tasks with an established deadline can help manage changes in the deliverables. Proper planning ensures the safety of the project from unexpected costs and risks.
Project Deliverable FAQ
Project deliverables are agreed upon in the early stages of planning by project managers and stakeholders. This is usually done within a project management plan.
The reason why project deliverables are best upon at the early stages of planning is because deliverables and objectives are closely linked. Both will combine when a company establishes its OKRs before the project commences.
Change is a constant factor in all spheres of life including during a project. Stakeholders and project managers can make constant changes to the project. Project managers are trained in managing these changes, this includes the change management process.
The change management process is the procedure used to record, track and assess the growth of a project along with all changes made and how to handle and progress from these changes. This process is very important in project management as it can affect the whole production if not handled properly.
A typical change management process includes the change request form, which is used to get a detailed and official request to move forward with the changes made. However, every change made to a project must be gotten from the right and appropriate authorities to avoid misunderstanding and develop a good communicative channel with the stakeholders.
Although project delivery involves different departments in the organization, the project manager oversees and plays a lead role in project management. However, the project manager works with project teams, the steering committee, the project management office (PMO), the resource manager, and project clients.
With these various departments, the project manager oversees project delivery. However, the project manager answers to the company and the stakeholders.
Proposals: This is a document that defines the project from start to finish. Proposals describe and explain what the project should look like at completion.
Design Drawings and Documents: These are diagrams and structures of the project and plans needed to achieve the goals of the project. Design drawings and documents are all relevant documents and equipment that validate the proposed project.
Product Prototypes: These are samples companies use to get early reviews on the project they are working on and to have an idea of what all the project processes will end up like i.e the end goal of the project.
Progress Reports: Progress reports are similar to project milestones. They explain how far the process to complete the project has gone and can also be used to motivate teams to put in more hard work.