What Is Deliverable in Project Management?

Organizations connect departments, members, project management tools, and information for one goal — to ensure the previously envisaged profitable delivery of a project with a clear economic value. This delivery of the project components, or deliverable as it is more commonly known, is the lone reason behind the investment of a project manager’s efforts in project structures and processes that are ultimately essential in accomplishing project milestones.

Every project has its own deliverables. When you submit deliverables to your client, it signifies that your project has been completed. These deliverables act as the clarification medium of the objectives of the project and the tasks needed to get there. Project deliverables are essential elements of the project life cycle because they appraise the clients, project manager, and stakeholders of the progress that the team has made.

What Is a Deliverable in PM?

A project deliverable is any particular output component that is the direct consequence of work done throughout the course of the project. The deliverable should lie within the project scope and have a clearly defined role to play in achieving the goals of the project.

Deliverables of a project are often confused with objectives, although there is a noticeable division between them. The objectives of the project describe the advantages, results, and enhancements in performance desired from the project and concentrate on things that lie outside the project. Deliverables are the unique, tangible assets that are developed to facilitate the achievement of the project’s objectives.

Similarly, deliverables are too often confused with milestones as well. A milestone does not involve something that should be submitted to both internal stakeholders and clients. They are project checkpoints and are generally the gateway to a new phase. When you reach a milestone in a project, you simply move on to the next stage. However, with a deliverable, you must present the final result to a stakeholder or a team.

Project management can be the principal aim of the project itself, its unique functionalities and features, and the documentation that arises from the project’s processes as well.?This might include

  • expenditure statements
  • the plan of the project
  • signed contracts
  • reports that describe the project’s progress

Types of Project Deliverables

Deliverables in a project can be developed for both external and internal stakeholders. They are sometimes contingent on certain other deliverables as well. Further, a singular deliverable may have numerous deliverables of its own layered under it. In general, deliverables are categorized on the basis of the stakeholder groups and the type.

1. Internal Deliverables

These deliverables are usually the part of the product that the client doesn’t concern themselves with. However, they’re needed to drive the. Operations such as filing tax returns and maintaining budget expenses are internal deliverables that are mandated for the smooth operation of the project.

2. External Deliverables

These are the project outcomes that are submitted to clients and external stakeholders. It involves things that would meet customer demands and are the real purpose for which the project is being conducted. These could include documentation, features, and functionalities.

3. Planning Deliverables

The planning deliverables of the project mostly involve detailed documentation of the charter, budget, project schedule, project scope, and other artifacts.

What Happens to a Deliverable Once It Is Created?

Once a deliverable has been created, it is made to go through the processes of ‘Perform Quality Control’ and ‘Verify Scope’ until such time as it fulfills the completeness and correctness requirements. In the ‘Perform Quality Control’ stage, the deliverables of the project are studied, evaluated, and tested to ensure that whatever is produced meets all the quality standards.

In the ‘Verify Scope’ stage, the deliverables are assessed against the registered scope to make sure that everything has been accomplished. This contrasting act is often performed during the lifecycle of the project. Formal acceptance of deliverables put in writing by the relevant stakeholders is the output of this stage.

How to Define Key Project Deliverables?

Since project deliverables and objectives are inherently connected to each other, it is best to retrace your steps from the objectives. Defining what is intended from the project can enable you to determine the tasks that need to be performed. Given below are the four steps that help you define deliverables in project management:

1. Ask the Right Questions 

Work backward from the objectives and stop to take a look at the big picture. When you have essential information like the overarching project goals and the yardstick by which success will be defined, ask yourself the following questions to get started in the right direction:

  • What is the project’s purpose?
  • What is the client’s goal?
  • What assets are needed to accomplish this objective?
  • What could be the estimated duration and cost?
  • How essential is this part to the project’s overall success?

2. Collect the Requirements 

Once you have the answers to these questions, you will be left with a more solid and clear comprehension of the tasks that need to be completed. You’ll have a rough-hewn and crude form of a project deliverable whose requirements you can then define.

These requirements will define the adequate criteria for whether a deliverable is satisfactory or not. Any deficiency in composing requirements will lead to countless change requests later on in the project and essentially cause scope creep.

This is why you will have to seek the right stakeholder for every stage and consult with them for their priority deliverables. It’s also crucial that you consider the end-users and the aspects of the deliverables that will make it a success for them.

3. Determine the KPIs 

This stage is the one where the project manager digs deeply within every deliverable and warrants that they are precise and viable. You can do this by dividing the deliverables into stages and small chunks. This act has a two-part advantage:

  • The entire project becomes much easier to manage
  • The development of the project timeline along with deliverables is a lot better

Once you have done this, you can move on to creating the guiding benchmarks, timelines, and objectives for each phase. It is essential to develop these benchmarks while with the project scope and budget in mind.

4. Test and Approve 

After you have defined the deliverables and established the KPIs, it is essential that you work with the relevant stakeholders to evaluate them and get them sanctioned. Neglecting any aspect of this process will adversely affect the quality of the project’s outcome and drive up costs.

Checklist to Manage Project Deliverables

Project deliverables are the outcome of deliberate work, which indicates that they should always be precise and measurable. If you’re overseeing a relatively sizable project, there’s a likelihood that there will be very few deliverables. In that case, you need to monitor and manage them to make your project a success. Given below is a simple checklist that will help you manage your deliverables better in project management:

  • Locate and determine deliverables together with their specifications before your team starts work on them. When you make adjustments to deliverables during the course of the project, you can inadvertently end up altering its scope and add to your budget.
  • Keep all your key stakeholders in the loop while defining deliverables. Ask them for their inputs and acceptance metrics as well.
  • Track project improvements in periodic discussions so that you can recognize potential areas of failure early on. This will enable your team to schedule their work better ensure that they are always on track.
  • Utilize a good project management tool to monitor task status, degree of completion of deliverables, and milestones.

How Xebrio Can Help?

There is a compelling need to carefully track the data and task completion status to ensure that the deliverables are finished in time. Oftentimes, the hurdle that plagues teams here is the lack of risk assessment, channels of communication, and comprehensive reporting for clients.

This is where a project management tool like Xebrio can help you develop templates for project deliverables, monitor the status of these key activities, meet project timelines, and stay within the predefined budget. Sign up to Xebrio today.