27 What Is a Project Deliverable?

Definition, Examples & More

Projects produce deliverables, which are simply the results of project activities. Project deliverables can be big or small, and their number can also vary depending on the project. They’re agreed upon by the project management team and stakeholders during the project planning phase. Another way to put that is that there are inputs and outputs in any type of project. That being what you put into the project, such as data, resources, etc., and then what comes out, which are the deliverables. Again, those deliverables vary greatly. For example, a project deliverable can be either a product or service, or it can also be the documentation that is part of the project closure.

Project vs. Product Deliverables

There is a distinction between project and product deliverables. Project deliverables are such outputs as the project plans, project reports and even meeting minutes. Product deliverables, on the other hand, could be hardware, software, mobile applications, contracts, or even test assessment results.

The deliverables that clients and stakeholders expect at the end of the project are the product or service, of course, but there is also paperwork, as noted. These documents, when completed, are deliverables that clients and stakeholders need in order to evaluate the progress or completion of the project.

This paperwork can include:

  • Signed contracts
  • Finalized expense reports
  • Other types of project reports show how work is proceeding versus project plan estimations

Deliverables can vary according to the project’s specifications and the stakeholders’ requirements. But all clients and stakeholders want deliverables that thoroughly wrap up the project at its closure and measure performance against expectations throughout the project. When defining project deliverables, it’s important that you use a project planning software such as ProjectManager to create a project timeline where you can easily visualize all your project tasks, assign work and track time.

How to Present Deliverables to Stakeholders

Project managers’ reports are the means by which these types of deliverables are presented to clients and stakeholders. Different stakeholders have different needs, so flexibility and customization is important for effective reporting. In order to meet their needs, project management software must be able to filter the many data inputs to deliver the proper output.

xample of a timesheet for one person working on multiple projects during one timeframe.

Consistent use of these three reports helps keep your team on time, under budget and within scope. Lessons learned in libraries can also be a great tool to help build upon successes and avoid duplicating mistakes in future projects.

Lessons Learned Libraries

Creating a lessons learned library is a great way to compile takeaways from projects. It’s a central place to view work that exceeded expectations, and also works that could have been better. As a new project kicks off, project managers use this resource to plan for known roadblocks.

Project Deliverables Expected Prior to Closure

Development of deliverables doesn’t just happen during project closure. Project sponsors also expect deliverables during the initiation, planning and execution phases of a project. Let’s take a look at the types of deliverables created in these phases in greater detail.

Final deliverables outline a project’s entire scope of work, while deliverables created during earlier phases of a project are based on short-term snapshots of project activity.

Initiation phase deliverables can include a project charter or a business case. The lessons learned library is accessed at the outset of the planning phase, so information can be used from previous projects to better inform the planning of the next project. The communications plan, risk and issue management plan, change management plan, procurement plans and overall project schedule are also created during the planning phase. There are documents surrounding each of these plans which inform stakeholders and clients as the plan is being developed.

Referencing the project plan is the most common activity during project execution. All project activity is managed against the project plan.

Tracking of project execution includes:

  1. Performance reports to measure how work is going and team members are performing
  2. Risk and issue logs to track issues that need to be addressed, and
  3. Change the logs that identify changes made to the project plan and how these are affecting the project

Stakeholders and clients can demand reports and logs at a moment’s notice. Always be prepared is the moral of the story.


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Project Management Basics Copyright © by Sharon Blanchard is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.