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Understanding Project Deliverables: A Step-By-Step Guide With Examples

There’s no doubting the importance of project deliverables in finishing projects on time, on budget, and with the least amount of friction possible.

They can help you set stakeholder expectations, train your team, and create a step-by-step action plan for meeting your project’s objectives.

When you consider the magnitude of their ramifications, it’s evident that you can’t afford to have merely a rudimentary awareness of these crucial project elements.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of comparable project deliverables from five different project teams. This blog will also go over how you may use them to make your job more efficient and effective.

Naturally, a proper definition should be the first order of business.

What do you mean by project deliverables?

All of the tangible and intangible results that are submitted within the scope of a project are referred to as project deliverables.

While the name may conjure up images of the final project deliverables, it actually refers to any project-related deliverable submitted throughout any of the project phases.

To effectively define expectations and assign resources, project deliverables must be agreed upon early in the planning stage and documented inside a governing project charter so that they can be referred to throughout the project.

Project deliverables: Internal vs. External

Internal and external deliverables are two types of project deliverables. It all depends on whether you’re submitting them internally to your own company or outside to a client.

Internal project deliverables are sent to members of your team or to a cooperating department (if need be). Internal project deliverables (that will be subject to internal reviews) include:

  • The initial concept
  • Report on the tracking of time
  • Report on the project’s budget
  • Report on the progress

Clients and investors are among the stakeholders to whom external project deliverables are presented. The following are some instances of external project deliverables (that will be reviewed by clients):

  • Report on the progress
  • The initial concept
  • The finished product
  • the finished product

Process deliverables vs. product deliverables

Depending on whether or not they will directly satisfy one or more project criteria, project deliverables can be further categorised as process deliverables or product deliverables.

Consider process deliverables such as choosing a paint colour for your walls and product deliverables such as revealing the first finished coat. Similarly, comparing a photograph of a teal blue wall (process) to seeing it finished in all its splendour in your own home (product).

Although both are essential components of the total, process deliverables lack the same wow impact. Don’t get us wrong: this does not diminish their significance.

Process deliverables are intermediary outputs that help a project move ahead while not immediately meeting a project need. This might look like this:

  • To improve a software deliverable, submitting an internal bug report.
  • Internal Gantt chart to keep track of the project’s progress.
  • For a better project start, creating an internal client onboarding checklist.
  • The first design project management plan, for clients to study.

Final outputs that directly satisfy one or more project requirements are known as product deliverables. These are a little more enthralling.

They’re delicious milestones that everyone wants to evaluate and comment on. They include items such as:

  • An app that is fully created
  • A website that is operational.
  • Content strategy in its entirety
  • Finished architectural design

Project deliverables are divided into several categories.

Internal/external and process/product are not mutually exclusive groupings. They exist at the same time for each deliverable (much like your stress if you don’t use a small business project management software like RisePath PlanCentral).

They provide four types of project deliverables when they work together:

  1. Internal Process Deliverable: Delivered internally to move a project forward
  2. External Process Deliverable: Delivered externally to move a project forward.
  3. Internal Product Deliverable: Delivered internally to directly satisfy a project requirement.
  4. External Product Deliverable: Delivered externally to directly satisfy a project requirement.

These four categories can help you better grasp how each of your deliverables fits into the overall picture. Each allows you to define output expectations for your team members.

An initial design, for example, does not require the same level of refinement as a final design. Projects would exist in hyper-pressurized conditions if they didn’t have stages like “initial” and “final,” or “first draft” and “final draft.”

Internal and external review phases provide your team and clients with the time to work together to get it right—step by step, phase by phase. Internal deliverables have a different audience than external deliverables, which is understandable.

Internal language and references to other client projects may be useful to your team, but they should not be used in client talks.

Project deliverables are a source of consternation.

Another point to consider is that project deliverables are sometimes confused with project milestones and project objectives. Let’s get that straightened out.

Milestones for the project

Project milestones serve as checkpoints along the way to completion. They show you how far along you are in a project and how far you still have to go.

Here are some instances of milestones:

  • The planning process has come to a close.
  • The project has reached its halfway point.
  • The phase of monitoring has begun.

Alternatively, project milestones can just be a means of testing, reviewing, releasing, and receiving feedback.

While delivering a deliverable may result in the achievement of a milestone, the milestone is not a delivery in and of itself.

Project Objectives

Individual goals that a project should achieve are referred to as project objectives. They specify which project outcomes the deliverables must support in order for the project to be successful.

In other words, they assist you in determining whether the product you’ve spent so much time and effort constructing truly does what it’s supposed to. The more precise and quantifiable the data, the better.

Setting project goals effectively will help you understand important indicators such as return on investment (ROI), conversion rate, engagement, and attrition. The following are some examples of objectives:

  • A 10% increase in software sales for a client
  • Increase the number of monthly visitors to a client’s website by 10,000.
  • Eliminate eCommerce cart abandonment due to bugs.

While presenting a deliverable may result in the fulfilment of a goal, the goal is not a delivery in and of itself.

Project outputs from a variety of teams

Your project deliverables will differ by team, just as your everyday duties, procedures, and processes will differ by department.

Creative teams

Writers, editors, designers, videographers, and others may be part of a creative team. The following are some examples of project deliverables for creative teams:

  • A blog entry
  • Wireframe for a website that is finished
  • Graphic for a print medium that is finished
  • Email template that’s ready to send

Professional services teams

Accountants, architects, IT specialists, and lawyers may all be part of a professional services team. The following are some examples of project deliverables for professional services teams:

  • A financial report that is complete.
  • The first draught of the blueprint
  • VoIP system that works
  • A customized contract that is ready to sign

Product management teams

Product managers, product designers, UX designers, and analysts may all be members of a product team. The following are some examples of project deliverables for product teams:

  • Presentation of a product roadmap
  • Wireframe for the user interface
  • A user trip map in its entirety
  • A customer retention report that is complete.

Teams in charge of marketing

Positions such as SEOs, copywriters, brand strategists, graphic designers, and email marketers may be found in marketing teams. The following are some examples of project deliverables for marketing teams:

  • Report on keyword research
  • Sales copy (draft)
  • A brand identity package
  • Graphics for social media

Agency teams

Content strategists, account managers, social media managers, and developers may be included in agency teams. The following are some examples of project deliverables for agency teams:

  • Audit of the content
  • A media strategy
  • Copy for social media
  • WordPress theme that has been customised

Following up on and completing your project’s deliverables

You can’t afford to lose track of the deliverables for your projects. Staying in control requires knowing the status of each task and who is responsible for what.

This is easiest to do with project management software that allows you to visually see the status of your project’s deliverables.

Taking care of revisions to your project’s deliverables

A project’s deliverables may need to be changed on occasion. This usually manifests itself as a broadening of the project scope with the addition of new deliverables.

A project manager may engage with the client to eliminate one or more of the lower priority, “nice-to-have” deliverables if the project is running over budget.

It’s critical to be able to rapidly reflect any changes in your project management application, whether you’re adding, removing, or amending project deliverables. This will enable you to evaluate the impact of the modifications on your resources, budget, and timeframe.

If you use a project management solution with resource management insights, you can identify who has the potential to take on more project deliverables and who would get overburdened if given the responsibility.

To produce higher-impact projects with less effort, combine your newly better understanding of project deliverables with a robust small business project management software like RisePath PlanCentral.

Asha patel

Asha has been a program manager, project manager and product manager for multiple Fortune 500 global companies. She has experience with implementing many successful technology, operations and product management projects.

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