What are Project deliverables?
Project deliverables are the tangible or intellectual outputs produced during the course of a project for the client (or other project stakeholders). In the case of a civil engineering project, it might be a completed road or a technical specification; in the case of an information technology project, it might be a new software program or an operations manual.
Most deliverables are delivered at the end of a project — but not all. Many are required throughout the project life cycle, during any stage of the project. For example, one deliverable might be the project exception reports provided, as required, to the project sponsor at regular points through, say, the execution phase of the project. Another might be a feasibility study, required during the initiation phase.
Generally, the main project deliverables are determined early in the project life cycle. Most customers and stakeholders will want to formulate these during the initiation phase of the project. Defining deliverables at this early stage helps to identify the scope of work, and to more accurately plan schedules, cost activities and estimate resource requirements. Additional deliverables might be added as a project proceeds (perhaps due to an approved change in scope), though most Project Managers will try to avoid this — rather defining an accurate and comprehensive list of deliverables from the start.
Deliverables are not necessarily the same as project objectives. A project objective might be simply to build a new hall and the completed hall is a project deliverable. But in another instance, a stated objective might be to markedly improve sewerage services to a certain area. In this case, one deliverable would be the installation of sewerage pipes; another might be the Technical Operations Manual.
Meeting, say, the limited number of stated objectives of a project, particularly a large and complex project, is likely to involve the supply of a great many more deliverables. Performance in meeting the time, scope, cost and quality specifications for each of these deliverables needs to be monitored carefully if the project’s ultimate objectives are to be met.
When defining project deliverables, important considerations include:
- what product needs to be delivered
- to whom the product will be delivered
- where and by when the product needs to be delivered.
Specifications for the project deliverables should be very clearly outlined and agreed by both parties with a vested interested in the project, so that expectations are clarified from the start. This can help to prevent any complications from arising later on through misunderstandings.
To find out more about project deliverables, view: