What are project deliverables?

Let’s talk about project deliverables.

This is a common project management term.

In this article I’ll explain the concept with real examples.

Project deliverables are the building blocks in project management.

Project deliverables — The Building Blocks of a Project

I want you to imagine this:

You had to manage a project where you would only tell people how they should spend their time. For example, you would ask the engineer to spend 4 hours each day doing technical drawing. And you’d tell the programmer to write code for 6 hours a day.

What would happen?

Your project would get nowhere.

Sure, your team would be busy all the time. But you would not achieve any results. And …

Without tangible results, there would be no progress.

How could you fix this?

You have to break the project down into smaller chunks. They are like sub-results or mini-goals, and officially they are called project deliverables . That’s what they are called in project management lingo. (I have a directory of common project management terms, in case there are more terms you want to clarify.)

Having such deliverables makes it possible to actually manage a project. You define clear project deliverables and assign those to your team members. They will work independently on their part, and as more and more deliverables are being completed, the project progresses towards the overall goal. Of course, it’s important to have a well-defined project goal.

One thing to note is that deliverables are dependent on each other. Here’s an example from the world of construction: You can only built a house after the drawings have been done and approved by the customer. Both, the finished house and the drawings are project deliverables.

Because they matter so much, make sure to document deliverables in the project charter.

Deliverables can come in many forms

Here’s a list of typical types of deliverables:

image of typical project deliverables
Typical forms of project deliverables

These are just the forms in which project deliverables can occur. Scroll down to find real examples of deliverables.

Also, be aware that some deliverables are common for every project, such as:

  • project plan
  • project budget
  • project charter

The best way to understand project deliverables is through examples. Here are some examples from various areas.

Project deliverables: Examples From Real Projects

I’ve selected examples from the real world. These will make the concept more clear to you.

Deliverables for construction projects

  • Design drawings
  • Proposals
  • Project reports
  • Building permits
  • Finished product – a building, a road section, a bridge

Deliverables for engineering projects

  • Design drawings (electrical, mechanical)
  • Product prototypes
  • Finished product – a machine, a car
  • Product manual
  • Quality check reports
  • Progress reports

Deliverables for website development

  • Customer requirement specification (external link)
  • Web design proposal (as PDF)
  • Website content
  • User training session
  • Finished website

Deliverables for IT projects

  • Requirement specification (document)
  • User interface
  • Backend development
  • Set up of Test system
  • Set up of Live system
  • Data migration
  • User training

Deliverables for consulting

  • Initial briefing report
  • Process maps
  • Project plan
  • Progress reports
  • Final report

Got more questions? Ask me a question

You may want to ask me a question specific to your project. Or maybe you want to clarify your understanding of the concept of deliverables. Just leave a comment here and I’ll give you my feedback.

Good luck with your project!

5 thoughts on “What are project deliverables?”

  1. Hi Adrian,

    Really great explanation! You are a great teacher.

    I have to create deliverables for teaching farmers the use of ITC ( apps and internet) to give them better income for their products and better living for themselves and family.
    Thank you

    Jo

    • Hi Jo, thanks for the kind feedback. I’m trying my best to make project management easy to understand.

  2. Hi Adrian,
    Thanks a lot for this explanation, you are a great lecturer.
    I would like to know the deliverable for agriculture trade show and farmer field days
    Thanks
    Jamal

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