Understanding Deliverables in Project Management


What are the deliverables in project management?

Business projects around the world are becoming bigger and more complex. The rising trends in consumer demands are forcing many businesses to improve their scope and broaden their horizons. As a result, the projects become riskier and unmanageable. These projects also tend to deflect from their objectives and become disorderly in their functions.

The objectives and goals of a project are of utmost importance and must be taken care of while it is in the execution phase. When projects become more complex, they cannot be managed properly, and thus, and the goals aren’t met. This leads to a decrease in the quality of the product and overall loss.

What are the deliverables in project management?

To deal effectively with a large project, many project managers divide or break it up into smaller segments and also use project management software. Those segments are known ad deliverables. So, a project deliverable is a smaller part of a project that can be managed with ease. These deliverables are like fragments that are integrated into the main objective of the project. The size of the deliverable varies, but, with respect to the project, they remain the same. Deliverables determine the output of a project and thus ensure its efficient delivery (hence the name, deliverables). 

The type of deliverable varies with the type of project that is being undertaken. There is a big difference between project and product deliverables. Project deliverables could be the project plans, the reports, or maybe meetings, but the product deliverables might be applications, software, hardware, or assessment results.

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Are deliverables the same as work packages?

Work Breakdown Structure, or WBS, is the concept on which deliverables are based. The Work Breakdown Structure, when implemented in projects, results in deliverables. When these deliverables are further broken down into the smallest detail, they can be called work packages. It is important to note that the work packages can’t be divided any further. Both deliverables and work packages are the results of the process of decomposition. 

What are the types of deliverables?

The deliverables can be broadly classified into two types- internal deliverables and external deliverables. Let’s understand both of them in detail.

Internal deliverables: Internal deliverables are like the inner components of a project. They can’t be seen on the end product but, form an important part of the process. These internal deliverables aren’t something that the users would see, but, the project can’t be carried out without them. The objectives, configurations, and training form a part of the internal deliverables.

External deliverables: External deliverables are the visible components of a project that are seen and used by the consumer. They are a result of the internal deliverables and could be anything like an IT system. External deliverables are important to the consumer as they are the ones who will use them. Therefore, these deliverables must be planned out properly.

In addition to the above two categories, there is a much finer type of deliverables like project deliverables, planning deliverables, or activity deliverables.

The aftermath of deliverables

Creating a deliverable is not enough; you need to maintain it and look after it as well. After a deliverable is designed, stringent quality control tests are done until the deliverable meets the demands of the objectives. There are two types of processes that are followed after the creation of a deliverable- perform a quality control process, and the verify scope process.

The perform quality control process ensures that the quality of the deliverable is up to the mark, whereas, the verify scope process makes sure that all the components of the process are taken care of. This is also done to verify that all the components have been executed and there is nothing remaining to be checked. After the verify scope process, the stakeholders of the project will analyze and assess the deliverable, and if they approve it, they’ll give a letter of acceptance to verify the deliverable.

How can you use deliverables in your business project? 

You can use the deliverables to create a holistic environment at work where all the team members associated with the project can function efficiently to deliver the project on time. The deliverables reduce stress and anxiety by breaking up the project into smaller parts and thus, boost productivity.

Hence, it can be said that deliverables are the direct result of breaking down a project into smaller parts. They make projects more productive and ensure that the products are delivered on time.