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.

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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.

Project management tools such as Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and project calendars can facilitate stakeholder presentations. ProjectManager has one-click reporting that captures data on project variance, time, cost and more. These reports can be shared as PDF attachments or printed depending on the stakeholder’s preference. Better yet, every report can be filtered to show only the data stakeholders want to see. Don’t forget, with our cloud-based software, those reports are reflecting real-time data. If they want to get a high-level view, then share the live dashboard with them. It’s already set up in the tool, unlike our competitors, so you can use it right away. Why not use it today by taking our free 30-day trial?

ProjectManager's dashboard view for reporting on deliverables
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ProjectManager Helps You to Build Project Deliverables

Creating deliverables for stakeholders is easy using these reports:

Compiling project status reports is a great way to:

  1. Illustrate for stakeholders how work is proceeding
  2. Show which team members are carrying the heaviest loads and if adjustments need to be made
  3. Outline room for improvement as the project moves ahead or at closure

Status Report

Our project status reports are highly customizable, with options to select a wide variety of columns and data sets to pull back exactly the information you’re seeking on the project’s status.

ProjectManager's status report filter

Below is an example of a project status report that can be generated with several variables including Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), planned start and finish dates, planned hours, percent complete, task assignments, start dates and actual hours:

Variance Report

Variance reports can be customized to include only summary tasks, completion percentage, and a comparison of the actual progress of the project versus the forecasted progress:

The resulting report shows a side-by-side comparison of predicted start and finish dates, predicted hours versus actual hours spent and that difference, and the difference in predicted project duration and how long it has actually taken to date:

Timesheet Report

Timesheet reports provide a bird’s-eye view of each individual’s hours worked on a project.

They also show:

  • Assignment of tasks to team members and the importance of those tasks
  • Each individual’s hourly rate, and
  • Many other factors related to resources, time and cost

The timesheet shows the person submitting the time, the date of submission, how many individual hours they worked during the selected timeframe, their WBS and how many hours they have remaining in the selected timeframe:

An example 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.

ProjectManager acts as an online hub for all your project documents, keeping you organized and everything at your fingertips whether you’re in the office, the field or home. Use our list view to collect all your reports on deliverables. More than just a to-do list, you can assign, comment and track progress on each item. Save old projects for historical data when planning new ones. Our customized tags make it easy for your to catalog your work so it’s always easy to find.

ProjectManager's list view

Collect your reports on deliverables and all project documents on the list view from ProjectManager.—Try It Free!

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.

Stakeholders and clients can request deliverables on a moment’s notice. Being able to shift on the fly and produce what your client wants requires a strong project management tool to keep things organized and up-to-date. ProjectManager is all online, so team members can collaborate on deliverables and rapidly prepare best possible outputs. Try our award-winning software with this free 30-day trial.

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