What are Project Deliverables in Software Development (Startup Founder's Guide)
Every project has its mission, goals and objectives. And they need to be measurable and achievable whether your team works on updating the website or building another Eiffel Tower.
This «thing» to which you aim is called the project deliverables. Knowing the output, you can introduce them to your team and stakeholders, making it possible to carry out the project tasks much more efficiently.
Let’s imagine the situation. You had to oversee a project where all you did was instruct people how to spend their time. For example, you might urge the engineer to devote four hours daily to technical drawing. And you'd tell the programmer to spend 6 hours a day writing code.
What would occur?
Your team would be extremely busy all the time. However, you would obtain no results. There would be no growth if there were no tangible outcomes.
You must divide the project into smaller parts. They are similar to sub-results or mini-goals and are project deliverables. Having such deliverables makes it possible actually to manage a project. You define clear project deliverables and assign those to your team members.
This article describes what product deliverables are, what are types of product deliverables and how to create and keep track of them. Get started!
A deliverable is output within the scope of a project or, in other words, a tangible product after a project has been completed.
Project deliverables are particular, measurable results that you hope to achieve at various stages throughout the project development. The end product, service, or report you attempt to generate is often a project deliverable.
Bookmark: The project deliverables are what you want to get from it. It is the result of objective-focused work completed within the project process.
Don’t be confused with defining deliverables and objectives or deliverables and milestones. In a few words to recap, keep reading!
Objectives or deliverables
A project objective is a broad goal the project has to accomplish. When a project deliverable is an actual output. In other words, they help you measure if the thing you're putting all this energy into building does what it's meant to—the more specific and measurable, the better.
As an example, the objective of a project is making or increasing online sales, and the product deliverables are the app or website of it.
Milestones or deliverables
Milestones are major scheduling intervals throughout a project timeframe. It defines activity start and finishes dates, internal deadlines, and the time for a quality control test or budget check. Some examples of milestones are:
- Product launch
- End of beta testing
Some deliverables teams do individually, but many are dependent on the completion of others. It is extremely general, particularly in long-term, complex projects with several milestones. Successfully submitting project deliverables is a result of meeting project milestones.
Why are project deliverables important?
The advantages besides effectively planning project deliverables are
- A better understanding of the work required for a project's success and knowing what you expect to deliver in the long run.
- Making precise software development cost estimations of scope and timeframe.
- Independent team members’ work
- Your expectations and stakeholders are in sync
- Increasing team motivation by making tangible progress
Project deliverables are outcomes that can assist you in reaching project goals.
Types of deliverables
To achieve the expected results, you should know what type of results they belong to. It will affect how you design and deliver the results at the end of the project. There are four types of expected outcomes.
Internal VS External
Internal project deliverables match organizational teams to work on specific goals such as finishing a project, delivering a product, or providing a service. They are often not disclosed to clients or stakeholders but are used internally by project teams to keep track of progress.
Internal deliverables are not assumed final. For example, in a project that will deliver a mobile application as its final product, the original codes and testing results are some of its internal deliverables.
External project deliverables are items for a client or another external stakeholder. They would be the final goods produced, purchased, and used by the customer. It would be something that would fit the customer needs that is the actual business reason for the project is produced. In the same example, the mobile application will be a part of the external deliverables or other goods as.
Tangible VS Intangible
A tangible deliverable would be the construction of a new office to accommodate new employees who do not fit in the old office or the development of a new manufacturing plant to meet growing output levels.
An example of an intangible deliverable is an employee training program to teach them how to operate new software that will be employed at the organization.
Examples of project deliverables from real projects
There is a difference between project and product deliverables. We will show you both for a better understanding of each.
Project deliverables are actual outputs of a project, while product deliverables are final outputs that directly satisfy one or more of the project requirements. Both are important in software development because they define the team's delivery to the customer and reflect on the quality assurance of the product.
Example of project deliverables in software development.
- Project roadmap
- Project plan
- Gantt chart
- Test documentation (test plan, test cases, test report)
- Communication plan
And here is an example of product deliverables
- Software code
- Requirements specification
- Scope baseline
- Marketing Study
- User Guide, training materials
- Finished products (website, application)
5 steps to define project deliverables
Now that you've learned about the many project deliverables, let's look at how to set up project delivery correctly.
Determine your goals
Before the project delivers as expected, it is necessary to determine what they are. When preparing the discovery phase of a software project and defining its objectives, try to formulate the expected project results. In this case, your team will have a clear idea of what it is working on from the beginning of the project and a clear road map showing how you intend to achieve this.
To walk through the whole process, begin with understanding your mission
That is not an overall list of questions. But this should help you get started in the right direction.
The thing is: It is critical to understand the problem that your project is attempting to tackle to build the best solution. This will assist you and your team in prioritizing jobs and features. It will also assist you in determining the types of deliverables desired by your stakeholders. As a result, progress is evident, and stakeholder confidence in your work grows.
Gather the requirements and inform stakeholders
Define the requirements for each potential deliverable and gather the needed supplies to accomplish each one. During this stage, you need to specify the exact criteria for each deliverable, so everyone on the team knows the desired result.
Be sure to communicate the expected results efficiently and regularly so stakeholders are on the same page. If you have not already done so, share with them the project plan to provide access to the most important information about it.
The point is: The more details you include, the more stakeholders will be satisfied with the results.
Planning the workflow
Without proper implementation, plans are meaningless. Create trackers that your team can use to set priorities, track progress in real-time, and report any concerns that arise. Consider project management tools or establishing bespoke databases you and your staff are familiar with. Then, decide how you'll all communicate, and agree on how frequently you'll give updates to your stakeholders. It assists in reducing decision exhaustion and building a healthy team culture.
You may also like: PoC vs Prototype vs MVP: What's the difference? How to choose?
Now that you've identified the project deliverables, it's time to consider what you'll need to prepare to complete them:
Blockers: Do you need resources, equipment, approvals, or other deliverables to move forward?
Timeline: When do you intend to finish and submit each deliverable?
PICs (Persons in Charge): Who are your primary point of contact for each project deliverable?
Process: To minimize stumbling blocks, try to identify potential process interruptions ahead of time.
Measure success at project completion
You need to collect all the indicators and evaluate the project's success. Perhaps you have achieved the desired results but have missed the project schedule? Or have you done it with ease and time or resources?
Take the time to outline with the project team to consider all the knowledge gained next time you formulate and manage the expected project results. After the delivery, you can make the report, answering those questions.
Note: Project managers often miss this stage as it appears to take time away from "real" work. However, as a project manager, consider it an investment in continuous progress. It can also bring up issues to fix as quickly as feasible.
Tracking project deliverables
When it comes to tracking your project deliverables, there are many solutions available to assist you. You can use spreadsheets, printed documentation, and industry-specific software to manage your project and its deliverables.
Consider adopting software created for project management. This type of software assists you in developing your project plan and tracking everything from resource allocation to team member activities. Project management software allows you to examine your project's big picture and tiny details. Cloud-based applications enable team members to view the status of each deliverable and the next steps from any location, which is handy if your team members work outside a central office or from home.
Remember: Tracking keeps monitor of project milestones, delivery dates, expenses, and approvals throughout and after the project.
The bottom line
Project deliverables are outputs your team creates to meet your goals. Identifying them in advance can help focus, operate autonomously, and keep up with your stakeholders. Most importantly, advanced tracking can assist you in ensuring quality throughout the process.
Keep in mind that the project objectives must be well-defined and clear. Specific objectives are required to ensure that there is no space for misunderstanding and that everyone on the team is working towards a common goal. However, ensure they are achievable by setting realistic goals and establishing a timetable for reaching them.
Remember: Project deliverables ensure that project goals are met, keep track of projects on course, and allow efficient distribution of time and money.
Lots of new information, isn’t it? Where to start, how to define, and be with the team on the same page? Contact us to implement project deliverables in your workflow correctly!
#1. What are project deliverables?
Project deliverables are tangible components of a project. They include objects, processes, information, or services that meet the project's functional needs. If the project is to set up a website, the deliverables would be the website's design.
#2. What should be included in a product deliverable checklist?
Every good product deliverable checklist starts with a list of people or companies that must approve the deliverable. You should include others related to the team, such as sales and marketing, hardware designers, manufacturing, logistics, and management.
The deliverable checklist should include all the check-off items to perform before the deliverable is approved as the delivery date and the date you expect the team to deliver.
#3. What are examples of project deliverables?
Technical deliverables include website mock-ups, style guides, specifications, design review checklists, and traditional website graphics. Or marketing deliverables include website content, summaries, policies, website content review checklists, and other traditional marketing materials.
#4. Who is responsible for defining project deliverables?
Although the team may work on a single deliverable, the project manager is responsible for project delivery. They monitore progress and guarantee all project deliverables, major and small, are completed on time. The project manager's overall role is to oversee the project at all stages and ensure a successful outcome.
#5. Can project deliverables vary during a project?
Many things might happen during a project, and as a result, deliverables may differ slightly. The idea here is to keep an eye out for scope creep and manage any modifications to keep the project on track. It means expanding the number of project deliverables specified during the planning stage.
A project manager can track project deliverables and share changes with stakeholders in reports. That is why it is critical to use adaptable project management software so that any modifications can be made swiftly and shared.