Although it isn’t in the dictionary, the project management industry uses the term deliverables almost daily. I, for one am tired of MS Word underlining it as a spelling mistake.
Deliverables are the products, services, and results that a project produces. Thus, they are the cornerstone to project success.
Every project has to produce something. If you don’t have any deliverables, you don’t have a project.
Internal or External?
Deliverables can be for internal or external stakeholders. For example, an engineering design is a deliverable for a bridge design project (external), but the biologists might produce a fish habitat study for the design team (internal – assuming they work for the same company).
Tangible or Intangible?
At our engineering company, the deliverables are usually something tangible, like a report or design plans. But they can be intangible too. For example, a project to train the employees of a certain division of the company in a certain knowledge area still has the knowledge (or courses) as the deliverable.
Big or Small?
There is no guideline as to the size of a deliverable. It is simply whatever the client, or deliveree for lack of a better term, wants.
I’m from the province of Alberta, Canada, where many oil sands mines are currently under construction, several of them worth greater than $20 billion (construction cost). For the heavy industrial construction companies that are contracted to the oil companies to build the mines, the deliverable is the completed mine. When my small engineering firm does a $5,000 hydrologic study for them, it’s also a deliverable. Even when it’s a sub-deliverable, it’s still a deliverable.
Here is a list of some sample deliverables.
- Engineering report
- Design drawings
- Design documents
- Completed product (building, bridge, etc.)
- Technical interpretation
- Site investigation report
- Design review
- Tender document
- Manufacturing process improvement
- Product quality enhancement
- New equipment or tools
- Service report
- Strategic report
- Progress report
- Improved process efficiency
- Better customer service
- Faster response time
- Marketing study
- Web site/page
- Useability report
- Product prototype
- New knowledge or experience
- Improved filing and organization systems
- Improved response procedures
What unique deliverables have you had on your projects? I’d love to hear your responses in the comments below.