How To Use Project Deliverables To Reach Your Team’s Goals
Project management is the process of planning, organizing, and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of a project, including project deliverables. This includes ensuring that all project goals are met along the way. As part of this, it’s important to understand what your unique project deliverables are.
Project deliverables are a critical end point for all projects, and should be established at the start of the campaign. Each teammate within your project might have different deliverables, which is something that should be kept in mind throughout the project.
While this seems like a silly question, the truth is that companies out there are still operating without standard operating procedures and no set metrics to manage projects. Companies that fail to manage projects find themselves constantly “putting out fires” and truly failing when it comes to project management. This is a waste of everyone’s time, especially in a remote and hybrid world where we need to be as efficient and communicative as possible.
To avoid the trap of constantly playing catch-up or feeling like work is one disaster after another – your team must be able to manage projects. This is where project management comes into play. By having a set project management style, you can avoid all of the pitfalls of not managing projects.
Project management and project management software provides the structure and framework for teams to follow. This framework includes setting deadlines, assigning tasks, and tracking progress. When project management is done correctly, it provides a roadmap for teams to follow and increases the likelihood of project success.
What are project deliverables?
Project deliverables are achievable objectives or end results of a project. They represent the products, services, and results that need to be created in order to complete the project. Project deliverables can include physical products like buildings or products, documents, processes, training materials, research studies, and even intangible items such as organizational change or employee satisfaction.
Project deliverables are typically discussed in the project scope and project plan, and compared against when evaluating the success of the project.
Internal project deliverables
This type of deliverable is created during the project and is used by the project team. Internal project deliverables are used to align teams within the organization to work on specific goals. Internal deliverables are not typically shared with clients or stakeholders but are used internally for the team working on a project to keep track. Examples of internal project deliverables include:
- Scope document
External project deliverables
External project deliverables are products or services that will be delivered to the customer or client. These deliverables are handed over at the outcome of a project. These deliverables meet the client and stakeholder requirements and are the reason project management was created. Examples of external project deliverables include:
- Software application
- Website builds
- Product prototype
Setting up a successful project deliverable
Now that you know the different types of project deliverables let’s get into how to successfully set up a project deliverable. The first step is to set up the initial project requirements. Knowing the endgame of a project is instrumental in creating the path to get there. To create excellent project deliverables, follow these there are three key steps:
- Define what the project will achieve
- Determine who is responsible for each deliverable
- Put together a timeline for when each deliverable will be completed
Projects will have one or more types of deliverables associated with them – but no matter what type it is, each deliverable must meet specific criteria to be successful. The criteria for success is known as the Iron Triangle of Project Management and includes the following:
- Scope: The project deliverable must meet the requirements and specifications laid out in the project scope.
- Schedule: The project deliverable must be delivered on time and within budget.
- Quality: The project deliverable must meet or exceed the quality standards set for the project.
If a project deliverable does not meet these criteria, it is considered a failure. Setting up a clear understanding of each deliverable is critical to understand if the deliverable was a success or failure. By creating deliverables, and monitoring their progress, you can avoid costly mistakes and ensure that each deliverable meets the necessary criteria for success.
Mastering project deliverables and avoiding common mistakes
We just covered how to build a successful project deliverables, but it’s important to know the most common mistakes that often happen during this stage of the project planning and how to avoid them. That’s what we’re going to cover in this section.
Here are the most common mistakes when setting up project deliverables and how to avoid them:
- Not clearly defining deliverables: Each person in your team needs to know what they need to deliver at the end of a deadline. That doesn’t mean what are the tasks they need to take, but the actual work they will deliver at the end of a period. If team members don’t know what the deliverables are, there will be confusion and misunderstandings.
- Not setting realistic timelines: When assigning deliverables, ask team members to give their input in terms of deadlines. Setting unrealistic timelines often lead to missed deadlines, rushed work, and low-quality deliverables.
- Not assigning ownership: The main risk here is the lack of accountability. A project manager should always know who is responsible for what so they can ensure deliverability. Communicating with team members on their ownership in a project is key to run this process without confusion.
- Not communicating effectively: There’s no such thing as overly communicating — it’s much better to always be in touch than being surprised too late into the process. Poor communication can lead to errors, missed deadlines, and low-quality deliverables.
- Not measuring and tracking progress: If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it. Finding out any issues in your deliverables timeline early on will guarantee the project gets done on time.
- Not getting buy-in from stakeholders: A project is made of people, and not getting buy-in from stakeholders can lead to resistance and problems down the road.
- Not being flexible: The rule number one in project management should be to plan it, but leave room for change. This means being willing to adjust timelines, deliverables, and resources as needed. Be like water, my friend!
How to avoid these common mistakes:
- Use a project management tool to help you track progress, manage resources, and communicate with team members. Make sure that each deliverable is clearly defined in terms of its scope, objectives, and deliverables.
- Make sure that timelines are realistic and take into account the complexity of the deliverable and the resources available.
- Ensure that each deliverable has a clear owner who is responsible for completing it on time and within budget.
- Set a clear and consistent communication about project deliverables, which includes mastering the art of running productive meetings, doing regular updates, status reports, and issue tracking.
- Break down large deliverables into smaller tasks. This will make them seem less daunting and make it easier to track progress.
- Use a checklist to make sure that all of the steps involved in completing a deliverable are completed.
- Get feedback from stakeholders on deliverables early and often. Get them involved in the process of defining, planning, and executing project deliverables.
- Celebrate successes along the way. This will help to keep team members motivated.
Project deliverables: this vs. that
Project management terms can sometimes get confused with other terms or incorrectly named. To try and mitigate those confusing terms, below are a few common terms and actions within the project management lifecycle that often get confused with project deliverables.
Project Deliverable vs. Milestone
A project milestone is a marker that signifies the completion of a critical project phase. It is not the same as a project deliverable, which is the actual output of the project phase.
Project Deliverable Vs. Objective
A project objective is an overall goal that the project is trying to achieve. It is not the same as a project deliverable, which is the actual output (external or internal) of the project.
Project Deliverable Vs. Task
A project task is an action that needs to be completed within a project to achieve a project milestone or objective. Tasks are completed within the project deliverables but are not deliverables themselves.
Examples of project deliverables
Now that we’ve gone over the types, criteria for success, and steps to set up project deliverables – let’s look at a few examples that relate to specific industries. While these are not all the types of deliverables out there, these are some of the more common industry-related deliverables.
Software development project deliverables
- Technical specification document
- Test plan
- Software prototype
Construction project deliverables
- Construction schedule
- Bill of materials
- Site map
Marketing campaign project deliverables
- Campaign plan
- Creative brief
- Budget breakdown
Software for managing project deliverables
Many different software applications on the market can be used to manage project deliverables. Also there are different types of software tailored to specific industries, ranging from government fleet management software, to manufacturing software systems and even biotech platforms. Some of these software applications are more comprehensive than others and offer a variety of features and benefits. When choosing the right software to build out your project deliverables, look for a flexible and user-friendly platform.
Hive is a great project management software that offers users the ability to track and manage project deliverables easily.
If you’re looking for project management software that can help you build out project deliverables, Hive is the perfect solution. With Hive, you can:
- Create a project deliverable template
- Assign project deliverables to team members
- Set project deliverable due dates
- Track project deliverable progress
- Monitor project deliverable performance
Building project deliverables doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right tools and processes in place, you can ensure that each project deliverable is a success. Start a free 14 day trial of Hive and start executing your projects today.