Understanding and Defining Project Deliverables

Project deliverables are the key outputs or outcomes that a project is expected to produce. They represent the tangible and intangible results that the project team will deliver to stakeholders upon completion[1]. As a project manager, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the project deliverables and ensure that all stakeholders are aligned on what the project aims to achieve.

Types of Project Deliverables

Project deliverables can be classified into two main categories:

  1. Tangible Deliverables: These are physical or digital products that can be seen, touched, or measured. Examples of tangible deliverables include:
  • Software applications
  • Hardware components
  • Reports or documentation
  • Websites or mobile apps
  • Marketing materials
  1. Intangible Deliverables: These are non-physical outcomes or services that cannot be directly measured or quantified. Examples of intangible deliverables include:
  • Improved processes or workflows
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Enhanced employee productivity
  • Organizational change or cultural shifts
  • Knowledge transfer or training programs
Graphic Illustrating Types of Project Deliverables
Types of Project Deliverables

It is important to note that deliverables are not the same as tasks or activities. Tasks are the specific actions or steps that need to be taken to produce the deliverables, while deliverables are the end results of those tasks.

The Process of Defining Project Deliverables

Defining project deliverables is a collaborative process that involves working closely with project stakeholders. Here are the key steps to follow:

Step 1: Identify Deliverables with Stakeholders

Engage project stakeholders to identify and define the expected deliverables. Stakeholders have a vested interest in the project’s outcomes and can provide valuable insights. Techniques for identifying deliverables include:

  • Conducting stakeholder interviews or workshops
  • Reviewing project requirements and objectives
  • Analyzing existing documentation or specifications
  • Using techniques like brainstorming or mind mapping

Step 2: Clearly Document Deliverables

Once the deliverables have been identified, document them in a clear and concise manner. The documentation should include:

  • A detailed description of each deliverable
  • Acceptance criteria or success measures
  • Dependencies or prerequisites
  • Due dates or timelines
  • Responsible parties or owners

Tools like the Project Charter or a separate Deliverables Register can be used to document and track the deliverables throughout the project lifecycle.

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Step 3: Review and Update Deliverables Regularly

Project requirements or priorities may change over time, so it is crucial to review and update the deliverables documentation regularly. This ensures that the project team and stakeholders remain aligned on the expected outcomes and can adapt to any necessary changes.

Benefits of Defining Project Deliverables

Clearly defining project deliverables during the initiation phase offers several benefits:

  1. Shared Understanding: It ensures that everyone involved in the project has a common understanding of what the project aims to achieve.
  2. Scope Management: Well-defined deliverables help prevent scope creep by establishing clear boundaries for what is included and excluded from the project.
  3. Stakeholder Expectations: Documenting deliverables helps manage stakeholder expectations by providing a clear picture of what they can expect from the project.
  4. Project Success: By aligning the project team and stakeholders on the expected outcomes, defining deliverables increases the chances of project success.


Understanding and defining project deliverables is a critical aspect of project management. By collaborating with stakeholders, clearly documenting the expected outcomes, and regularly reviewing and updating the deliverables, project managers can ensure that the project stays on track and meets its objectives. Well-defined deliverables provide a solid foundation for project planning, execution, and successful delivery.


1 Kissflow. (2023). A Complete Guide to Deliverables in Project Management.
2 Float. (2023). The Makings of Project Deliverables: A Guide To Defining Objectives.
3 ProjectManager.com. (2023). What Is a Project Deliverable? Definition, Examples & More.
4 Hive. (2023). What Are Project Deliverables? Meaning, Criteria & Steps.
5 Rasmussen University. (2023). Tell me more about CBE course project deliverables.