Key deliverables in project management make up the building blocks of a project. While researching key deliverables can be valuable, it’s not advised to produce every deliverable that you might find in a template pack or a checklist.
The options for key deliverables in project management are practically endless as they can come in many different forms, which can make it confusing to know which ones to pick. The following information goes over the key deliverables considered to be absolutely essential, followed by the second-tier and third-tier deliverables required in more complex projects.
Top Tier Deliverables in Project Management
If you are beginning a project for your company, there are minimum deliverables required to demonstrate your competence and not harm your company’s reputation. The following five deliverables are considered mandatory for most projects, even if they are on the smaller side.
1. Project definition
This document involves a charter or brief that describes your project, including its purpose and scope. It’s the deliverable that sells your project. The other deliverables will provide evidence that your project is moving forward, but this deliverable will help people understand the larger picture of what you are trying to do.
2. Business proposal
As a project often involves investor money, the stakeholders will need to make informed decisions on whether or not what your team is going to do is of value to them. Additionally, they will have to consider whether the potential benefits justify the expenditure and outweigh the risks.
3. Project plan
Project plans are the most critical step in project management, so it makes sense that a project plan would be one of the key deliverables. It’s imperative for team leaders to demonstrate that they know how to do what they are going to do and to prove there is a good chance the project will succeed.
4. Risk overview
Things are bound to go wrong in a project. And rather than ignoring this, it’s best to come forward with information regarding risks from the start. These risks can cause stakeholders to give up more money and put their reputation at risk. The risk overview needs to demonstrate that the team leader has considered the risk and has prepared a plan on how to manage those risks in the event they occur.
5. A sign-off document
A sign-off document is used to formalize the handover from the project to the client or new owner of the product, service, the process created. This provides a record that the team has completed what they set out to do and closes the project professionally.
Second Tier Project Management Deliverables
The following second tier deliverables might be required as projects become more complex:
1. Communication plan
In larger projects, a communication plan outlines how leaders and members are going to engage with stakeholders. It will also outline how to take into account their opinions as well as influence them.
2. Resource plan
A resource plan delegates work to individuals. A team leader knows their team’s strengths and weaknesses to assign tasks accordingly, so they get completed correctly. In a smaller project, this might be something a team leader does without documents; however, it is worth considering for more complex projects to include as a deliverable to have a formal record of your decisions.
3. Deliverables plan
A deliverables plan lists what your team promises to deliver and the standards and specifications to which they will be delivered. This involves building from the project definition but making it more precise. It can also be used as a document for checking off items once they are produced to ensure the handover goes smoothly. Having a deliverables plan clearly laid out helps for an easier sign-off from clients and stakeholders.
4. Status reporting
As a project starts to get larger, stakeholders expect regular status reports for updates on the project’s progress. Typically, for smaller projects, it is acceptable to report informally or in a meeting, but as the project gets more complex, there needs to be a deliverable so team members can digest the information easily.
5. Lessons learned
Once a project reaches its conclusion, a deliverable can be dedicated to outlining the team manager’s lessons learned so that the company can improve on the next project. The document can be circulated in the company to benefit all future project leaders and members.
Third Tier Deliverables
Everything in the third tier is discretionary based on the project’s nature, but these are three additional deliverables to expect for expanding projects.
1. Procurement documentation
As a project gets larger, more resources need to be acquired. It’s important to keep an itemized list of these resources to keep track of the things the team has and the things they need, requiring the planning and specifications found in a procurement document.
2. Quality design
Projects may deliver documentation outlining quality design, assurance and control. This will include the necessary procedures, templates and forms to fill in and have signed.
3. Change control documentation
More complex projects typically receive more requests for change. It can be challenging to resist the changes due to the scale and nature of a project. As projects get larger, people identify more possibilities to improve projects and do them in a different way. A change control documentation outlines the process for making such requests.
While many forms of deliverables exist, your deliverables in project management will depend on your project’s nature and size. Additionally, project managers may already have their favorites or their ways of handling deliverables. That being said, the above information provides a good starting point for deciding what deliverables you require. As mentioned, your project will almost certainly benefit from the first five key deliverables mentioned: project definition, project plan, business proposal, risk overview and a sign-off document. When deciding which deliverables to produce for your project, consider what aspects are most relevant to your company.
It’s crucial to make sure your deliverables in project management are being prepared on time. Time tracking software can make sure everyone on your team stays on top of the deliverables they are responsible for producing. actiTIME creates a more straightforward process for tracking tasks by visualizing insightful data, all to help you deliver your work faster.
Originally published at actitime.com