Project Deliverables 101: Everything You Need to Know
If you work in the world of marketing, you’ve probably heard the phrase “project deliverables” thrown around a lot. Most people have a decent notion of what this term means, but is your understanding completely accurate? Here’s a deep dive to sharpen your marketing knowledge and boost the quality of your project deliverables.
What Are Project Deliverables?
Broadly, this term refers to the tangible end product that’s generated at the conclusion of a project. That’s right. These deliverables are the reasons projects exist in the first place!
But it’s not quite that simple because many project deliverables have entirely different audiences. In other words, project deliverables have a lot of nuances.
The precise definition will often vary according to the type of industry or specific department. For example, manufacturing companies might find that their project deliverables are clothing or electronics.
Within agencies and marketing departments, there’s a wide range of potential project deliverables, which vary according to the goals of the project and the department that’s executing it. For example, one project might require a new series of landing pages, while another might require a printed brochure.
These deliverables also have different audiences. Sometimes, project deliverables are intended for internal stakeholders. Other times, these deliverables have to be delivered to external stakeholders.
It’s important for businesses to be able to guarantee the quality of their project deliverables by establishing a strong review and approval process. This process varies according to whether the project deliverables are going to internal or external stakeholders.
Project Deliverables vs Process Deliverables
Process deliverables are important deliverables that make sure projects are perfectly planned, managed, and executed.
Since these deliverables come in all shapes and sizes, project managers are often responsible for creating them. This term refers to documents such as project schedules, project budgets, and business cases.
Process deliverables are sometimes confused with project deliverables. It’s important for project managers to be able to distinguish between the two, so they more fully understand their tasks and responsibilities. If project managers create truly brilliant process deliverables, their projects are destined to be successful.
Examples of Project Deliverables for Marketing Agencies and Departments
These examples will help give you a clearer picture of what project deliverables are.
Every day, marketing teams around the world work on a wide range of project deliverables. They range from large-scale deliverables like websites and whitepapers to smaller deliverables like blog articles and social media posts.
Each marketing project deliverable has a distinct goal and purpose, which are often united by the fact that they all exist to transmit an important message.
Design departments create a huge range of project deliverables. These professionals apply their skill sets to produce a lot of project deliverables (such as wireframes, print documents, logos, and retouched images).
(Source: UX Design Mastery)
To make sure these project deliverables abide by brand guidelines and standards, it’s important to have a rigid review and approval process in place.
Branding is often a very abstract, creative field of work. But branding professionals often have to deliver things like branding guidelines, style guidelines, and tone-of-voice guidelines.
Branding professionals often partner with marketing and design professionals to get help with the execution of their visions. This partnership helps marketers create truly effective branding deliverables.
Film and Video Deliverables
Thanks to faster internet speeds and the spread of video-capable devices, video is more popular than ever before. In other words, film departments around the world work tirelessly to create a range of film deliverables (such as video content and social media posts).
Since file sizes and feedback are key issues, it’s often difficult to collaborate on film deliverables. So platforms like Filestage have emerged to reimagine the review and approval process.
Almost everyone loves being creative. But a few lucky professionals around the world work very hard to channel their creativity into producing a wide range of project deliverables (such as music, illustrations, and animations).
Since each creative professional has his or her own creative process, it’s important for project managers to create a robust, effective process that will keep projects moving along at a predictable pace.
Public relations is a very important field for both large and small businesses across a wide range of industries. PR helps businesses communicate important news and share their updates by using a range of project deliverables (such as press releases).
PR is a vibrant, evolving world, where new project deliverables are constantly emerging. Examples of these new project deliverables are events and partnerships.
Project management is a tough yet rewarding field. For project managers, one of the biggest challenges is guiding complex projects to completion. So these projects often result in an agile deliverable that evolves over time.
Agile deliverables are created in an iterative way. In other words, they can be adjusted and pivoted according to the latest changes. So teams can adjust their approaches and implement new technologies as needed.
Many businesses around the world create project deliverables (such as marketing collateral and consumer goods) for external stakeholders.
Since it’s imperative for these deliverables to meet quality control standards, the review and approval process must be properly outlined.
Web development teams are in high demand, and they use a range of technologies to create web deliverables (such as websites, landing pages, and web-based applications) for both internal and external stakeholders.
Since web deliverables are often very complex, a lot of skills are required to create them. Therefore, web development teams adopt agile project management methodologies to create the most effective web deliverables possible.
User experience (UX) is at the heart of every great application and product. Designers create a wide range of UX deliverables (such as interactive prototypes, wireframes, experience maps, and personas) to make applications and products that are simple, pleasant, and intuitive. These deliverables come together to create a truly amazing user experience.
How to Define Project Deliverables (including a Checklist)
Developing a plan for creating project deliverables can be more complicated than most people realize at first. Since having a solid plan is so important, here’s a closer look at ways to develop one.
Step 1: Look at the big picture, and ask the right questions.
First things first: You’ll want to zoom out and get a complete view of your project. From this perspective, you’ll be able to see what the goals of the project are, why it’s being executed, and what you’ll need in order to be successful.
To get a better idea of the project deliverables you’ll need, you’ll want to answer the following questions:
- What’s the overall purpose of this project?
You’ll want to start by exploring exactly what the client wants to achieve. For example, let’s imagine that your client Bjorn wants to enhance his online presence and organically attract new customers.
- What does the client hope to achieve from the project?
Now it’s time to think about the specific goals of your user. Perhaps, Bjorn wants to acquire a certain number of new customers or increase organic conversions by a specific percentage.
- To help you meet the project objective, what do you need to produce?
Next, you’ll need to list the project deliverables that can help you achieve your goal. For instance, Bjorn might need a new website.
- How are these items going to be produced?
Now you should assess the viability of these project deliverables. Does your team have the capacity to create these project deliverables? Does Bjorn? Producing project deliverables costs money. Is Bjorn’s budget large enough to cover these costs? More specifically, are these suggestions viable from a budgetary perspective?
- Does your client have enough time to produce these items?
Even if a project deliverable is ideal for the project, perhaps it isn’t appropriate if you can’t realistically produce it in a timely way.
Step 2: Start establishing the requirements for the project deliverable.
Now that you have a better idea of the project deliverables you need to complete, it’s time to dig a little deeper into those deliverables.
You’ll need to accurately define the requirements of each project deliverable. You’ll also need to understand what the requirements are, who’s going to assess whether you meet these requirements, and how.
First, the client should accurately list his or her their requirements, so you can establish a project scope. Returning to the above example, perhaps Bjorn decides that his top priority is a new website after he lists his requirements.
Step 3: Break the project deliverables into key phases.
Now that the requirements have been established, it’s time for the project manager to work his or her magic, and break the project deliverables down into smaller chunks.
This exercise will help project managers develop a timeline while better defining the deliverables. For the purposes of this exercise, let’s say the project manager’s name is Keith. He’ll delve deeper into the details of each deliverable, in order to make sure they’re accurate and feasible.
Step 4: Develop critical metrics.
Now that the deliverables have been broken up into smaller phases, it’s time for Keith to start developing the metrics that will guide the project.
He’ll want to carefully establish deadlines and goals, in terms of scope and budget. In addition, he’ll carefully work alongside key stakeholders to make sure everybody understands the metrics for the project deliverables.
This step helps drive transparency and expectations within the project. Keith can refer to the project metrics over the course of the project, in order to assess its progress and pinpoint how the project is moving along.
Step 5: Plan the review and approval stage.
When it comes to defining project deliverables, it’s critical for project managers to carefully consider the review and approval stage.
Since this stage is often neglected during the planning phase, it can spiral out of control. So if Keith isn’t careful, overlooking it can affect the quality and cost of a given project deliverable.
Therefore, Keith will want to assess how long it will take to review and approve a chosen project deliverable. This figure will vary according to a range of factors, so he has to be prepared for anything.
It’s also important to use the right tool during the review and approval process. Filestage offers project managers a better way to manage the review and approval of videos, graphics, and marketing projects. Ultimately, this feature saves time, drives transparency, and enhances the final quality of the deliverables.
Project Deliverables Template
Looking for a resource that will help you get a clearer picture of your project deliverables? We have just what you’re looking for.
Start by downloading our project deliverables template. This free document will help you plan out your project deliverables, and ensure they’re accurate, effective, and of the highest quality.
This helpful template gives you a space to list every deliverable within your project, and add a range of critical information. You’ll be able to add a description and assign an owner while you adjust the status of each deliverable over time.
7 Pro Tips for Managing Deliverables
When it comes to managing your project deliverables, there’s a lot of nuance. Here’s a look at seven pro tips to boost your chances of success.
1. Don’t neglect the planning stage.
As we saw above, it’s critical that project managers really take the reins and define the project deliverables for a given project. This step simply cannot be skipped.
To really nail down the details for project deliverables, managers should hone their project management abilities and rely on their expertise. You’ll often find that stakeholders have the tendency to commit to vague goals and project deliverables, which can create chaos down the line.
If you can inspire your team to focus on accurately defining project deliverables, you’ll save a lot of time and effort later. And you’ll impress your stakeholders.
2. Determine whether your deliverables are intended for internal or external stakeholders.
The audience for your project deliverables will vary, depending on a range of factors. So it’s important to determine whether you’re working for an internal or external audience.
Your audience will dictate a lot of the processes you follow, including the exact ways your project deliverables are defined. For example, you might find that internal project deliverables are less pressing, so you should only focus on them during downtimes.
If you understand exactly who you’re working for, it will be easier to deliver accurate, high-quality project deliverables.
3. Don’t define your deliverables in isolation.
As a project manager, you’ll frequently define your project deliverables. So it could frequently be tempting to take the lead and define these deliverables based on your own experience.
But this trap is dangerous. If you define your project deliverables in isolation, you may miss important details and neglect particular requests. So you should always work as hard as possible to define the project deliverables as a team.
This tactic will help you make sure you define your project deliverables as realistically and transparently as possible. Then everyone will stay on the same page, and you’ll be able to more easily manage your expectations.
4. Don’t confuse process deliverables and project deliverables.
Project managers have to understand the difference between these kinds of deliverables. By clearly differentiating them, you’ll more fully understand your responsibilities, and you’ll know exactly what you need to do to plan and execute each project.
If you understand this distinction, you’ll discover ways to utilize process deliverables to expedite your project deliverables. And your project managers will more fully understand the best ways to facilitate their projects.
5. Make sure everyone is informed.
The larger your team, the greater the margin for error. Even at the best of times, it can be very tough to manage a team and help them collaborate with one another.
You might find that one team member has run into an issue with their portion of the project deliverable, which could lead to delays further down the line. For example, a lack of transparency in your project could seriously compromise your deadlines.
Therefore, it’s very important for project managers to make sure that everyone is informed about the status of project deliverables. To make the necessary adjustments, they need to be aware of the potential risks.
6. Use the right tools.
Since you might have a team of internal and external stakeholders that can make communication difficult, it can be tough to achieve total transparency and share key updates.
So it’s very important to find the right tools that will help you effectively manage your project deliverables. You’ll want to call on a suite of project management tools. Then you can keep everyone in the loop, share your important updates, and adjust your project timeline.
You’ll also want to use a range of specialist tools to help you complete important areas, such as the review and approval of your project deliverables. At this point, we recommend using our own platform, Filestage.
7. Remain vigilant.
The most important way to effectively manage your project deliverables is to remain vigilant. As the project manager, it’s your responsibility to maintain a bird’s-eye view of your project and find out how it’s moving along.
As soon as something changes, you should consider ways it could create tidal waves throughout your project. The faster you’re able to respond, the more effectively you’ll be able to mitigate risks.
As you can see, there’s a lot more to project deliverables than most people realize! We hope this deep dive has given you a new perspective, and that it helps you enhance the quality of your project deliverables!
Max is a SaaS enthusiast and loves actionable content that provides direct value.