What Is a Deliverable?

The concept behind a Deliverable is one of the essential concepts in the profession of project management. It is also an important concept to be understood by the exam takers for the  PMP® Certification exam.

Let us take a look at this concept to understand it better.

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What Is a Deliverable?

A deliverable is any product, service, or result that must be completed to finish a project.

Some projects need to develop capabilities to complete a project. These capabilities are also called deliverables. For instance, let us assume that we manufacture the iPhone. In our project, we might need to develop a new manufacturing technique before we can manufacture the product, i.e., iPhone. In this case, the capability that the team develops can also be considered as a deliverable. As per the PMBOK® Guide, deliverables are an important output of the Direct and Manage Project Execution in the Project Integration Management knowledge area.

The writers of the current PMBOK® Guide and many other project management professionals across the globe, advocate that the Work Breakdown Structure should be based on these project deliverables rather than the tasks needed to create these deliverables. While creating a Work Breakdown Structure, these deliverables are further broken down into smaller pieces. This process of decomposition continues until all deliverables are small enough to be considered as work packages.

Classification of Deliverables

Deliverables are usually classified as internal deliverables and external deliverables.

  1. Internal Deliverables: Internal deliverables are usually deliverables that make a project run, but they are not a part of the product that the end-users would like to see. They are deliverables which the project generates internally. Project Management, Configuration Management, Training, and Testing are some examples of internal deliverables.
  2. External Deliverables: External deliverables are usually those that the project delivers to the users or the client. An external deliverable could be an IT system and subsystems that make it up or the resulting organizational transition and benefits from a project to reduce the turnaround time of a process.

Additionally, project management professionals are also known to classify these deliverables by type, as follows.

  1. Project Deliverables: Usually, these are deliverables for the external stakeholders.
  2. Planning Deliverables: Management plans, scheduling, and budgeting, project artifacts, etc.
  3. Activity Deliverables: Status reports, meetings, reviews, etc.

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What Happens to a Deliverable After It Is Created?

After a deliverable is created, it flows through the processes of Perform Quality Control and Verifies Scope until it meets specifications for completeness and correctness.

In the Perform Quality Control process, the deliverables are inspected, measured, and tested to make sure everything that is produced meets the quality standards.

In the Verify Scope process, the deliverables are compared with the documented scope to ensure that everything was completed. This comparison may be performed several times in the life of the project. Formal written acceptance of deliverables by the appropriate stakeholders is an output of the Verify Scope process.

Thus, a deliverable is any product, service, or result required to complete a project. A work breakdown structure is based on these deliverables. Usually, deliverables are categorized into two types, i.e., internal deliverables and external deliverables.

PMP® and PMI® are registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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