Teams throw around the term “project deliverables” like candy at a parade these days. It’s sometimes difficult to determine what your client or internal team members mean when they use this term.
And it’s even more challenging to get on the same page if you don’t have a clearly defined process for determining and managing project deliverables. Without strategic project management, the Project Management Institute says 67% more projects fail outright.
No wonder why your project manager probably feels sick to their stomach whenever someone adds another deliverable to an already poorly planned project.
Have no fear! We’re here to help!
We’ll help you uncover how to consistently deliver value to your customers, prioritize tasks for scope management, and streamline resource distribution.
This guide breaks down how to align internal and external teams on project deliverables so you keep clients happy, teams more efficient, and profit margins in the green.
- What Are Project Deliverables?
- Types of project deliverables
- Examples of Project Deliverables for Different Teams
- How to Choose Project Deliverables for Your Team
- Steps to Manage Project Deliverables
- 7 Project Deliverable Templates to Get You Started
What Are Project Deliverables?
Project deliverables are the individual tasks that fulfill a project’s total scope and contribute to project objectives.
Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, you can’t complete projects without contributing inputs. That’s what project deliverables are; the building blocks in your project plan.
Types of project deliverables
The types of deliverables are determined by function and which team is responsible for delivering it. For example:
Internal vs. external
Deliverables aren’t only for clients. They also work as a way to help your internal teams to stay on track.
For example, an internal deliverable may be a blog draft a content writer submits to your editing team. An external deliverable would be the final blog draft the content writer presents to the client.
Process vs. product
Process deliverables are procedural tasks that help move the project forward (e.g., brand audit checklist). On the other hand, product deliverables fulfill specifics of the services described in the project scope (e.g., completed branding guide).
Big vs. small
It’s crucial to divide deliverables according to their size or impact on project progress so you accurately estimate workloads and prioritize resource allocation. For example, a big deliverable for a website development project would be finishing the product catalog database.
On the other hand, a small deliverable might be creating templates for individual product pages.
Tangible vs. Intangible
Some project elements don’t require a physical handoff. However, these resources are still essential to the project’s success. This would refer to intangible project deliverables.
For example, knowledge transfer in the form of a client onboarding and training program is vital to the success of a project. However, it may not include a physical document handoff.
Tangible deliverables are parts of a project that have form and substance. For example, a tangible deliverable would be a training manual.
Examples of Project Deliverables for Different Teams
Project deliverables will differ depending of your team. To give you a better idea of project deliverables here are four team examples of project deliverables:
- Social media content calendar
- Email marketing campaign
- Brand messaging guidelines
- Website redesign mockups
- Logo design
- Product packaging design
- Product roadmap
- User stories
- Feature specifications
- Onboarding program for new hires
- Employee engagement survey results and action plan
- Company culture handbook
What aren’t project deliverables?
In every bag of parade candy, there are probably at least a couple of pieces masquerading as candy (looking at you, Tootsie Rolls). Similarly, sometimes folks have difficulty distinguishing between project deliverables and other parts of the project, like:
- Project milestones: These are stages of a project but not actual deliverables. A project deliverable can contribute to reaching project milestones. For example, a branding guide (project deliverable) might signal the completion of “brand asset development” (milestone) in a branding and marketing project
- Project goals and objectives: They measure the destination or outcomes you want to arrive at through your team’s work. However, they’re not what you use to get there. A project goal might be to increase inbound leads by 20%, while SEO content may be a project deliverable that contributes to the success of that KPI
- The final product: This is made up of contributing pieces (i.e., the product deliverables) but is not the same as those individual pieces. The final product may be a fully-developed app, but the key deliverables contributing to that final product were the UI wireframes, design elements, and much more
These aspects are important parts of a project—they’re just not project deliverables.
How to Choose Project Deliverables for Your Team
Now that you know what qualifies for your internal and external project deliverables, you may wonder how to choose the deliverables for a given project.
First, there is no set number of project deliverables; the number of deliverables depends on project requirements, project timeline, budget, and agreed-upon terms. However, these elements should be subjected to your project hierarchy (also known as a Work Breakdown Structure or WBS) before moving on to identifying project deliverables.
This will help your internal team maintain workflow continuity across projects.
To figure out deliverables for your client project, break down the assignment into bite-sized tasks. Start by asking yourself what the project’s goals are and how your product contributes to meeting those goals.
Then see what actionable ClickUp Tasks need to happen to deliver that product or service and meet the project goal. Those actionable tasks are your project deliverables.
Say a client brings your team on for an Instagram marketing campaign. Through conversations with the client, you agree that the scope of work will include 10 static posts and reels to reach their campaign goals.
For your copywriters, designers, and video producers, there will be 10 static images, captions, and video clips. These project deliverable breakdowns give you and your team a clear sense of the work ahead—helping you allocate resources, stay within scope and budget, and deliver on time.
Steps to Manage Project Deliverables
If you’ve worked with clients, you know random tasks come up all the time. In fact, Rebel’s Guide to Project Management found 59% of project managers say they manage between two and five projects at a time.
So, how do you or your project manager handle project deliverables when juggling multiple client projects simultaneously? Establish clear priorities and task owners from the start, and delegate the busy work to AI.
1. Establish the scope of work and get written agreement from all stakeholders
Don’t leave your project to chance. Start every project by outlining its requirements with the client in your kickoff meeting. Determine each task’s project type, priority, usable hours, and budget.
Once you determine your project deliverables, it is paramount that internal and external project stakeholders agree to them and sign a written business agreement (also known as a project charter).
This document provides a central source of truth if there are any disputes along the way and unifies you and your client toward a common goal. The project charter will outline expectations and authorizations and delegate responsibilities to internal and external stakeholders.
Signing an agreement doesn’t mean your projects can’t evolve; it simply allows you to revisit the project scope of work statement and protect your team from being overworked and underpaid.
2. Determine team bandwidth and distribute work accordingly
Distribute the workload according to your team’s skills and individual bandwidth. Monitor what teams and individuals are working on, the demands of each project deliverable, and team priorities to spread out assignments evenly.
Easier said than done when you’re drowning in multiple projects! But with the ClickUp Workload management view, it’s as easy as opening your dashboard.
ClickUp makes your life easier by tracking workload in your team’s specific production metrics instead of generic productivity measurements. ClickUp’s fully customizable workload features custom fields so you can track team workload in whatever way fits your team dynamic and process deliverables.
Some teams may prefer to measure workload in sprint points, while others may measure workload in task volume or time estimates. Using a centralized project management tool is foundational to efficient team management, regardless of how your organization measures team workload.
For example, 93% of employees at STANLEY Security said switching to ClickUp helped them better organize and prioritize their work. Additionally, 72% of employees reported reduced work overload and stress.
3. Automate the busy work to increase focus on critical activities
It’s easy for project quality to suffer when you’re bogged down with client admin work and team communications. The good news is automation can take that busy work off your plate.
In ClickUp, teams can use tags to automatically notify others when internal or external deliverables are ready and keep the project objectives moving forward. Automation tags also leave a clear audit trail with direct links to deliverables, reducing the need for the constant back-and-forth asking for project updates.
Companies that use ClickUp tell us they have more space to focus on high-level tasks thanks to our tool. In fact, the same STANLEY Security study found that 86% of employees spent more time focusing on high-level critical activities with the help of ClickUp automation and 80% saw improved teamwork.
The impact of automation isn’t limited to employee anecdotes either. A report from McKinsey discovered two-thirds of companies see multiple benefits with automated workflows including—but not limited to—improving product quality, reducing costs, and increasing customer satisfaction.
4. Mitigate project issues before they impact project deliverables
An efficient project manager anticipates and mitigates issues before they impact project deliverables. But this proactive approach is nearly impossible if you don’t have the right tools.
ClickUp solves this by providing a comprehensive view of real-time project status with a single click. A project manager can keep a close eye on project progress across multiple metrics to mitigate delays before their team misses milestones on the project schedule or exceeds the budget.
When you can see if a project is trending in the wrong direction at a glance, ClickUp makes it easy to step in with a mediation plan for the project scope before it gets beyond your control. In fact, you can even check the status of projects based on budget remaining, hours remaining, status, and much more.
7 Project Deliverable Templates to Get You Started
Want to manage all of your project’s tasks faster? We’ve got your project scope covered.
Use one (or many!) of our seven key project deliverables templates to see ClickUp in action. Already on another platform?
We’ve made it easy to import your projects and tasks into ClickUp, so see which template or templates best fits your need, and be ready to never look back!
1. ClickUp Budgeted Project Management Template
Need a high-level view of your tasks by project type, status, assignee, completion rate, or by remaining budget? You’re going to love the easy-to-use ClickUp Budgeted Project Management Template.
Get started with some preset tasks and subtasks to see how your project budget could be managed in by tasks in ClickUp.
2. ClickUp Getting Things Done Template
What project deliverables do you have in waiting, ready to do, scheduled, or delegated? The ClickUp Getting Things Done (GTD) Template, which is based on David Allen’s GTD system, allows you to organize all your projects and tasks by recording and breaking them into actionable work items.
This template makes it simple to:
- Use pre-built custom fields to organize tasks
- Prioritizing tasks by the due date, effort, budget, time, and more
- Provide access to collaborative documents for your entire team
3. ClickUp Impact Effort Matrix Template
Collaborate across teams and ensure alignment before starting a project by considering the task’s value and risk in this ClickUp list template. The ClickUp Impact Effort Matrix Template works as a visual list to show the level of “jurisdiction” to move on with the activity before you can complete a project.
The ClickUp list view allows teams to collaborate by creating custom fields and prioritization settings to simplify your workflow no matter if you’re handling external or internal deliverables.
4. ClickUp Project Charter Template
ClickUp’s Project Charter Template is your simple solution to documenting everything you need for your project from start to finish. In this ClickUp Doc, you can easily manage project scope with the ability to:
- Assign comments in the doc to internal stakeholders
- Work simultaneously together on the same exact doc
- Provide private or public link access to external stakeholders
5. ClickUp PMO Teams Template
Looking for a simple introduction to managing projects within a task management platform? Use ClickUp’s PMO Team Template to see your tasks in phases along with due dates, priority levels, assigned teams and contributors, and project budget.
With this template, you can move quickly through your project management process with:
- Quick views into subtasks
- Multiple task assignees
- Full view of project phases (customizable to your needs)
- Simple drag-and-drop features to adjust and plan tasks
6. ClickUp Employee Workload Template
If you’re wanting to speed up the process of tracking employee workloads, ClickUp’s Employee Workload Template is the perfect starting point. This template will help you add team members, assign projects, add time estimates, use task volume, or track by sprint points to know who is working on what.
Our workload management features allow leads to manage team resources and workloads so you can easily plan new projects and allocate tasks or projects based on team capacity. Now, you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of your individual contributors so you know much work is actually assigned out.
7. ClickUp Work Breakdown Whiteboard Template
Get the big picture with this ClickUp Whiteboard template to ensure everything can move along swiftly. Using this ClickUp’s Work Breakdown Template helps you track external or internal deliverables for each stage and phase of the team involved.
One of the best initial steps you can take to build out a larger project in ClickUp is to break down the overall scope into smaller project deliverables.
Bonus: WBS Software
Effectively Manage Project Deliverables with ClickUp
ClickUp is the one app to replace them all. Tasks, docs, chat, and more are all brought together in one project management software with over 1,000 integrations so you can effectively manage project deliverables.
The ability for every team to collaborate in one system creates unparalleled transparency across the organization for more efficient project execution. Let your team quickly identify capacity, plan overall projects more accurately, and ultimately drive project deliverables rather than just tracking them.
You don’t need to live in fear of progress reports for your clients. Experience what it feels like to manage project deliverables instead of them managing you.
Choose between a myriad of project management templates in our library and start using ClickUp to manage your project deliverables today!