Deliverable is a term used in project management to describe a tangible or intangible object produced as a result of the project that is intended to be delivered to a customer (either internal or external). A deliverable could be a report, a document, a work package, a server upgrade or any other building block of an overall project.
A deliverable may be composed of multiple smaller deliverables. It may be either an outcome to be achieved (as in "The corporation says that becoming profitable this year is a deliverable.") or an output to be provided (as in "The deliverable for the completed project consists of a special-purpose electronic device and its controlling software.").
A deliverable differs from a project milestone in that a milestone is a measurement of progress toward an output whereas the deliverable is the result of the process. For a typical project, a milestone might be the completion of a product design while the deliverable might be the technical diagram of the product.
A deliverable is more than just a project document in that a project document is typically part of a project deliverable. A project deliverable may contain a number of documents and physical things. In construction, a deliverable (work package) is a broken down piece of a project managed by a Workface planner.
A deliverable is something (hard or soft) that can be ready to dispatch to the site or the Client as partial item of the supply foreseen in the contract. e.g. when the project has started some part of the design (when settled), can be anticipated to the sub-supplier who has therefore the possibility of starting his purchase activity of raw material, even if many other parameters are not yet designed by the designer.
In this way many time-savings are possible, shortening greatly the whole project final supply term. This designing activity can be represented in the drawings with a "cloud" around a not yet designed part and means: "this part (size, or other characteristics)will be studied later". The part settled can be "delivered" to the interested parties.
- Kermit Burley, What Is a Deliverable in Project Management? Houston Chronicle Small Business section, Hearst Corporation, 2013.
- Goal: Define project deliverables. Microsoft Office website. Accessed December 9, 2013.
- Cutting, Thomas Deliverable-based Project Schedules: Part 1, PM Hut (Last accessed 8 November 2009).
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