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For every project that you and your team works on, there are always outputs expected. Each member of your team will need to have to accomplish something to help the project succeed. It can be an article, an image, a website mockup, a video, or the like. It can also come in other forms such as sales, website visitors or new customers. Depending on the nature of your project, there will always be project deliverables which you and your team will need to come up with and provide.

What are Project Deliverables?

Project deliverables come in different types and forms. It can be as big as your project’s overall objective or as small as your daily accomplishment report while working on the project. It is any output that is a result of the work done within a project. To make sure that you are properly tracking the productivity and success of your entire team, you will need to understand what your project deliverables are. Knowing what to expect from each work rendered by your team is essential in helping you define your project deliverables clearly.

How to Define Project Deliverables

Defining deliverables is an essential part of planning projects as this will help your team understand how to do their tasks more efficiently. Knowing what the goals and project deliverables are will help you come up with a good action plan. It’s important to understand that project deliverables have two components: 

  • the acceptance criteria for the deliverable
  • the deliverable itself.

In one project there can be various deliverables, depending on what is needed to accomplish the whole project. To help you clearly define your project deliverables, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Objective of the project
  • Desired specific outcome once the project is done
  • People involved in the project
  • Roles and tasks of each people in the project
  • Importance of each role and task
  • How each member of the project should handle their role
  • Tools and resources needed to come up with the deliverable
  • Time needed to accomplish each deliverable

Breaking down the objectives within each project can help you identify what outputs should be expected from each member of the team. At the same time, knowing what tools and resources are available can also help you set realistic expectations when it comes to the speed and quality of the delivery. Identifying the importance of each task and role within the project will also help you build a leaner process and allow your team to focus only on what is important. To help you get a better picture of how to clearly define project deliverables, let’s take a look at an example. 

Let’s say you are in charge of a content management project for an ecommerce business. For content management, most objectives include:

  • Maintain regular publication of content for the brand’s marketing blog and social media pages
  • Increase website visitors and improve brand’s social media presence
  • Improve online conversion
  • Enhance customer experience

Once the main objectives are identified, you can create more specific goals that you’d like to achieve:

  • Publish content twice a week and share link on social media
  • Increase number of monthly website visitors and social media followers by 50%
  • Improve online conversion rate by at least 2%
  • Gain customer satisfaction rate of at least 80%

Other details to identify for a content management project include the following:

  • People involved in the project (along with their tasks and importance of their role)
    • Content manager – to come up with a relevant content strategy and oversee the whole project
    • Content writers – to regularly create content based on topics provided by content manager
    • SEO specialist – to research keywords and to help devise ideas in improving site’s search engine rankings
    • Graphic designer – to create and/or search images relevant to the content to be published on the website or shared on social media.
    • Social media manager – manage posting of content and respond to comments or inquiries on social media.
  • Tools and resources needed to come up with the deliverable
    • Content Management System
    • Project Management software
    • Communication tool
    • Keyword Research tool
    • Graphic Design software
    • Stock images source
  • Time needed to accomplish each deliverable
    • Produce relevant content, images and social media posts twice a week.

By identifying these details, a content management team can more efficiently handle the whole project by using the right tools and resources, thus, making sure that goals are met within the deadline set. Once you have identified these details, you can now define your project deliverables. For a content management team, the expected deliverables can be as followed:

  • Content manager
      • Content strategy
      • Ideas for content
      • Publication of content on blog and social media
      • Overall improved website traffic and social media presence for the brand
  • Content writers
      • Well-written content
  • SEO specialist
      • Keywords to be used for the whole content strategy and for the articles to be published regularly
      • Ideas on how the website can get better rankings on social media
  • Graphic designer
      • Branded and custom images for the blog and social media posts
      • Brand-relevant stock images relevant to blog and social media
  • Social media manager
    • Regular and constant social media posts
    • Interaction with followers

Tips on Managing Project Deliverables

To help project managers stay on top of the whole project and make sure that the overall process is done efficiently, here are some tips on how to manage project deliverables more efficiently.

  1. Identify project deliverables clearly

You should already understand by now the importance and benefits of clearly defining your project deliverables. This should always be one of the first things a project manager should do as this will help set your team’s next steps towards meeting the project’s success. 

  1. Set your team up for success

Once you have identified what your project deliverables will be, it’s important that you also build a team that is well-equipped with the skills necessary for the project’s success. Moreover, you should provide your team with the guidance, tools and resources that they will need to help them become an effective part of your team. You should also create a process that your team should follow when it comes to creating, organizing and submitting their deliverables.

  1. Set deadlines

See to it that each person involved in the project is aware of the deadlines that they have to meet, be it for their individual tasks or for the whole project. This will help your team understand which tasks to prioritize and how to work on meeting the deadlines and criteria you have set for each deliverable.

  1. Maintain open communication with the team

Provide your team with a way to communicate with you and with the other members of the team. A communication tool is now a necessity, especially if you want to successfully manage a remote team. This helps eliminate misunderstanding and make sure that everyone in your team gets proper guidance on how they should accomplish their tasks. It’s also important that you set up a communication protocol to make sure that everyone in the team is using your communication channels accordingly.

Use a project management tool

There is a large selection of visual project management tools available on the internet. There are also different approaches available for project managers to use to be able to monitor the progress of the different project deliverables and make sure that each member of the team is being productive. Some project management methods include Agile, Scrum, Lean, Waterfall, as well as the Kanban methodology. It’s important that you choose the right method that will help you more efficiently keep track of the progress of the whole project.

Keep Track of Your Project Deliverables with Kanban

Apart from defining your project deliverables, it’s also important for project managers to keep track of how the team is accomplishing their individual tasks for the success of the whole project. If you are thinking of implementing a project management methodology, try using Kanban. With a virtual Kanban board such as Kanban Zone, you can also improve the focus and collaboration of your team by providing a visual of how your project is progressing.

About the Author: Christine Joy Leal

Christine Joy Leal is an experienced freelance writer and content manager, a happy wife and a mother to two daughters, two dogs and two cats. She loves keeping things in order and enjoys using the Kanban and Agile methodologies to manage all her writing projects, daily tasks, and other personal matters that require efficient organization. Apart from managing her busy content writing career, she also enjoys board and online games, movies, TV shows, and crocheting. She also maintains a blog about her work as a freelance content writer.

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