The output that is completed during a construction project is considered a project deliverable. It is the project manager’s job to define, track, and manage all those project deliverables for each job they are in charge of.
There are a few different criteria that must be met in order for an output to be defined as a project deliverable. Those criteria are as follows:
- The output must be within the scope of the project
- All stakeholders, whether internal or external, must agree to them
- The output must be the result of deliberate work
- The output must have a definitive role in accomplishing the objective of the project
Despite these criteria, basically, everything can be a project deliverable for a construction job. All project deliverables can be completed on their own or they can be stacked with numerous smaller deliverables within one larger deliverable. Some project deliverables may rely on previous project deliverables, which means that those cannot be completed until the prior ones are finished.
The goal is to meet every single project deliverable on time, as that is the only way to ensure that a project will be finished by the deadline. It is for that reason that it is necessary to define, manage, and track every single project deliverable.
Since it can be extremely difficult to keep track of every project deliverable, most project managers will divide them into internal and external. The internal project deliverables are ones that have nothing to do with clients or customers, while the external ones are completed to keep clients happy and to win more bids in the future. If that is too confusing, all anyone needs to think about is whether the project deliverable is going to leave the company. Only when the answer is yes will the project deliverable be an external one.
These project deliverables are completely different than milestones within a project, even though they seem quite similar. A milestone is a basic checkpoint within a project, and they can be inserted at any time to show important activities. No milestone will ever have a deadline or an impact on the objective of the job.
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It is also important to note that project deliverables are not the same as process deliverables. A process deliverable is basically the path that construction companies take to achieve the completion of project deliverables. A few process deliverables are the project scope statement, the creation of the project plan, and the developing of the work breakdown structure. While all those things make achieving the project deliverables easier, they are in no way required.
Here are 9 of the main project deliverables that everyone will see within the construction industry:
- The engineering reports
- Product quality enhancement
- Design drawings
- Design documents
- A completed product – this can be a building, bridge, or anything else the construction company was building
- A site investigation report
- Any design reviews
- Progress reports
In order for a project manager to determine if the project deliverables meet the necessary criteria, there are certain questions that they can ask.
Here are the questions that are most commonly asked to determine whether the criteria have been met for a project deliverable:
- What is the entire project trying to achieve?
- What is the end result that the client wants once the project is completed?
- What are the constituent parts of the objective of the project?
- What is the function and form of those constituent parts?
- How important is this one thing to the overall project?
- How will the part be acquired or created?
- What is the cost to either create or acquire the part that is in question?
- How much time will it take to create or acquire the part in question?
It is necessary for the project deliverables to be defined before the work is started, because each new one will change not only the scope of the project but also the cost. A lot of documentation is needed for each project deliverable, as requirements need to be given and explained in complete detail.
The project plan should have a complete list of project deliverables, as well as their deadlines and the team who is responsible for each one. Creating milestones and tying them to the project deliverables is an easier way to keep track of some of them. The others should be tracked using project management software, as it is less time consuming that tracking everything on paper.
The software can be adjusted to meet the needs of the project manager who is keeping track of the project deliverables, but it should be used to its fullest potential to ensure that the smallest detail is not missed.
Every construction company has project deliverables to keep track of and they must stay on top of them all if they want to be successful, not only with their current job, but future ones as well.