In project management, there are many elements that are required to complete a project and to find success. With many different types of meeting deliverables (and more specifically, project management deliverables) required at each phase of the project—including production deliverables, internal deliverables, or external deliverables—it’s essential to be highly organized. Your work breakdown structure, which is a key deliverable that organizes your team’s work into manageable sections, is also important in realizing the requirements of the project. Project management tools are important to leverage, as are different project management softwares for basic functions (like creating gantt charts), or for more complex functions (like cost allocation and meeting management). 

This article is going to cover everything you need to know about meeting deliverables in project management. We’ll take you through what project deliverables are, break them down into tangible items, and finish off with some valuable tips that will bring your project to fruition. 

What are project deliverables? 

Deliverables are any products or results needed to complete a project or a phase within the project. Project deliverables are then the results or output that are agreed on by the team during the project planning phase, and are therefore documented into the project management plan. More specifically, project management deliverables are pieces of formal documentation or logs that reference the details included in every phase of the project from its initiation until close. This documentation allows the team to allocate resources (both personnel and financial), review risks, create mitigation plans, identify the measures that will be used, define the KPIs, and define the overall course of action the project should take.

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What are the deliverables in project management? 

1 Have a kick-off meeting 

The best thing to organize before you begin a new project is a kick-off meeting with your team to discuss how to successfully execute the project ahead. The goal of your project kickoff meeting is for all parties involved to leave the meeting with a clear vision of the project and the deliverables necessary for successful execution. A successful kick-off meeting means stakeholders will be aware of the key milestones and what needs to be completed to achieve them, and includes an introduction to the individual requirements necessary for each team member who will be involved in the project. 

2 Create a project plan 

Next, you need to create a project plan. This is one of the key project management deliverables, and it ensures that all the stakeholders agree on and share the same vision for the project ahead. Your project plan should cover scope management, resource management, stakeholder management, schedule management, meeting management, change management, quality management, and risk management and mitigation plans. As such, your project plan maps out in detail which steps and resources are required for the success of your project. 

3 Take meeting notes

An essential meeting deliverable for successful project management is taking meeting notes. This is a simple yet extremely effective deliverable which documents key points from each meeting that takes place. Your meeting notes serve as historical documentation of the project, including its progress, its changes, and any issues that need to be addressed. Project management meeting notes should include follow-ups on action items, updates from each stream of the business on their progress, any links to important documents or resources, the discussion of any challenges or roadblocks, major decisions, and new action items that will be reviewed at the next meeting. It’s also important to take note of the date, time, and attendees for future reference. 

4 Implement a communication plan

A communication plan is absolutely essential in project management. This plan outlines when and how you’re going to communicate important information to the appropriate project stakeholders, including internal and external individuals and groups. The communication plan should identify how many messages will need to be sent or published over the course of the project, the appropriate stage for each message, to whom the message will be sent, through which channel (i.e., an email, a meeting, an update on a website, a phone call), and on which dates. This plan will also outline the individuals responsible for disseminating these messages. 

5 Conduct performance reviews 

Performance reviews don’t need to be left until after a project has been completed. You can conduct performance reviews at any stage of the project to go over the productivity of the team, identify challenges, and review costs and the efficacy of particular streams of the business working with others. Most project management teams use time-tracking systems or project management systems to assign tasks to the team, manage timelines, calculate costs, review progress, and more. Performance reviews are essential project management deliverables because they allow you to identify any risks or challenges before they become more serious issues. These reviews are also a way for the whole team to stay on the same page and in the know about the progress of the project and what still needs to be completed. 

5 meeting deliverables tips

1 Define clear deliverables

If you don’t clearly define your project deliverables before the project begins, it creates a lot of risk that will need to be mitigated constantly. This is a huge waste of time and resources. Instead, define clear objectives and variables (including both tangible or intangible, internal or external deliverables), so your team will gain a strong understanding of what’s trying to be achieved and can begin to work towards this goal. The project needs to be highly detailed so the team can fully understand the goals that are to be met. If the deliverables are vague, team members can’t be productive because they can’t clearly understand why they’re doing what they’re doing. It’s important to slowly gather the appropriate information, and an adequate amount of information, before the project begins instead of rushing into the first phase unprepared. 

2 Keep everything documented

In project management, everything needs to be documented, organized well, and stored well. You’re often going to have to refer back to previous meeting notes, supporting documents, progress reports, action item logs, budgets, etc., to understand what comes next as the project progresses. This is why your work breakdown structure is essential to the project’s success. Not only does it need to be documented, but it also needs to be continuously updated as soon as something changes or is completed. Ensure you have an appropriate and adequate work breakdown structure, project charters, schedules, financial plans, change management documents, quality control reports, project resourcing and any other essential documentation well stored and constantly updated to remain current. Ensure all appropriate stakeholders and employees have access. 

3 Have no assumptions

Unless something is explicitly stated (which is typically only effective in writing), don’t make any kinds of assumptions about meeting deliverables. When we make assumptions, we’re omitting important communication between ourselves and the team. This is going to negatively impact productivity, because it’s likely that tasks will need to be redone to be aligned with exactly what has happened, rather than what we assume may have taken place. Having the ability to predict outcomes can be a great competence in project management, but making the wrong assumptions can have serious consequences for the success of a project. Instead of making inferences, choose to communicate with the stakeholders involved with the project to ensure that what you believe is true actually exists within the confounds of the project. Doing so will eliminate uncertainty and the need to re-do tasks, because they’ll be executed appropriately the first time. 

4 Delegate tasks evenly 

As project managers or those involved in the project management process, we often think it’s more productive to do everything ourselves, but this mindset is mistaken. It’s actually much more productive to delegate tasks to your team. Learning how to delegate effectively is an important skill any project manager who wants to be effective in the management and execution of a project should master. Delegating tasks to others tends to empower and motivate them, diversify their skillset, and build trust with them. There’s only so much you can accomplish in one work day, so why not use your skilled team to support you in realizing project success?

5 Have a collaborative agenda 

Create a collaborative agenda for your project management meeting deliverables. Not only does this encourage and empower your team to provide their suggestions for the meeting agenda, but it also keeps you organized and aware of pertinent topics that need to be discussed. This agenda will also hold all the individuals involved accountable to complete their action items and to provide updates where they’ve been requested to. Your collaborative meeting agenda will make your team more productive and more collaborative as a whole. You can even include incomplete action items so you can ensure everything is tracked and followed up on. 

Parting advice 

There are many meeting deliverables to take into account in project management. For this reason, successful projects require strong organization and communication from you and your team members. Your key meeting deliverables need to be clearly defined and understood before the project has even begun. If your project plans (including your work breakdown structure, project charters, schedules, financial planning, etc.) aren’t appropriately defined and documented, it will be impossible to be productive or efficient. Follow these five tips to successfully complete your meeting deliverables, and see what kind of a meaningful impact they’ll make on your project management accomplishments!