Differences between goals, requirements and deliverables

What is a goal?

A goal is an overarching statement that is meant to provide overall context for an outcome of a project. (Mochal) This outcome is a summary statement of the business value of the project.

An example of a goal within a company would be: “To make all warranty documents and all technical service processes related to warranties electronic.”

A goal differs from a requirement in its complexity and audience. The goal is defined at the beginning of the project while a requirement is meticulously collected by the project manager to meet that goal afterwards in the planning phase.

What is a requirement?

A requirement is a detailed requisite collected by a project manager from stakeholders through surveys, questionnaires, analysis and other tools to meet a project goal.

An example of a requirement for an electronic warranty project would be the existence of a workflow which allows documents to be signed by various stakeholders electronically instead of through mail.

A requirement is usually a component of a project activity that meets a project goal. It is more complex in its definition and lays the ground work for a project deliverable.

What is a deliverable?

A project deliverable is the intended outcome of an approved task stemming from a project requirement. Project deliverables are developed in the implementation phase of the project and are made available for stakeholders to verify whether they meet pre-defined acceptable criteria for the intended goal. (McConnell, 2010)

An example of a project deliverable would be a database and workflow which hosts warranty documents and allows warranties to be emailed in a workflow via a signing application like DocuSign. If this deliverable meets the requirements acceptable criteria, it will lead in aiding the success criteria of the overall goal of the project.


McConnell, E. (2010, July 2). Boundaries, Deliverables and Requirements as Key Components of Project Scope. Retrieved October 22, 2017, from https://www.mymanagementguide.com/project-boundaries-project-deliverables-and-project-requirements-as-key-components-of-project-scope/

Mochal, T. (n.d.). Defining Project Goals and Objectives. Retrieved October 22, 2017, from https://kidasa.com/defining-project-goals-and-objectives/

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