Last edited 19 Jul 2021

Outcome v output

Guide to developing the project business case, Better business cases: for better outcomes, published by HM Treasury in 2018, defines an outcome as: ‘…the consequences to society of a change in service or policy. For example, improved life expectancy of the population.’

It defines an output as: ‘…the change in the level or quality of a service delivered. For example, more cardiovascular operations carried out.’

Project Routemap, Setting up projects for success, Organisational Design & Development, UK Module, published by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, defines outcomes as: ‘The result of change, normally affecting real-world behaviour or circumstances. Outcomes are desired when a change is conceived. Outcomes are achieved as a result of the activities undertaken to effect the change; they are the manifestation of part or all of the new state conceived in the target operating model.’

It defines outputs as: ‘A specialist product (the tangible or intangible artefact) that is produced, constructed or created as a result of a planned activity and handed over to users.’

See also: Output.

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