Project Outcome vs Project Output

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Camlearner, May 25, 2010.

  1. Camlearner Senior Member

    Khmer
    Hi,

    < < other question deleted >>

    How about Project Outcome and Project Output?

    In my English study class, I was taught that these words: output, outcome, result are synonyms. But when I read some project-related documents, they put Project Outcome and Project Output in different category..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2010
  2. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    Hello, once more, Camlearner. :)

    We require Context and Background with any question. Would you please give us a sentence in which you saw these terms, or give us a sentence in which you would like to use them?

    When people have a specific example to discuss, they can give a better answer.
     
  3. Camlearner Senior Member

    Khmer
    Hi Cagey,

    Below are the (Monitoring & Evaluation Manual) context I copy-paste for you..

    Focusing on your outcomes and being able to measure them is not a substitute for knowing and being able to measure your outputs, but it allows you to measure what your activities are actually achieving.

    Design Summary
    Indicators
    Assumptions/ Risks
    Impact
    Outcome
    Outputs
    Activities
    Inputs
     
  4. nzfauna

    nzfauna Senior Member

    Wellington, New Zealand
    New Zealand, English
    I would consider outcome to be a more final state of being. But output could be an ongoing thing.
     
  5. Camlearner Senior Member

    Khmer
    Hello nzfauna,

    Thank you for your explanation. Could you please give some daily life examples to me?

    From your explanation, so can I conclude in English language that "outcome is a final or last result" and "output looks like a semi-result or temporary result or continuous result to be tried to be achieved everyday" ? Correct?

    Thank you !
     
  6. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    I think outcome is a way of describing the situation at the end of the project - e.g. the bridge-building project had a successful outcome. The outcome is "the fact that the bridge was built".

    However, output is more concrete - like a bridge. Other outputs might be more advanced prototypes for manufacturing or interim reports on progress - things you can touch.
     
  7. Cypherpunk Senior Member

    Springdale, AR
    US, English
    I used to be a Project Manager, and Julian's description is exactly right. The outputs are all the tangible results, milestones, and specific steps that were achieved, in order to complete the project. The outcome is the final situation, once the project is complete. Often an outcome is successful completion of one necessary project, with the quick realization that another project is needed to further optimize those results, in order to achieve an end goal.
    For example, many of my projects related to installation of new manufacturing equipment. The outputs were the successful demolition, removal of old equipment, construction, installation of new equipment, and startup for production. The outcome was that a department had been improved, but there were now problems with delivering sufficient raw materials to allow the area to work at full efficiency (as expected, but for management, results had to drive the next project). Therefore, we had to work with suppliers and our material handling staff to deliver a consistent supply of raw materials in time to maximize production...
     
  8. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    CP
    That sounds familiar. I used to be a project team leader :eek: and I'm sure we learned from the same texts or cultures and stressful working environments and had similar "team-building" exercises :D The terminology is quite widespread.
     
  9. nzfauna

    nzfauna Senior Member

    Wellington, New Zealand
    New Zealand, English
    Refer above...

    The project outcome was positive [i.e. once the project was finished and assessed, the overall outcome was positive].

    One of the project outputs was the discovery that women were overpaid.
     
  10. Camlearner Senior Member

    Khmer
    Hi I'm still confused from your explanation whether can I conclude : outcome is a final or last result" and "output looks like a semi-result or temporary result or continuous result to be tried to be achieved everyday" ? after reading nzfauna's reply that: The project outcome was positive [i.e. once the project was finished and assessed, the overall outcome was positive]. One of the project outputs was the discovery that women were overpaid. It seem like outcome and output are all final results of the project .. ? :confused:
     
  11. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Sorry, learner, but I don't understand the words in colour. A project can produce output for some time before it is "completed". However, outcome and output are both usually associated with completion so final applies to both concepts.
     
  12. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    Here is another possible example.

    A man is sent to improve a factory's output. In other words, the factory must produce more units of whatever it produces. Over the course of three months, the factory's output is increased 30%. The outcome (result) of the project was successful. The output was increased.

    As you said in your colored definitions, output can be produced on a daily basis. An outcome is the final result.
     
  13. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    However, James, you have changed the discussion from project output to factory output! This does illustrate that output is usually more concrete (e.g., widgets) than outcome (more abstract, e.g., "positive").
     
  14. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    I still think that a project's output is a "deliverable", as the word is used in business English in the U.S. It is something that is produced as part of the project. To me, it is similar to a factory. A film company's output is the daily footage of film turned out and, ultimately, the entire film. The outcome may be good or bad but it is something different from the project's output.
     
  15. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    I don't think we are disagreeing at all. I was slightly confused by the factory. As an analogy a project can have regular output like a factory can, yes. However, a factory doesn't really have an outcome.
     
  16. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    I agree that we're not disagreeing. :)
     
  17. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    I agree with James's clear and concise statement (post #14).
     
  18. Camlearner Senior Member

    Khmer
    Thanks everyone for your helping. So A film company's output is the daily footage of film turned out = OUTPUT OR DELIVERABLE and, ultimately, the entire film = OUTCOME OR RESULT. :thumbsup:

    Refer back to post #12, Can I say compare like this with factory's context too that:
    Factory's output or deliverable is increased 30% of more production and The outcome (result) of the project was successful or more profit overally. The output was increased in qauntity.The outcome is more $$ finally. I should be right?
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  19. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    I would tweak it slightly!
    The daily footage and the final film are all tangible output. The outcome of the project (producing a film) is the successful production of a film (not the film itself).
     
  20. Camlearner Senior Member

    Khmer
    So JulianStuart, outcome must never the everything we can touch? I feel from your last tweak that output are point, point of result and outcome are the all whole process of result.. Am I right? you understand what I try to explain clearly? I'm afraid I cán't expresee myself well at the red as It's like KHmer-English.:eek:.
     
  21. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Outcome, noun
    The way a thing turns out; a consequence
    - it is the outcome of the vote that counts (not the pieces of paper themselves)
    - the outcome of the election
    - We are still awaiting the final outcome of the trial (not the evidence or discussion)
    - There are two possible outcomes

    Perhaps outcome is HOW something turns out, while output is WHAT something creates.
     
  22. Camlearner Senior Member

    Khmer
    Thank you JulianStuart for your more explaination to me :
    So my understainding now is :
    Perhaps outcome is HOW something turns out (can't touch), while output is WHAT something creates (can touch).
     
  23. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    Yes, I think that's a very good way to put it. :)
     

Share This Page