Outputs and Outcomes – Does it really matter.
As a business analyst of several years in experience ranging from software development to digital transformation in the financial services, consulting and business to business space, I have come to realize that it is possible to have so many configured outputs and a really bad outcome.
The dictionary simply defines an outcome as ‘the way a thing turns out’ synonyms include result, end result, consequence, net result, upshot, effect, aftereffect, aftermath, conclusion, sequel, follow up, issue, product, endproduct, end, development, offshoot, outgrowth, wake etc. Now a thing could be a person, a business entity, an idea, a collection of experiences or whatever. The way it turns out speaks a lot about the output of the business.
An output is defined as ‘the amount of something produced by a person, a machine of industry. Synonyms include production, product, amount/quantity produced, yield, harvest, return, volume, gross national product, gross domestic product, out-turn, achievement, accomplishment, solutions.
From these basic definitions, we understand and gather that outputs can determine outcomes when wisely applied. An output will not always determine or lead to a good outcome.