The 3 terms Output, Outcome, and Benefit come across very frequently in the Project management world, and in many other walks of life for that matter. We come across jargon thrown at us frequently using these 3 terms. Many people use the Output and Outcome interchangeably thinking they refer to the same. However, truth is that each of these terms is very different and conveys a distinctive meaning. Being Project Managers, it is important to have a clear understanding of the three. So let’s look in detail, along with an example, what the terms Output, Outcome, and Benefit actually mean.
Output VS Outcome VS Benefit
What is Output?
Output is a unique, product, service, or result created by a project.
What is Outcome?
Outcome is the result or the difference made by the use of output.
What is Benefit?
Benefit is the measurable improvement resulting from an outcome that is perceived as an advantage by one or more stakeholders.
Output vs Outcome Example
Suppose a Project is Commissioned to build a Flyover bridge in a city to reduce traffic congestion and facilitate smooth traffic on a busy road. Now, for this project, we shall see what the Output, Outcome, and Benefit of the Project are.
Output – A Flyover Bridge
Outcome – Less congestion; better traffic flow
Benefits – Journey time reduced by 30 min; Congestion related accidents in that area dropped by 60%.
Hope this helps.. !!