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© Transition Support  Last Edit 15/12/2017 00:29:20 

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What is the difference between process results, outputs and outcomes?

Processes produce results. Some of these are tangible and measurable at the time they are generated. These we call Process Outputs. There are other results that are not measurable until long after the outputs have been delivered and often long after they have been used. These can be considered to be the impact of the process on its surroundings. An output of a process may have a detrimental affect on the environment. Satisfaction of either customers or employees is an impact not an output. However, processes can only be designed to deliver outputs because the outputs are measured before they emerge from the process, whereas, impacts arise long after the process has delivered its outputs and therefore cannot be used to control process performance. Any attempt to do so would induce an erratic performance.

In reviewing the performance of a process we can note whether the outputs and the impacts were as expected. What we are doing is reviewing the process outcomes therefore we can consider outcomes to be outputs + impacts.

Results can therefore be considered to be a general term because outputs are results, impacts are results and outcomes are results.

So when you ask what results does a process produce the answer can be in terms of its outputs, impacts or outcomes. But when you ask what results does a process deliver the answer should strictly be in terms of its outputs.