Outcome vs Output - The Real Value of Products

Updated: Jan 20

Value of Time

Companies always want to be as productive as possible, but does that always mean more of something? More items? More as far as quantity of production or output? The model that has been institutionalized by Wal-Mart for decades now is that they will make up for smaller margins on an individual item being sold by selling it to the marketplace “en masse”. But that is not always the right way to be approaching value based propositions. Output is definitely important even in a project professing to use Scrum or Agile. Without some type of output, we don’t have a working product or solution. Outcome suggests that not only is there output, but the output is accomplishing an intended purpose. Hopefully, it is accomplishing the intended solution or solving the problem we are trying to solve. However, in many ways, this discussion becomes a play on words. Let’s look at more than just the words, but what they truly represent.


The amount produced by a person in a given time; the information produced by a computer

Synonyms – handiwork, labor, produce, production, thing, work, yield


Something that follows as a result or consequence

Synonyms – conclusion, result, effect, fate, sequel

When looking at it strictly from a principle based approach, output is about the processes and tools used to ensure production happens. Outcome is about the individuals and interactions that ensure the right byproduct is being attained. Both are valuable, but without the emphasis on the outcome we will overwork people, use pr