PRINCE2 Key Terms: Understanding Outcomes, Outputs and Benefits
This diagram, which is also shown in Figure 6.1 of the manual, shows the relationship between outputs, outcomes and benefits.
PRINCE2 projects deliver outputs in the form of products.
The aim of these outputs is to create changes within a business.
These changes then lead to outcomes, which in turn, allow the business to realize benefits, as defined in the project’s business justification.
Ultimately, the purpose of a project is to achieve some kind of measurable improvement. These measurable improvements are called benefits. These benefits should contribute towards the organization’s overall strategic objectives. It’s important to recognize that to claim something as a benefit, there must be a direct link back to a project output.
The outcomes of a project don’t always lead to benefits. They can sometimes have unexpected consequences, which can be good or bad. Unexpected benefits can be identified during a benefits review,but not all unexpected consequences will be positive. Outcomes that are perceived as negative by one or more stakeholders are called dis-benefits.