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Simple question: difference between project outcomes & goals

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  • Simple question: difference between project outcomes & goals

    Whats the difference between project outcomes & project goals?

    example: if my project is "revamp lawn" the goal is a beautiful lawn but the outcome is also a beautuful lawn? So I need to clarify the difference (if there is one) between these terms.

    In general , I did a 5 minute search but couldn't find a glossary of the GTD terms
    is there one somewhere?

  • #2
    As far as I know, an outcome is the same as a goal.

    I think the best glossary of terms is in the book(s).


    • #3
      Thanks, Brent


      Thank you.

      My confusion arose from reading a website:

      referring to the weekly review it said
      "5. Review outcome lists. One by one, evaluate the status of each project, goal, and outcome."

      which (to me) implied that goals and outcomes are different.

      So thanks again for the clarification.



      • #4
        Goal: Be respected and liked by my neighbors.

        Project Outcome: Have a fabulously green lawn.

        Sometimes outcomes and goals are the same. Sometimes they aren't. Don't let worrying about terminology slow you down.



        • #5
          As Kewms said, the terms are interchangeable. However to me, "Goal" implies a target while "Outcome" implies the effect.

          For 'revamp the lawn', I'ld probably use the term 'outcome of a beautiful lawn'.

          My 'outcome of a beautiful lawn' requires the on-going application of wallet to the lawn-mower man. The initial project had the goal of finding him and making the on-going booking (after wading through knee-high grass to get to the clothes line).


          • #6
            As mentioned, you shouldn't get stuck on terminology.. but the way that 'goal' is used in the book, it would be the answer to "why do you want to re-vamp the lawn?". That question, "why?", has been incredibly important for me to start asking about my projects. It can really clarify an initially vague project.

            The outcome, then, is from my understanding a vividly imagined total success of the project.. compiled to anything between a line of text and a full narrative. I've not been as good about really going 'out there' with this item, perhaps it would provide better motivation for some projects


            • #7
              Maybe it's worth getting hung up on terminology

              I often shoot myself in the foot early on if I write down a goal that is too vague. Are you trying to make your lawn greener and healthier, or are you thinking about changing the landscaping so that the yard itself is more attractive? "Re-vamping" is very vague term that doesn't communicate what you are trying to do, at least not to me. A goal should be measurable, at the very least. How will you know when your lawn has been revamped? Will it be greener, or will it look completely different?


              • #8
                Well, 'revamp lawn' is the project title, rather than the goal/outcome.

                In this case I'm comfortable about the detail of what needs to be done, however you are right to point out the dangers of vagueness.


                • #9
                  Why doesn't this forum repeat the topic headings?

                  Well, as long as it's clear to you that's what counts.