In starting this library research we are discovering the difference between outcomes and outputs. From what I understand, outputs are the more concrete deliverables that are consciously constructed and produced by us, whereas outcomes are more intrinsic, theoretical abstract changes that take place as the result of our actions. Both outcomes and outputs are done with intention and guide what actions we take when looking to measure a certain outcome or output.
The outcomes are hard to measure but are often asked to be quantified by organizations who have numbers to consider at the end of the action. It is a way to quantify the value of the quality we are bringing. This is often a difficult task because it requires the foresight and knowledge of what will be most important to measure throughout the process. This is at odds with our design process because it forces metrics and outcomes of things that can’t necessarily be determined before the start of the project.
In our work with Good Company Ventures we are also learning the business world. Metrics and outcomes are definitely engrained in the language of business. It has proved a nice compliment to the organizational structure of the Library and helpful to the way in which we approach the library interventions and actions. It can be difficult to predict which of the variables we are changing will have the greatest effect on the final result.
In the next few weeks, Kelly and I will be working through a logic model to give us a look into the measurable aspects of our work at the library. This will give us some insight into the areas that we should measure in the work we are doing. As for the outputs, documentation continues!