4 Project inputs and outputs
A project involves the transformation of inputs into an output or product. For example, people's mental and physical efforts, bricks and mortar, equipment or materials might be transformed into a new road, a municipal park or an advertising campaign. Or perhaps transformed into a stream of outputs or products, for example, attendances at a conference or exhibition, state school places or data from a new in-house costing system.
The output or outputs might be used within the organisation (for example, a credit sales and debtors collection system) or it might be used by the general public (for example, a road might be used by pedestrians and motorists). The output might be sold as a one-off immediately after the project is complete (for example, a new hotel building) or used to gain income at some time in the future (by operating the hotel and accommodating guests).
The input-output questions run along the lines of:
what resources will we require and what will they cost the organisation?
what products will be produced, in what quantity and of what quality?
Other questions depend on the type of organisation:
For what prices can our for-profit organisation sell these products and how much revenue will they generate?
How much must our non-profit organisation charge users for these products if these charges are to cover resource costs?
In producing these products, how much economic, political and/or social value will our governmental organisation confer on their direct beneficiaries, and on other citizens and other taxpayers generally; and by doing so, what private costs will our governmental organisation impose on citizens and other taxpayers?
What cost savings will accrue to our organisation from these products or what fines/penalties will our organisation avoid by producing these products?