This I learned while working with a non government organization supporting education.
We had deliverables, objectives, outcomes, impacts and purpose of our project to be defined. Here is how it went.
The main deliverable of the project was to train over one thousand school teachers at self assessments and evaluations for professional and personal development, and at least fifty percent of the participants should be able to demonstrate evidence of improvement in a given area.
At the end of the project:
The outcome was: “We had conducted trainings for 1100 teachers with over 97% teachers verifying their improvements in a given area of teaching or personal development.”
Accomplished objective was: “Over 45 training sessions were conducted in which 1119 participants were trained in 10 months time.
Impact was:”The training shall benefit over 15,000 students from grade 1 to grade 10, by improving professional and personal development traits of over 1000 teachers, school officers and principals.
And the Purpose was:” The teachers started to improve their relationship as well as quality of teaching towards their students, which resulted in lesser absenteeism, pleasant classroom environment, better participation and improved exam performance shown by the students.
After all the vigorous activity and hard work of traveling across the country, our main concern was whether the purpose was achieved or not?
The purpose lied in the answer to the question why all this large series of activities was being undertaken? Why would we train teachers or conduct self assessment workshops in an area spread over 1600 miles? Why would we bother to make teachers and principals come to the event and speak to them and conduct exercises for long tiring summer hours?
Were we conducting trainings for the sake of conducting trainings or were our outcomes appearing for the sake of filling in forms?By the above real life situational example, one thing got obviously evident, if the purpose was not achieved; deliverables, outcomes, objectives meant nothing.
We all of us here in our lives have outcomes and objectives which we very happily achieve like getting a world class education, being remunerated a six figure salary, having a beautiful spouse, enjoying a superb vacation, getting two or three kids, but the question remains there: was purpose of all those outcomes and objectives achieved?
To know that, we must know our purpose of life.
Then everything shall start making sense. Everything shall start to fall in its place. Everything shall become meaningful.