Welcome to the second blog post about Amazing Decisions, a fictional company with its CEO Kathryn, the VP of Sales Bruce and Sharon the Product Owner. In our previous episode “Outcomes over Outputs” we left off with Sharon suggesting they should focus on outcomes over outputs to increase revenue, instead of immediately producing more widgets as Bruce suggested.
Soon after their discussion Sharon invites Bruce in for a meeting and introduces him to outcome mapping. She had a whiteboard ready showing the basic structure of an outcome map.
Sharon went on to explain the structure of the outcome map:
- The goal answers the question, why are we doing this?
- Players are people who can support or hinder us from achieving our goal
- Outcomes describe the changes of the players’ behaviors so that they help us achieve our goal.
- Outputs are the direct results from the activities that we believe we have to produce to create the desired outcomes
Sharon could see from Bruce’s face that he was skeptical about this.
“Most organizations set goals and immediately start their activities. Without understanding how these connect to their goals, they risk being busy without achieving their goal.”
Hearing this, Bruce seemed convinced for the moment, so he asked Sharon how to start creating an outcome map.
After they defined this player, they went on to look into how this player will have to change their behavior to achieve the company’s goal of increasing revenue.
Here came the tough bit of the process for Sharon and Bruce. This is where they had to think of all the outputs they could do to achieve the outcome, while adding more players. And they also had to think about outputs that would clearly not contribute to the outcome, like Bruce’s first proposal to build widgets 2000 and 5000, as he reluctantly admitted.
Let’s catch up with them after they had been hard at work creating their outcome map to meet their goal.
In our next blog post “Outcome Mapping & Scrum” you’ll find out how the team uses the outcome map to make their assumptions transparent and derive experiments to put them to the test!
If you want to start focussing on outcomes over outputs immediately:
- We prepared a free outcome map template or you
- We offer outcome mapping training
- We run workshops to help you focus on outcomes over outputs