Welcome back to our blog. In this blog we are going to dive a little bit deeper into what outcomes are and explore why outcomes are more important than outputs. In the last blog post we explained that outcomes are another way of reaching goals. That is true, but we need to expand on it a little bit.
Let’s use an example:
This is Kathryn. Kathryn is the CEO of Amazing Decisions, a company developing and selling digital products. She wants to increase revenue from sales. Kathryn has set up a meeting with her direct reports Sharon and Bruce to brainstorm ideas.
Bruce, the VP of Sales wants to produce new widgets to increase revenue. Flashier than the rest of the product range and bigger too.
Sharon, the Product Owner isn’t convinced that more widgets will lead to more revenue. Instead, she suggests to take a step back and understand which customer behavior would lead to more revenue and what the organization would have to do to encourage this behavior.
10 more minutes into this conversation, Kathryn and Bruce were convinced to give Sharon’s approach a try, and so the group decided to follow her idea.
What happened in this example? Bruce’s idea is a typical example of producing outputs. Build another thing, produce more, you know the language. Sharon suggested to focus on encouraging customer behavior that would lead to their goal. And that’s the definition of an outcome:
An outcome is a change in behavior that leads to goals.
Focussing on outcomes is more likely to achieve goals than producing more outputs. So, don’t be like Bruce, be like Sharon!
In our next episode “Starting with Outcome Mapping” we will talk about how to focus on outcomes over outputs by using Outcome Mapping.