In most agile teams, the focus on delivering projects has continued to distance them from what’s important – delivering value to their customers.
All too often we’ve been measuring activity and cost, not outcomes and value. And it’s important to understand that an organisation that plans for growth outcomes (without binding a team to a specific output) can fundamentally adapt to a changing market. By creating clearly defined, non-conflicting, outcomes and common working principles senior management can delegate the “how” to their teams, while retaining ownership of the “what” and “why”.
This interactive presentation will help participants define the real outcomes and associated measures for their work and teams. Participants will come to understand that outcomes can be complex, interdependent and occasionally conflicting.
Share the Outcome Profile article as pre-reading to all registered attendees.
Print out sufficient copies of the outcome profile sheet – one per person and a few spares.
Set up the room with tables and chairs. Ideally rounds of 6-8, but any configuration with tables will work.
Participants will create an outcome profiles that defines the context, intent and expectations for the team, division or organisation. While the characteristics of a profile will differ between participants, each profile will contain;
Start by getting individuals to sit together in either company or industry groups.
We use the 5-whys process to get to the root outcome for an organisation. Start by demonstrating 5-whys for the audience with a volunteer from the audience.
“What do you do?”
“I write accounting software”
“Why” > “Why” > “Why” > “Why”, etc.
If they say “to make money”, they’ve gone too generic. Bring it back to the earlier “why”. Remind them that “you are not in business to make money”. You may also go down different branches to explore different “why’s”.
Now get each group to form pairs go through the 5-why’s process with each other. Once everyone has defined an outcome, get them to fill in an outcome profile for it. Current baseline, target and owner may be kept blank.
If there is time, introduce the idea of enabling constraints. To be effective in the long term, outcomes need to be constrained. Get the attendees will create a set of ranked principles – rules that apply to all activities regardless of outcome. Principles may constrain a team in areas of quality, communication, staff engagement, security, branding or any other common area. Examples may include “must follow brand guidelines, must pass security testing, or should get buy-in from marketing department”.
Thank people for coming. Remember to invite them to join the Business Agility Institute.
Outcome Profile Resources: Download an editable Outcome Profile template (PPTX or SVG)