Whether at the level of a team, division, or organisation, the continuous flow of activities is focused on changing outcomes (the benefits realised as a result of work) rather than outputs (the product of the work). An outcome is measured by its value to the organisation, whether direct and tangible or indirect and intangible. Outcomes are planned, slowly changing, and define the common direction of the organisation.
The profile of an outcome defines the context, intent, and expectations for the team, division, or organisation. While the characteristics of a profile will differ between organisations, at a minimum, it should contain the following:
- Summary — This is a short description of the outcome.
- Owner — Who (either an individual or team) is accountable for this outcome?
- Measurement — If the outcome is quantifiable, how do you measure it? How will you measure the effectiveness of the activities against the outcome target?
- Current baseline — What is the current state of the measure?
- Current target — What are you trying to achieve? Try to avoid percentages and remember that this is a current target. It will change over time. Depending on the context of the outcome, the current target may also have a timeframe or due date.
- Cadence — How frequently will you be measuring the outcome? Automatic measures (those which can be calculated without human intervention) should be done as regularly as reasonable. Those which require polls or surveys of users or team members should be scheduled to avoid overload.
- Lag/lead time — How soon after doing work will you see the effect on the outcome?
- Dependencies and order (ranking) — Where does this outcome sit in relation to your other outcomes?
- Budget — What is your maximum available investment/budget to achieve this outcome?
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