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Outcomes vs outputs

Written by Leila Marimuthu, Senior Business Analyst, Kiandra IT

Customers typically come to us with an idea of the digital product or software solution they need – whether it’s a Content Management System (CMS) to easily manage web pages and content, a Core Business Application to drive efficiencies and accuracies, or a Data Visualisation solution to gain insights – to name just a few.

Whatever the software solution they are after, they always know what success looks like for their business. What we don’t expect them to know is exactly what outputs and artefacts they need to achieve this, especially when it comes to forming digital, user experience strategies.

Many technology projects are started without ever stopping to define and agree on the intended business outcomes (not at Kiandra of course!). In addition, many companies use the term ‘outcome’ but are really referring to outputs (like a monthly report) or a physical deliverable (such as an Android app).

So…do you measure the success of your technology investment by what is produced, or by what is achieved?

What’s the difference?

Outputs describe the artefacts that are produced as a result of an activity, e.g. a User Experience Discovery workshop. Artefacts may include: user personas, customer journey maps, wireframes and process maps.

Whereas outcomes describe the meaningful results or value of services that are delivered e.g. better engagement with new customer segments, faster turnaround times for monthly reporting, or increased departmental synergies.

Put simply, outputs are the things we produce. Outcomes are the difference our things make.

How can Kiandra help?

With hundreds of successful software projects under our belt – we have honed the science behind our workshops to ensure that we are asking the right questions, at the right time – to provide clients with the opportunity to tell us all that the things they meant to, but perhaps forgot about or hadn’t thought of yet.

During these workshops Kiandra work with clients to clearly define which outcomes are important to their business, and recommend a set of discovery activities and outputs to achieve these outcomes.

The end result is a high functioning, robust, secure digital solution – that meets expected outcomes, with no nasty surprises along the way. Check out some of our work here or give us a call on 03 9691 0500 to have a chat about your software needs.