Outcomes and outputs are different. Here is an example using a coffee shop to show how they differ (Figure 1). Inputs such as staff, ingredients and equipment are used in coffee making processes and activities to produce outputs. The outputs are cups of coffee, however the outcomes that are being targeted are customer satisfaction, market share and increased profit. These are the end results needed from investing in the inputs.
If the coffee shop manager targets outputs they would produce more cups of coffee. But there is no guarantee the coffee would satisfy customers. Without satisfied customers there would be a loss of market share and decreased profit.
If the manager focuses on outcomes, they would make sure the outputs, that is the cups of coffee, satisfy the customers.
Having target outcomes means the manager would focus the inputs, activities and processes on delivering the outcomes. Trained staff using fresh ingredients and good equipment would produce a range of quality coffees that satisfied customers. This would keep customers coming back, bring in more customers, and contribute to increased profits.
Other tools to use with Target outcomes
Target outcomes can be used in step 1 of the CI&I - Continuous improvement and innovation process.
You can use the SMARTT goal tool to make your target outcomes more specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, targeted and timeframed.
Develop critical success factors (CSFs) and key performance indicators (KPIs) after you have developed your target outcomes.
Support to use the tool
Please contact us if you would like help to develop target outcomes.