Haupz Blog

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Getting to Measurable Outcome

2024-03-19 — Michael Haupt

Recently, I had written about the difference between outcome and output, and how “To what end am I doing this?” is the kind of question to ask to move from describing output to describing outcome - which is the right frame for describing goals.

In the true spirit of SMART goals, outcome should also be measured. There are two kinds of questions to get from output to measurements.

From the output perspective, what does it mean to implement the todo list? Asking “What change do I intend to achieve by generating this output?” implies that there is an observation that I’m currently making, and I want it to be different. Expressing that difference points to a possible measurement.

From the outcome perspective, I can ask “How would I notice the intended outcome is achieved?” to get to a similar response about the difference it makes.

The former question will likely yield measurements of a more internal nature, closer to the output. Conversely, the latter will more naturally lead to measurements closer to the customers the outcome is impacting. Both of these have a lot of value.

The necessary connection between both can be used to apply reality checks, too: if the internal measurement indicates success, but the external measurement doesn’t, I must’ve missed something. Such an insight is invaluable, too, because it helps to develop a deeper understanding of work on customers.

Tags: work