Designing Business Outcomes #noprojects

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. Therefore we will create 3 elements;

  1. the profile of the outcome,
  2. the relationship between outcomes, and
  3. the principles that align work across all outcomes


Anyone, but team leaders, managers and executives will get the most out of it


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;

  • Summary – a short description of the outcome.
  • Baseline Measure – if the outcome is quantifiable (and most should be), what is the current state?
  • Team Structure – who is accountable for this outcome?
  • Relationships, Dependencies and Order (Ranking) – where does this outcome sits in relation to your other outcomes?
  • Investment – what is your maximum available investment/budget to achieve this outcome?
  • Current target - what are you trying to achieve?
  • Outcome test plan - how will you measure effectiveness of the activities against the outcome target?
  • Level - There is a natural granularity to outcomes at different levels of an organization. Is this outcome at an organisational level, divisional or team level.

What is NOT included in the profile is a plan. The team is expected to dynamically react and proact (if that’s not a word, it should be) to opportunities in the market or organisation by instituting continuous change.

To be effective in the long term, outcomes need to be constrained. Once the profile has been created, participants 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.

Finally, we will look the complex relationship between outcomes, value and user stories. How teams can justify work based on the value it could deliver to the organisation in the context of a business outcome.


  • The importance of outcomes
  • How to create an outcome profile
  • How to create constraining principles