From Features to Outcomes

Focus on outcomes, not just features

It is easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest technologies that promise to revolutionize the way we work. But the truth is, not all features are created equal. Some features are just as easily implemented with a low-tech approach rather than the risk of new and untested technology. Successful project managers can focus on outcomes. They understand that the ultimate goal of any project is to deliver business value and improve outcomes, rather than implement the latest and greatest technologies. By focusing on measurable business outcomes, project managers can prioritize features that directly support their objectives, rather than getting sidetracked by the sizzle of new flashy technologies.

To find measurable business objectives, project managers can start by working with their stakeholders to identify the critical success factors for their projects and then use instrumentation to track progress towards these goals. This helps ensure that projects stay aligned with the overall strategy and goals of the organization, delivering real business value along the way.

The project manager's primary goal is to deliver projects that meet the needs of your business. To do this, you need to focus on business outcomes rather than flashy features. Successful project managers know that it's not about the latest and greatest technology or the most impressive features, but rather about delivering value to the business.

What are features?

In project management, the term "features" refers to the specific characteristics, capabilities, or functionalities that are included in a product or service. A feature can be anything from a simple button to a complex algorithm or system integration. Features are often used to describe and distinguish one product or service from another, and they play a significant role in shaping the customer experience.

In the context of project management, features are important because they help define the scope of a project and determine what needs to be developed or delivered to meet the project goals. Project managers must consider the trade-off between the number of features included in a project and the time, cost, and resources required to develop and implement them. Balancing this trade-off requires a focus on the most important features that will deliver the greatest business value, rather than getting sidetracked by flashy features that may not deliver the desired outcomes.

What are outcomes?

Outcomes are the results you want to achieve with your projects. They're the things that matter to your business, such as increased efficiency, improved customer satisfaction, or increased revenue. Outcomes are what drive your projects forward and what ultimately determine their success or failure.

To deliver business value, the project manager has to understand what the business does and what its goals are. This requires a deep understanding of the business, its products and services, and its customers. Once you understand the business, you can then identify what it needs to succeed and what outcomes it wants to achieve.

Next, you need to focus on delivering outcomes that meet the needs of the business. This means setting clear goals and priorities and focusing on the things that matter most. It also means being strategic about the technologies and features you use. You should only use what you need to achieve the outcomes you're targeting and avoid getting sidetracked by sizzle that doesn't deliver real value.

Measurable Outcomes

Measurable business outcomes are specific and quantifiable results that a business aims to achieve through its projects and initiatives. These outcomes are directly tied to the goals and objectives of the business and are used to evaluate the success or impact of a project. Examples of measurable business outcomes include increased revenue, improved customer satisfaction, reduced costs, increased efficiency, and improved product quality. Measurable business outcomes are different from outputs, which are the specific products or services that a project delivers, and they provide a clear way to assess the value of a project to the business.

To find measurable business objectives that can be implemented with instrumentation to determine if the original goals are being met, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are most important to your business. These should be metrics that directly relate to the outcomes you want to achieve.
  2. Choose the right instrumentation to measure these KPIs. This could be software, hardware, or a combination of both. The instrumentation should be easy to use and provide real-time data so you can make informed decisions.
  3. Set up a system to collect, analyze, and interpret the data. You should be able to track the KPIs over time and identify trends that may impact your project.
  4. Regularly review the data to ensure that you're on track to achieve the outcomes you're targeting. If you're not, make adjustments as needed.

Successful project managers focus on business outcomes rather than flashy features. They understand what the business does and what its goals are, focus on delivering outcomes that meet the needs of the business and use technology strategically. By shifting your focus from technology to results, you can make better decisions, achieve your goals, and deliver real value to your business.

Instead of thinking about what technology or features you want to implement, think about what you want to achieve with your projects. Once you have a clear understanding of your desired outcomes, you can then determine the best way to achieve them, whether that means investing in new technology, improving existing processes, or focusing on customer service.

At Control Origins, we believe that the key to successful project management is understanding the basics or "Project Mechanics". We have published a comprehensive introduction to the mechanics of project management that can help you focus on outcomes and avoid getting sidetracked by sizzle. You can learn more about "Project Mechanics" by visiting .