Output vs. Outcomes – Project Management Tips

You can think of output versus outcomes in project management in much the same way as the adage “quality over quantity.” Simply put, when you focus on the outcome of a project rather than just getting it out the door, you’ll provide better customer service and build a better brand. This is especially true in today’s digital age, when people expect ongoing service and support.

Tech Project Management in the Past

Once upon a time, when mobile internet and smartphones were still in their infancy, app developers put their heads together, came up with an app, launched it, and called it finished. This led to the “output” mentality – the idea that faster production meant getting ahead of the competition and, of course, generating more profits. It worked for a while; people would move from one mobile carrier to another because that carrier had an app or program that was shiny, new, and convenient. Now that every device manufacturer and mobile carrier offers up a variety of smartphones with access to app stores containing tens or hundreds of thousands of options, the “output” mentality can spell doom.

Times are Changing

The digital age advanced quickly, and in just 10 years, smartphones went from infancy to the complex devices they are today. Once smartphones were in most consumers’ pockets, app developers discovered a brand-new way to generate revenue – subscription services. There’s a subscription for just about everything these days, whether you want to pay monthly for your antivirus software or even a shopping club membership. For this very reason, it’s important to start focusing on outcomes rather than output. App developers and service providers don’t make their money when someone makes a single purchase; it’s the recurring monthly or annual charges that keep them afloat.

Good Outcomes Require Individual Initiative

In some ways, project management is a lot like climbing a ladder, with each rung representing a member of your team. You start with the first rung, then move on to the next until you reach the top. If any one of those rungs breaks or goes missing along the way, your journey will be halted, or slowed at the very least. It’s important that everyone on your team takes some initiative to perform their part of the project well. To help team members focus on outcomes, it’s vital to explain the goal in detail and line out the steps they will need to take to get to the top.

Measuring Your Success

Your CRM software can tell you a lot about the way your team works individually and as a group. This information is vital for adequately managing your project, but it can do so much more. The right CRM software can also provide you with tools for discussion, collaboration, question-and-answer sessions, and much more. When everyone is on the same page, and when everyone clearly understands the objective at hand, it’s far more likely that they’ll work better both individually and as a team to accomplish those goals.

To make things simple, if you really want to grow your brand and make your clients and customers happy, it’s time to stop focusing so much on output and start thinking more about outcomes. That quantitative data you spend so much time studying may give you insight into your expenditures and earnings over time, but it’s the qualitative data that will show your outcomes.