Outcome-based thinking for teams, and how to create remote work environments your people love to use

In reading this article, you're about to find out how outcome-based thinking can help teams of all sizes, improve their performance and output without doing any more work than they're doing now. How can this be? Please read on to find out.

There are common symptoms that we see time and again that people experiencing when switching over to Thanexa from the system they were doing before. Whether they were using another software, or just a different business process being utilised to attempt a team aligned to achieve the goals and work that mattered. 

A common symptom includes situations of team members being disgruntled about not seeing the software making a difference. Their feedback consisting of comments such as, we're fine but we're very busy, we're always doing things, but we don't seem to ever get to a result, or we're getting to results that are sub-optimal. They know what the client ultimately wanted, or they are what the client wanted but we've run completely over budget or overtime or both.
Well, the good news is, all of these comments are common symptoms. The bad news is they're not the root cause of the issue. The root cause of the issue for those is usually that the team is operating without outcome-based thinking. Outcome-based thinking is another way of saying that everything you do needs to align to the end result, to the goal you have in mind, to the success criteria if you like what you're trying to achieve. 

Why is outcome-based thinking important?

Without outcome-based thinking, you're not able to have your vision realised within a team. The team is not able to see what the end goal is, what the desired outcome and how that might look like. This means that they have to go by what else is available, which is usually some kind of task list. The problem with task lists is that they tend to be that it focuses people on the very near future in the very short term and that cuts away a whole lot of creativity, and a whole lot of ability to design for the outcome. It forces people to mechanically have to follow task after task after task to get to the end of the project. Sometimes those tasks are not in the optimal path and there are more tasks than whats required. There are whole new creative ways you and your team can tackle a project still achieving the desired outcome, and get an excellent result a lot faster. The problem is, if you're not focused on the outcome, you'll never see that path and as a result you'll never take it.
Outcome-based thinking could definitely be useful for individuals too. But for teams, it really shines because it can remove friction, and make the team collaboration a lot smoother and efficient. There are some best practices in trying to introduce outcome-based thinking with your team and project. The first thing you need to do is you need to explain to people what outcome-based thinking is, utilise this article to do that, and let them know how it applies to their work in the future. The simplest way to do that is when you create a new project that you need to work on with your people, you can say to them, "Look, we're going to start by focusing on the desired outcome." And in fact, further down this article, we're going to give you some questions to get you started. But the key point is ensuring your people are focused on the outcome first at the beginning of your project, and that they keep that outcome in mind as they keep doing work.
Sometimes we get the question, can we create an outcome-based thinking environment with our clients as well or just with our own team? The good news is that you can create an outcome-based thinking environment with everybody. Now you don't have quite the influence you might have on your team when you talk to your clients. But that doesn't prohibit you from setting outcome-based goals at the beginning of the project, of framing the interaction with them in a way that says, here's what we're trying to achieve, and let's all work together to find the best way to get there. Outcome-based thinking for clients can be a new experience and sometimes they find that liberating. They find it a lot easier to be able to co-create with you and your team as opposed to being given a set of instructions or to just get a status update report every week or other week on literally tasks done. 

Will I get resistance from people when I introduce this concept to them?

Sometimes you might as people, the ones that are more creatures of habit and others will push back a little bit. They'll say things like we know how to do this or we've done it before. We just need to get on with the work or just give us a task list and we'll go through it A to Z. Or they might say, you know, this outcome-based thinking thing is just a waste of time doing it at the front of the project. It's just a whole lot of talk and no action. And if you hear any of those, know that doesn't matter that it happens and a lot of it is expected, depending on the personalities of the team that you're working with (and we'll cover that in a future article). But the truly important thing is to keep framing the conversation as outcome-based, to keep framing every discussion, every meeting, every task and action in your project, in the light of why we're doing this, and how is it contributing to the desired outcome. 

To help you go with this strategy, here are three key questions that you can ask at the beginning of every project to make the interaction goes smoothly and to help your team focus better:

1. What is a successful outcome? Or in other words, how will we know we've been successful with this project? 

This allows people to imagine wild success. It allows them to imagine what they're going to be like, how they're going to feel like and how the client or customer or patient or student or whoever you're serving might feel like when this project is complete.

2. What are the major elements we need to focus on along the way to get to that goal?

And that helps teams break down complexity. If your project is going to run for three months, it's great to have the outcome in mind. But you also need to have some intermediate goals and steps that you're going to try to hit along the way. You need to at least know what the major components and elements of your project are so that you can manage them to success as well. 

3. Who is going to be responsible for what and by when?

This is when the rubber hits the road. This is where people walk out of a meeting with clarity, about accountability that they carry in getting those elements and components done that ultimately lead to the outcome of the project being fulfilled and successfully completed.
The point of outcome-based thinking is transformative. We know from our own personal experience, going from the times before we've built Thanexa to right now where we've been using it. We also know from countless stories of our own existing clients or customers. And we've seen what Thanexa users are able to achieve in such a short time by using this transformative effect of outcome-based thinking in everything they do. Try it out for your team and your projects today. And if you need a tool that helps you do this even better. Thanexa was designed and built from the ground up with outcome-based thinking in mind. Give it a try today.

Thanexa Was Designed And Built From The Ground Up With Outcome-Based Thinking In Mind.

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