Academic references to outcomes theory: Duignan (2009c)*
Programs need to be able to show:
1) what they ultimately want to happen;
2) what their current priorities are; and,
3) that what they're doing is aligned - i.e. their current projects/activities are tightly focused on their priorities.
The most effective way of doing this is to build a visual model of the program (e.g. a Drill-Down DoView); mark current priorities directly onto it; and visualize which activities or projects are focused on priorities.
It's important when doing this work that the model of what is intended is drawn in a certain way. It should not be restricted to just what the program can measure and control.
* This particular reference can be cited to refer to the material on this page.