A full outcomes set, not just the currently measured, should be formally represented in outcomes discussions, (‘What you see is what you get’) principle

Academic references to outcomes theory


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The principle

In any outcomes discussion, the full set of potential outcomes should always be formally represented. This is in contrast to only formally representing currently measured outcomes and leaving discussion of non-measured outcomes to more informal, peripheral, discussion. Always working with a visual outcomes model provides for such complete representation. 


The problem

To ensure you have a comprehensive discussion of a project, program or policy’s outcomes you need to have some way of formally representing all outcomes, whether measurable or not. If you do not have this, the artifacts associated with measurement - Key Performance Indicator lists, tables, dashboards, graphs of results, tend to dominate strategic discussions. While there is usually some discussion of non-measured outcomes this is often informal, periferal and transitory if there is no formal representation of non-measured outcomes. 


The solution

Visual outcomes models, drawn according to the set of outcomes model drawing rules, provide a comprehensive visual representation of all outcomes, measurable or not. If such a model is used in all outcomes discussions, it ensures that there is a formal representation of the non-measured and a more comprehensive strategic discussion, including the often unknown risk arising from the fact that some outcomes are current unmeasured.