Outcomes, not intentions

One VFQ’s original intentions was to keep a focus on outcomes, not the rollout of specific methodologies. These outcomes are described as Value, Flow and Quality. More precisely: greater value, faster flow of value, and better quality from the ideas, products and services being worked on.

The reason? Most agile adoption initiatives we were observing focused on the rollout of frameworks and methods, and the number of people trained rather than the change in performance of the business. The reality is, though, that you need both. You need the methods, practices and frameworks to help people adopt new ways of working, but any judgement of progress should really be on the outcome.

It is not just in agile adoption that outcomes are more important than intentions. I’m sure you’ve come across situations where you (or someone else) have said “that wasn’t my intention” or “my intention was to…”. These statements normally come about when the outcome was less than expected and there was a need for justification. At these times, whilst it might be helpful to explain to others that there was a focused intention, it’s important to take ownership of the outcome. It is the outcome that really matters. It is what everyone else observes and it is what keeps you on track to continue the journey of improvement.

Are you using intentions to justify a current situation where a focus on outcomes might be more helpful to make progress?

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