Outcomes Before Features


Often, planning for digital projects revolves around features. Features like:

  1. API integration with our CRM
  2. Support for content workflow with multiple authors
  3. Etc.

Features are important to digital project success – don’t get me wrong – but whenever we work with clients, we start with outcomes, then go to features. So, what do we want this project to ultimately accomplish? What are the outcomes that matter to the organization? Perhaps outcomes like:

  1. Growing our donor contact list by 50% month over month
  2. Increasing our content output to 3 articles per month
  3. Removing manual data migration from the website to the CRM
  4. Etc.

Outcomes Help Avoid Digital Project Risk

By starting with the outcomes that will impact the organization, we have a better lens to evaluate if a feature is warranted or not – and by proxy, we avoid needlessly expensive or complex features that don’t actually help deliver on the outcomes the organization needs, and double down on impactful work.

Here are some real-life examples of outcomes that matter to these respective organizations:

  1. Improving school zone safety awareness with a multi-platform app for CAA, tracking over 4700+ infractions across 6 provinces across Canada.
  2. The mobile app we built for Firesmart Canada has turned a manual process digital, and grown the amount of properties assessed to 1 every other day
  3. The app we built for Elections Alberta, updated 1.5M addresses over a 10-week enumeration period.

It’s something all of us need to remind ourselves of – start with outcomes, then figure out what features we need to meet them.

So on your next project, try starting there!

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