Action versus Outcome

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I just completed an audit of a monthly report. Of the 24 results reported, 8 of them are measurements for action. For example, completed tasks A, B, and C.

Action measurements are useful to track progress of activities which are important to ensure that things are moving in the right direction. However, it is the measurement of outcome that matters to the business. Every action is supposed to serve a purpose. The business wants to know whether the purpose is met.

For instance, increasing the number of self-serve options on the company’s website. A key goal is to offer more convenient options to the customers. At the same time, the company expects to see a reduction in traffic to the contact centre and hence, the number of agents required.

When the company reports that the self-serve options are in place, that’s a status report on action. To report on outcome, the company needs to monitor the usage of the self-serve options and the reduction in the number of calls coming into the contact centre.

Measurement of action is useful for monitoring the means. Measurement of outcome is key to reflect the achievement of the ends.

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