Output-oriented vs. outcome-oriented Scrum teams

David Theil
5 min readAug 16, 2022

Again and again, you encounter Scrum teams that seem to implement projects perfectly, and yet their developed products do not seem to be accepted by the market. You can hear statements like: The market is not yet mature… Or the product is still in an early stage….

This may be true, but it can also be an indication that the team is too output-oriented and not outcome-oriented enough. In most cases, this is where the product owner comes into focus. The product owner has to be strengthened, he has to perform his tasks more and the balance between the product owner, team, and Scrum master has to be better established (again).

What are output-oriented teams?

Output-oriented teams are teams that focus heavily on eliminating technical risk and delivering features quickly. They are so focused on gaining knowledge, minimizing technical risk, and developing the product with high efficiency, speed, and quality that customer value becomes secondary.

What are outcome-oriented teams?

Outcome-oriented teams focus primarily on creating customer value. However, they focus so much on customer value that development keeps going through feedback loops, forgetting about efficiency, speed, and technical product quality.

The balance between output and outcome

Ideally, the team is in a constant trade-off between being output-oriented and outcome-oriented, creating product value/business value, customer value, and technical value. The product owner together with the team prioritizes product backlog items with high business value/product value. The product value/business value is to be understood as a combination of technical value and customer value. In other words, a combination of accumulated experience and actual customer value. The goal is never to implement as much as possible but to satisfy stakeholders and users economically with as little effort as possible.

What is the Technical Value?