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Key skills: making a difference
Key skills: making a difference

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7.3.2 Identify the outcomes you hope to achieve

An outcome is the result or consequence of a process. For example, you may want to produce an accurate analysis of some survey data, and to do this you may need to improve and apply your statistical skills. In this case the result of your analysis is an outcome, and using your number skills is part of the process by which you achieve that outcome.

Try to express the outcomes you hope to achieve as clearly and accurately as possible, asking others for help and comments if necessary. To help you work towards your outcomes you may need to set particular goals or targets to aim at. In tackling data analysis, for example, you may need to learn how to use a computer spreadsheet to automate the calculations and produce graphs. Using a spreadsheet may be only one part of the process leading to your overall outcomes, but it may be an important goal to aim for along the way.

Setting outcomes and goals gives a structure to your activities and should help you identify where you need to focus your efforts. When you have completed your task they provide points of reference to help you judge your progress. As part of the evaluation process at the end of a piece of work, you should be able to say which goals and outcomes were achieved, or what the problems have been. To help you do this, think about how you will know whether you have achieved what you set out to do. For example, you may be seeking a better grade for an assignment, or positive feedback from your tutor or work colleagues. What criteria will you use to evaluate your progress?

Time out

List the outcomes you hope to achieve and the goals you have set to help you achieve them, noting which ones have a high priority for development. How will you judge whether you have achieved your outcomes satisfactorily?