8.3.2 Identify the outcomes you hope to achieve
An outcome is the result or consequence of a process. For example, you may want contribute effectively to a design project in a course, or work in a team to improve a product or system. In this case the design or product improvement is an outcome, and using your problem-solving skills is part of the process by which you achieve that outcome. You may find it useful to discuss or negotiate the outcomes you hope to achieve with others. Solving problems will often depend to some extent on other key skills, in particular ‘Communication’ and ‘Working with others’.
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 project work, for example, you may need to learn how to organise the component activities so that you keep on schedule. Tackling this problem effectively 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?
List the outcomes you hope to achieve and the goals you have set to help yourself achieve them, noting which ones have a high priority for development. How will you judge whether you have achieved your outcomes satisfactorily?