Accountable teams deliver outcomes, not outputs

90% of features fail to deliver the expected value.

We need to ensure that teams are accountable for the value that they deliver and not just the outputs so that we reduce the time to money.

Better ROI

More innovation

Happier teams

Hours invested

No direct link between hours and outcomes for creative work.

Features developed

90% of features fail to deliver value but separation of responsibility means the people building the product are only accountable for the outputs.

Product usage

ZeroBlockers puts the elements in place to let companies measure teams by outcomes.

Revenue, Market share etc.

Metrics too lagging to enable teams to react in time.

Addressing the challenges

Making teams accountable is easier to say than do

When there is a separation of responsibility between the people that define the problem and the people that build the solution, then teams become more focused on following the process and delivering outputs to specification rather than trying to achieve the best outcomes.

Setting Stream Team metrics

Stream Teams are expensive so we need to make sure that we define upfront the product metrics that we are trying to improve.

Stream Team business case.
Product Teams need to request funding for Stream Teams. The business case should include the cost of running the Stream Team as well as the metrics that the team will be responsible for improving and how this ties into the product strategy.
A dashbaord with a bar chart, line chart, pie chart and other metric measurements.

Agreeing objectives

With the metrics in place, the Product and Stream teams need to agree upon the target value for each metric.

Objective setting meetings
Product Teams share the product vision, strategy and current areas of focus with the Steam Teams and then they negotiate together on the appropriate target for each outcome metric.
A target depicted by increasing sized circles with an arrow stuck in the center of the target.

Validating effectiveness

Empowering teams doesn't mean abdicating responsibility. We need to hold Stream Teams accountable for achieving the outcomes that we set.

Weekly business review.
Stream teams must report continuously on the effectiveness of the features they are developing and whether the product outcomes are delivering the expected business benefits.
Product metric changes.
Just like in product development, our first attempt at setting metrics may be incorrect. When Product Teams identify that the metrics are not delivering the expected business benefits they need to work with the Stream Teams to change the metrics.
A staircase leading up to a dartboard style target. The staircase represents the Enabling Teams helping the Stream Teams to hit their targets.

Case studies

Accountable teams in practice

ZeroBlockers is the result of a decade of research into how real companies are building better products in the real world.


Aligning With Stream TeamsAligning With The Ecosystem



Haier needed to keep pace with the fast changing IOT landscape and they knew centralised deciison making would be too slow.


Tracking Strategic Outcomes


Outcomes over Outputs

How WorldRemit shifted from being reactive to implementing a product strategy that enabled innovation and high-impact outcomes.


Aligning With Stream TeamsAligning With The Ecosystem


Driving Business Transformation with OKRs at FREENOW

How FREENOW utilized OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) to shape a high-performance team and drive significant business transformation.

We've always worked this way!

Why change now?
Software is eating the world

The features we are building today are not delivering the value we expect and it is hurting our businesses.

Better ROI.
By sharing the goals and getting people to focus on the impact of their work ensures we are building the right things.
More innovation.
We can tap into the combined creativity, and technical knowledge, of the people closest to the customer problems.
Happier teams.
Giving teams more autonomy taps into their internal motivation and has been shown to improve performance.