Jobs-to-be-Done Framework: Part 3

This post discusses a specific aspect of Jobs to be Done. If you haven’t already done so, we suggest starting with the post—What is Jobs To Be Done. This will give you a broad overview of JTBD concepts with links to other posts that take a deeper dive into those concepts.

…Continues from Jobs-to-be-Done Framework: Part 2

People and organizations have limited time, energy, money, and other resources to execute jobs and they have virtually unlimited jobs to get done. For this reason, they want efficient job solutions that minimize the use of those resources—stretching them as far as possible. But they also want effective job solutions that generate expected success outcomes.

So, it can be said that all people and organizations seek out solutions that enable them to execute any job as an ideal process—that is, in the most efficient and effective way possible to generate expected success outcomes. The extent to which a solution can do this is called job solution fit and it represents the productive utility offered by a solution.

It should be noted that the ideal job process is a journey, rather than a destination. As science and technology, solution design and business models evolve over time, it becomes possible to create job solutions that move customers closer to the ideal job process.

To put a finer point on it, job executors continually seek out products and services that offer the best job solution fit at the lowest cost relative to competing alternatives. The winning solution is the best value from the customer’s perspective, and it reflects the never-ending quest to get jobs done better, faster, and cheaper.

The need for job economy is the driving force that compels individuals and those that execute jobs on behalf of organizations to seek out solutions they perceive to be the best value for getting jobs done. And it’s this force that drives switch dynamics—that is, the perceptions and decisions involved when job executors fire a solution and hire a new solution that gets a job done better and/or cheaper.

It’s job solution fit that drives the customer experience. For instance, a customer’s experience using any job solution will be positive to the extent that it enables relatively efficient job action that effectively generates expected success outcomes. A positive customer experience quickly declines as job action becomes less efficient and/or becomes less effective in generating success outcomes.

Now, both job circumstance and the limitations of solutions-in-use can cause job executors to perform inefficient activities between job steps AND they can cause success outcomes to fall short of expectations. When this happens, individuals and organizations struggle to get a job done well or at all. Each such occurrence is a moment of struggle and it represents (from the customer’s perspective) a specific job activity that requires too much time, effort, and expense to perform OR a specific success outcome occurrence that doesn’t meet expectation.

Each moment of struggle becomes a priority in the customer’s mind because they’re looking for a way mitigate or remove that struggle. As such, moments of struggle indicate the additional value that customers want from solutions to get a job done better. Although customers may tolerate some struggle while using a particular solution, there’s a threshold of struggle that becomes unacceptable. At this point, customers start an active search for a better solution.

To summarize, the universal goal of all people and organizations is to execute any job as an ideal process that produces the best experience at the lowest cost, thereby maximizing job economy. However, job circumstance and the limitations of solutions-in-use cause job activities to become inefficient and less effective resulting in moments of struggle. Removing those struggles becomes a priority for customers and represents the additional value they want from products and services to get a job done better.

Delineating job steps makes it clear what objectives customers are trying to accomplish as they perform job activities, independent of job circumstance and existing solutions. This enables innovators to see customer value relative to the ideal job process rather than constraining their thinking to optimizing existing solutions. From a jobs perspective, innovators can quickly find the best combination of technology, design and business models, at any given time, that will remove moments of struggle at the lowest possible cost.

In this way, companies can continually direct innovation efforts to increase the job solution fit for new and existing offerings, enabling customers to get jobs done better than competing solutions. By doing so, companies can keep their products and services positioned as the best value in the market generating sustainable and profitable business growth for the organization.

The Structure of Job Logic

Job steps are organized around a core action step, so named because the job activities associated with this step actually generates the customer’s success outcomes. The job steps before the core step are the objectives that must be accomplished before the core step can be successfully executed. The job steps after the core action step are the objectives that must be accomplished to ensure that the core step was successfully executed and can be repeated.

Now, in the case of services, the core step is co-executed by both the customer and a service provider or app. The service provider has their own job steps that must be accomplished to successfully provide the service. Many jobs can’t be done by customers alone because they don’t have the necessary resources to fully accomplish the core step. For example, a customer may need technical support to resolve a product issue. The service provider has the required knowledge and tools. But the customer needs to do their part of job execution—namely, explain the problem and perhaps apply support advice.

For instance, say a job is to “travel to a local destination on demand.” You must first contact the service provider, then specify service needs, then evaluate service options and then select and confirm a service before the core step can be accomplished. Then you must monitor service delivery, pay for the service and finally conclude the service to ensure the job was successfully executed. For this job, you could hire a ride-share service like Uber, a taxi, hire a friend to drive you, rent a Zipcar or even hire a rickshaw. Regardless of the solution used, each of these job steps must be accomplished to successfully execute the job.

For the job “send a package out of state,” let’s use these same job steps in a slightly different order. The job logic in this case requires that an individual pay for the service before the core step can be executed. All the other steps remain the same. You could hire on-demand service providers like UPS, Fedex, an airline, a rail service, a carpooling service like roadie for delivering items, among many other possible solutions. Regardless of the solution you choose, these job steps would apply universally to all of them.

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