Jobs-to-be-Done Framework: Part 5

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 4

Customer needs relating to the progress that individuals and organizations want to make are defined as functional, emotional and social success outcomes.

Stated another way, success outcomes are customer value metrics (CVMs) that define what customers want after a job has been successfully executed. Generating success outcomes is the reason or purpose for wanting to get any job done well. Note that success outcomes are different from key outcomes that define what customers want as they perform job activities to accomplish job steps.

Because success outcomes are the result of job action, they’re lagging indicators of job action effectiveness. Therefore, increasing the level of satisfaction for success outcomes can only be done by increasing job action effectiveness via a better solution. To drill down further, the effectiveness of any job solution can only be increased by improving the design of that solution in some way.

To be clear, job action efficiency and job action effectiveness are both a function of solution design, but they address different customer needs. A solution can enable very efficient job action but may be far less effective in generating expected success outcomes and vice versa. Therefore, the design of any job solution must take into account customer needs relating to job action efficiency AND customer needs relating to desired progress.

Unlike key outcome CVMs that are directional metrics of value relating to efficiently performing job activities, success outcome CVMs are results/goals that individuals and organizations are trying to attain or achieve. Specifically, success outcomes are real occurrences, emotional states, and external social perceptions that customers want and don’t want to happen. These are the three dimensions of progress that customers are aiming for as they execute jobs.

As such, success outcomes define value in terms of how well a solution-in-use meets customer expectations along the three dimensions of progress. A solution-in-use either meets or exceeds those expectations or they fall short of those expectations.

For this reason, success outcomes are the criteria that determine the customers’ experience with respect to making desired progress. By definition then, value relating to desired progress is offered by a solution to the extent that the solution enables effective job action. To be clear, effective job action generates wanted success outcomes that meet customer expectations.

By asking customers to rate how satisfied they are with each success outcome, we can identify the success outcomes that do not yet meet expectations for certain customers. We can then quantify how much more value those customers want from a solution to meet those expectations.

To illustrate how to express success outcomes as customer value metrics, let’s look at a popular job that many individuals are trying to get done—Develop professional competencies in some area.

Recall that functional success outcomes define progress in terms of real occurrences.  To define success outcomes for this job, ask the following—By developing professional competencies, I can…do what? Better yet, what occurrences do I want to happen? For certain individuals, some functional success outcomes might be, “My job performance has increased,” and “I qualify for a new job position,” and “My area of responsibility has increased,” and “I am promoted to a new job,” among others.

For emotional success outcomes think about progress in terms of the emotional states that individuals want to maintain or avoid. A few emotional success outcomes wanted for the job develop professional competencies might be, “I feel confident in my professional abilities,” and “I feel empowered to voice my views,” and “I feel like an important member of the team,” and “I feel like my colleagues take me seriously.” It should be noted that emotional states are completely subjective. As such, they don’t have to be rational to be important to individuals.

For social success outcomes, think about progress in terms of the external social perceptions that individuals want to maintain about themselves. A few social success outcomes for the job develop professional competencies might be, “My colleagues think I’m a valuable team member,” and “Others think of me as a thought leader in my field,” and “My boss thinks that I’m strategically importance to the organization.”

Now, it’s worth emphasizing that social perceptions are externally subjective in nature, not “psychological” or “emotional” to job executors. Social success outcomes have to do with how others actually perceive you, not how you believe others perceive you and how these perceptions make you feel. This would be a related emotional state. How people perceive an individual can be understood through their behaviors towards that individual and those behaviors can have a real effect.

As an example of avoidance functional outcomes, let’s consider the job, “Send a package a long distance.” For service jobs, think, “Once the core step is executed on the customer side, what does the customer want to happen?” For some, functional success outcomes for this job might be, “The package is delivered on time,” and “The package is delivered to the correct address.” Avoidance functional outcomes for this job might be, “The package is not damaged upon arrival,” and “The package is not stolen after it’s delivered.”

Now, because ALL customer value metrics are independent of available solutions and job circumstance and they’re anchored to job logic, they’re stable over time. That is, CVMs define value relative to the job, not solutions. New solutions may come alone to help customers get a job done better, but the job itself and the customer value metrics associated with that job remain the same.

Take for example the job – listen to music on demand. Not long ago, a popular job solution for getting this job done was playing a vinyl record on a record player. As technology advanced, the best job solution moved to the cassette tape followed by the CD-ROM. Today, most people listen to music using streaming services like Spotify, Pandora and iTunes. But after all this time, the job remains the same—listen to music on demand.

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