Needs for High-Level Jobs

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.

The customers’ needs with respect to getting a high-level job done have to do with satisfying high-level outcomes and efficiently coordinating related jobs. Stated another way, a high-level job gets done well to the extent that customers are able to arrange related jobs that are capable of satisfying high-level outcomes and the extent to which they can efficiently coordinate those related jobs.

It’s worth emphasizing that satisfying needs for any high-level job ultimately depends on effectively executing related prime jobs. Specifically, related success outcomes generated by prime jobs will fall short of expectations to the extent that job action is ineffective. This can result in a diverse set of outcomes that are not capable of satisfying high-level outcomes. And this is the case even if the job stack arrangement itself is capable and related jobs are efficiently coordinated.

On the other hand, if a job stack arrangement is not capable, then high-level outcomes cannot be satisfied regardless of how well related prime jobs are executed. But ultimately, a capable job stack arrangement still cannot satisfy high-level outcomes without effectively executing prime jobs. So, for a high-level job to get done well, two things must happen – first, a job stack is effectively and efficiently orchestrated and second, related prime jobs in that stack are successfully executed.

Now, when customers struggle to get a high-level job done, this means that one or more high-level outcomes fall short of expectations and/or coordinating related job takes too much time, effort and expense in the customers’ mind. These moments of struggle are due to one or a combination of three causes. First, a job stack arrangement is less than capable of satisfying expected high-level outcomes. Second, related jobs in a stack are poorly coordinated. And third, related prime jobs in a stack are poorly executed.

Always focus on removing moments of struggle for high-level outcomes first, because if these are not satisfied, then efficiency is really a moot point. To remove these struggles, address the capability of the job stack customers are trying to orchestrate via a particular job stack solution. Keep in mind that a job stack solution-in-use could be from a provider or cobbled together from the products and/or services of multiple independent providers, or a bit of both.

The challenge for customers is that they don’t always know the best job stack arrangement that will satisfy wanted high-level outcomes. Even if they do, circumstance and the limitations of solutions-in-use can impede them from effectively arranging related jobs.

Start by asking, “What are the related jobs that all customers must get done to satisfy high-level outcomes,” regardless of their circumstance or solutions-in-use. To quickly narrow this down, differentiate between related jobs that are required, optional and interchangeable.

Required jobs are common to all customers trying to get a high-level job done. For example, all individuals who want to “Improve a credit score” (a high-level job) must repeatably execute the related job, “Pay a bill,” where the wanted success outcome each time is “A bill is paid on time.”

However, individuals who have high credit card debt or not enough credit lines to track (which are circumstances) may want to get optional related jobs done like, “Reduce credit card debt” and/or “Apply for a new line a credit” in order to substantially improve their credit score.

Interchangeable or fungible related jobs generate the same or similar success outcomes required to successfully get a high-level job done. For example, individuals who are trying to “Improve cardio conditioning” (a high-level job) can execute any number of interchangeable related jobs such as, “Run for fitness,” “Cycle for fitness,” or “Swim for fitness,” to mention a few. Successfully executing one or a combination of these interchangeable jobs can generate a set of success outcomes that are capable of improving cardio conditioning. However, individuals that have back problems (a circumstance) will avoid running and may instead choose to cycle or swim.

The key thing to remember is that the efficacy of any job stack solution depends on its ability to help customers with different circumstances arrange job stacks that are capable of satisfying expected high-level outcomes. Well-designed service platforms give customers the flexibility to self-select job stack solutions that work best for them, while minimizing the time, effort and expense of coordinating related jobs.

Now, once required, optional and interchangeable jobs have been identified for all target customers, design or optimize your job stack solution to enable customer groups to arrange related jobs in a way that best accommodates their particular circumstance. When job gaps are identified, enhance a job stack solution to enable the execution of these missing related jobs.

For example, say an individual wants to “Market a Webinar,” (a high-level job) in order to attract attendee sign-ups (the high-level outcome). Now, right from the outset, it’s not obvious to the individual what job stack arrangement is capable of satisfying the high-level outcome. For the first Webinar, the individual cobbles together a job stack solution from a number of independent solutions in order to execute the following job stack arrangement — “Promote the event” on several social media sites; “Describe the event” by writing a blog post; “Notify blog subscribers” of the Webinar via email; and “Remind blog subscribers” with a follow-up email a few days before the Webinar. Marketing the first Webinar requires significant time, effort and expense and is ultimately a “no-go” because the job stack is not capable.

For the next Webinar, the individual self-selects a job stack solution via a service platform provider like MailChimp to orchestrate the following related jobs – “Produce a teaser video”; “Promote the Webinar” on social media sites and affiliate sites; “Create a landing page” for the Webinar; “Conduct A/B testing” on different attendee segments; “Conduct a targeted email campaign”; “Create a sign-up form”; and “Manage Webinar logistics.” Marketing the second Webinar requires much less time, effort and expense and is ultimately well attended because the job stack is capable.

The next order of business to remove moments of struggle pertaining to high-level outcomes is to address related prime jobs that fall short of generating expected success outcomes. Once capable job stack arrangements have been defined and implemented on a service platform, providers want to make sure that the related prime jobs in those stacks are executed well.

To reiterate, there are two requirements to satisfy high-level outcomes. First, job stack arrangements must be capable. And second, related prime jobs must be effectively executed. When these two requirements are met, a diverse set of success outcomes can be generated by related jobs that are capable of satisfying high-level outcomes.

To remove moments of struggle pertaining to the time, effort and resources required to get a high-level job done, first address how customers are coordinating related jobs via a particular job stack solution.

Note that for any job stack, there’re three kinds of related jobs that customers are trying to coordinate — concurrent jobs, sequential jobs and co-executed jobs.

Concurrent related jobs are executed in parallel or in no particular order. Explore ways to consolidate, organize and/or execute concurrent related jobs with one service.

Sequential related jobs are executed in a particular order. Anticipate what customers need to do next. Then explore ways customers can make a seamless transition from one related job to the next related job.

Co-executed related jobs are those that involve multiple people and/or are executed in concert with a solution provider. Explore ways to reduce, automate, or even eliminate activities between co-job executors.

The next priority is to address related prime jobs that are not executed efficiently. That is, they take too much time, effort and resources to get done. If not resolved, a high-level job will inherent these moments of struggle.

Finally, keep in mind that the aim of job stack innovation efforts is to create and maintain job stack solutions that enable customers to efficiently coordinate related jobs that are capable of satisfying high-level outcomes better than competing alternatives.

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