Jobs To be done in the real world

Last updated on: Published by: Asad Safari 0

If you are trying to understand or learn about Jobs-to-be-Done and you are looking for real-world cases, there are a few real cases like“McDonald’s Milkshake”, and it’s difficult to find other examples.

In my previous article, I introduced a tool for agile coaches “Coaching canvas”. I tried to use the Jobs-to-be-done technique to create and introduce this canvas. In this post, I want to share my story with JBTD.

“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”

This is the essence of the jobs to be done. Your customers are not buying your products, they are hiring them to get a job done. (CLAY CHRISTENSEN)

So it is necessary to understand the job that customer want to get done. most of the time we just think about our product and we fall in love with it but our customer or the user just think about her job.

Charles Revson, the founder of Revlon, said:

In the factory we make cosmetics; in the drugstore we sell hope.

In my last experience, I tried to test JBTD with coaching canvas. Coaching canvas is a tool for coaches that they can frame problems and solutions in a good format. But it’s not the main job that agile coaches want to get done. Agile coaches don’t need another tool, they want to help teams to be agile and looks valuable for them and organizations.

They “hire” this tool to make progress.

So based on this idea I started my article with this title “How to avoid imposter syndrome for Agile Coaches”. Why imposter syndrome? You know agile coaches want to help teams to be agile and looks valuable. But sometimes they are are not successful to get this job Done, and in psychological aspect, most of them will feel imposter syndrome (I’m not valuable for organization and kind of frustration).

In the classic definition of JBTD, we have different types of jobs:

Functional Jobs — the core tasks that customers want to get done

Emotional Jobs — how customers want to feel or avoid feeling as a result of executing the core functional job

Social Jobs — how customers want to be perceived by others

Something like this:

An agile coach wants to help teams to be more agile (Functional Job) She wants to look valuable in the organizations (Social Job) and Don’t feel imposter syndrome (Emotional Job).

There are lots of different canvases out there, but they hire a Coaching Canvas to get their job done.

Based on my experience, Emotional and Social jobs are over Functional jobs. But unfortunately most of the time we ignore these aspects. Over 40 billion photos have been shared on Instagram, Why people would like to share their photos? Instagram clocks up 3.5 billion likes every day.

But in the new definition of JBTD, 3 types of jobs are not a useful idea. Alan Klement, With respect to Jobs, no objective test can be created to say, “This is a social Job. That is not a social Job.” If I buy a Ferrari to impress other people, is it a “social” Job because I reference other people? Or should we rephrase it as insecurity, making it a “personal” or “emotional” Job? Take it from me, don’t waste your time trying to dissect Jobs into different types. It’s about as productive as trying to answer, “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?”

I agree with Alan, categorizing jobs to 3 different categories is not a useful activity.

In another part of Alan’s story, “JTBD is not a framework, method, lens, or methodology. It’s not something you do. It’s something you learn.” Its purpose is to help you describe demand, not to tell you what to do about it. JTBD is about understanding what-is. It is not about creating what-should-be.

In my story, I learned about agile coaches demand and I tried to explain it with JBTD theory.

“An agile coach wants to help teams to be more agile, She wants to look valuable in the organizations and Don’t feel imposter syndrome.”

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About the Author:

Asad Safari is an Enterprise Lean/Agile Coach. He works as an Agile coach for more than 7 years with several enterprises and startups. He has more than 14 years experience in the IT industry as a Software Developer, Tester, and finally an agile practitioner. You can follow Asad on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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