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    October 20, 2023

    Context Is King: How Agile Job Stories Can Lead To Better Product Fit

    Jobs-To-Be-Done is a powerful product strategy framework, and Jobs Stories, an evolution of the User Story, are core to making it come to life. 

    In this webinar session, you will learn how Jobs Mapping and Jobs Stories can help create better value for customers by delivering the right value propositions to the right people in the right context in a differentiating way. 

    All while helping to reduce waste in the form of unused features to drive better fit.

    View the recording to learn how to:

    1. Map out Jobs-To-Be-Done in the context of a Customer Journey and Moments that Matter.
    2. Write Jobs Stories, and discover why it's a more powerful method than User Stories for describing sets of features. 
    3. Create and manage backlogs using Jobs Stories to make backlogs more meaningful and easier to manage.

    Miroverse Template  | View the Recording

    AF Webinar 231115-1-Webinar-Email Header-No Date

    About Chaz Mee

    Chaz is a hands-on strategist who has made a 20+ year career leading and inspiring multi-disciplinary teams in doing transformative work for some of the biggest brands by imagining and building new digital products, experiences, and services that deliver value to their customers, impact the business, and equity for the brand.

    Chaz has consulted with product and experience agencies such as Elephant, Work & Co, Analog Folk, Wunderman Thompson, and YMediaLabs on clients such as Goldman Sachs, Blink Fitness, Equinox, Con Edison, Lennar Home, IKEA, Dell, State Farm, Polestar EV, Bose, and VW. In 2022, Chaz also served as acting Exec. Director of Product & CX Strategy at Wunderman-Thompson, NY.

    Chaz, more recently, has been focused on helping clients look at Emerging Trends, Cultural
    Shifts and Market disruptions to craft strategies that address:

    • What's the future of sound experiences (Bose)?
    • What's the future of ethical shopping experiences (IKEA)?
    • What's the future of mobility experiences (VW)?
    • What's the future of energy experiences (ConEd)?
    • What's the future of cruising (Carnival)?
    Chaz has been a management consultant, interactive producer, award-winning (digital) creative director, co-founder, educator, and currently a strategist. He specializes in connecting the brand's ambitions and purpose to the customer experiences it
    creates through digital products and services. Chaz uses frameworks like jobs-to-be-done to help companies design the right products and services for the right customers in the right contexts to increase adoption and fit. He believes in the power of creativity to positively impact the world and enhance the
    human experience.

    Question and Answers (From Live Session)

    Question: Teams I work with often have very technical things they want to do, is it worth trying to write those as job stories?

    Answer: Personally, I would not. I developed this as a method for thinking about people in their everyday lives and how to solve problems contextually. I actually think user stories, in this case, might be fine to use as technical things (systems-type stuff, for example) don't really need this kind of storytelling.

    Question: When is it "good enough" to be done with the journeys?

    Answer: That's a great question.

    For me, if the team feels like they are capturing the key moments in time (moments that matter) and you feel you've described the value you will create and deliver to them in those moments, then that's good. This isn't meant to be a giant journey mapping exercise (I have done more in-depth job journeys, but that's a bit more involved).

    I developed Jobs Mapping to create a simple format that allowed you to tell that story in a compelling way and also to better link journeys to the backlog and vice versa through stories - and a way for you then to convert those more easily into sequences of Job Stories.

    One test is - think of you - think of moments where you hire a (digital) product to help you accomplish something (even at various times for various reasons). How would you describe that using a job story or jobs mapping? I hire Chase's digital service (which includes apps, websites, and chat) at various times for different reasons. What was your motivation (reason) for hiring that product, and when and why did you hire that product over others? That's a good test.

    It's ok to make some assumptions and even create hypotheses that you can even test out of this approach.

    Question: Is there any example to apply this to the B2B context? Users of the B2B tool probably face a different journey, do you have a good example?

    Answer: While I mostly focus on B2C, to me everyone in the end is a person who hires a product in some situation for some reason. I'll give you an example from Equinox. Equinox has salespeople who work in CRM systems (Salesforce). They are responsible for meeting with and selling memberships (and also various value-added fitness packages) to prospective new members. Even for a sales process, you can re-articulate the experience they are creating for customers (which Salesforce will then play a role in). So think of it not as "Sales" but redefine it as a "Join" experience for customers. In B2B, there is a user and a customer - and so the purpose of many B2B software is so that a business person (salesperson, someone who takes drink orders at Starbucks, etc) can provide a service to an end customer. That's a useful way of thinking about B2B, how people interact, and what they are hiring a POS or CRM system to do at various points during those interactions. So, if we go back to the Equinox Salesperson, you can start to use this lens and play the role of the salesperson.

    Here are some situations or moments that happen:

    • When I receive a new lead (from the website) - as context sales people would get leads from a few places, most of them via the website, that would then get assigned to them through Salesforce.
    • When I am meeting with a new prospect (this is what we call someone who is looking to become a member)
    • When I'm giving a tour of the club
    • When I'm reviewing memberships
    • When I'm following up Etc.

    This is just a basic example. I like that it describes the whole set of interactions, not simply talking about the features I need in Salesforce. By the way, doing this exercise led us to realize that there was a gap in the service, so we created what we called the "New Member Experience," - and then we started to describe what happens after someone joins: when someone walks into the gym for the first time, when they leave, etc. Now, you can see how you start to tell a more holistic story.

    Question: Can you provide an example of going too far [with journey mapping]?

    Answer: Besides the example I showed in the seminar, you can download the template in Miroverse; I'm happy to send along another example.

    Question: Do you go back and change the Wants to focus on after you’ve defined some? Like based on the Impacts, wouldn’t it make sense to change the Want to “I want to know what is the best route to take”?

    Answer: Yes. This is not meant to be linear - I think consistency with the situations is good (and using those when writing the stories so they naturally tie together into a cohesive journey in the backlog). The impacts exercise was meant as a sort of "pressure test" - and it's something I started adding for this particular reason - because for me, that's also how to start to think about the most important (and urgent) thing that person needs right then in that moment. You can re-write it - but I'm wary of using words like "best." Perhaps you might rethink the reason... (the motivation). In this context, you can assume, in many cases, the best route is always the one that gets you there the quickest (since this is about getting from A to B). I Want is the need - I need/want a notification if there are any changes or delays to my normal route. Why? Because something is happening to my normal route (which we assume is the quickest). And if that's the case, then I need alternatives (and yes, which can include the next quickest). But if nothing's changing, then obviously I don't need a notification (I would proceed on my normal route). What I might do instead is re-write the reason - so instead of "In order to avoid being late to work," I might write it as "So that I get to my destination the quickest way possible" - hopefully, that makes sense - happy to follow up if it doesn't.

    Question: Does Miro’s Product Team uses Job Mapping in their daily basis? If so, do you have just 1 “official” (and probably big) Job Map to map everything or do you need a lot of Job Maps (for example, one per feature cluster, product area, use case, user type, …)?

    Answer: Miro does not, to my knowledge. Jobs Mapping is not something that is standard - and in fact, this particular approach is one I developed after working on many client projects (and even when I was head of product at Equinox). A Jobs Map is meant to describe an overall product/service. You could have more than 1. It depends on how complex, possibly how many journeys, types of products or services etc. But generally, think about a jobs map as describing a larger service and what happens as customers engage with it - and why / what they might be hiring it for. Uber might have 1 jobs map (even though there are different use cases - people who do care share vs. dedicated rides, etc). WaWa would probably have a single jobs map. I would not try and create too many jobs maps - again try and describe the service and moments, not try and describe all the nuances of functionality or features of app for example (it is true that in many cases we access services via an app - people aren't hiring the app, they are hiring the product - often the app happens to simply be the way someone accesses it on the go - so just be aware of not confusing a service with the channel).

    Question: Is there any difference between Job Mapping and Story Mapping?

    Answer: I would say story mapping describes much more feature and functional aspects (how things might work, what exact steps people might take, what things they might see in an interface). Jobs Maps are meant to be higher level than that - they are meant to describe people, situations, behaviors, needs, and motivations - such that you understand why, when and where someone might hire your product to meet some (un)met need or unfulfilled job (ultimately in some differenting or novel way).

    Jason Tanner

    Jason joined Applied Frameworks in 2008. As CEO, he leads the company’s growth and consulting practice and teaches several of Applied Frameworks’ training programs as a Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Trainer. Jason has led Agile transformations at several Fortune 500 companies, including MassMutual, Capital One, and CoStar Group. He also regularly leads engagements focused on product and portfolio management. Jason writes frequently on advanced product management and consulting topics for the company blog. Jason co-created the Scrum Alliance advanced learning programs designed for the professional development of thousands of Scrum Masters and Product Owners. He went on to co-design the world’s first online, on-demand, self-paced programs for advanced Scrum education. Jason is frequently invited to speak at conferences, on webinars, and on podcasts, including for the Scrum Alliance, Product Management Today, Agile Heroes Summit, several Agile Alliance events, and local practice communities.