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How The Jobs to Be Done Theory Improves The Chances of Success in Product Development

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Jobs-to-be-done theory (aka jobs theory) is touted as bringing a high probability of success to the new product development process. Do you agree? Why or why not?

Developed as a complement to disruptive innovation, which forecasts and elucidates the characteristics of companies in risk of being interrupted, and aids them comprehend new products which pose a greatest challenge, the jobs to be done theory focuses on enabling companies create what consumers are interested in buying. The theory transforms the companies understanding of the consumer choices in a way by identifying the contributory factor or driver behind purchases. The theory propositions a solution that can be used to curb the low rates of success for innovations in companies throughout the world. The theory increases the probability of success of a new product development process five-folds (Christensen et al., 2016, p4).

As highlighted by Christensen et al. (2016), the insight into the various jobs needed to be done by customers allows the company to be able to differentiate what it offers in ways that other companies cannot be able to copy, a situation which could result to plummeting sales and success of a new innovation, resulting to the growth of the business (Christensen et al., 2016, p6).

Moreover, the jobs to be done theory provides a magnificent lens through which prospects for innovation can be thoroughly examined, exclusively for product designers and innovators rather than to marketers. Through having a thorough look at the jobs most needed to be done by customers, a company’s marketing department can be able to come up with new innovations geared towards meeting that need. Such products are highly likely to be successful innovations (Stinson, 2017). It can therefore be concluded that the jobs to be done theory has game changing effects on the probability of success to the new product development of a company, particularly in cases where the company knows the targets to hit.

What does it mean for that a customer profile and a value proposition are “aligned”? How do you determine if they are or are not aligned?

According to Osterwalder et al. (2014), a “value proposition” is double-sided – the customer profile where the client comprehension is elucidated, and the value map which describes strategies a company or business intends to use in order to create value for that customer. Achieving fit between this two occurs when of these two sides meets the other (Osterwalder et al., 2014). Therefore, customer profile and value’ proposition are said to be aligned if the company or business manufactures products and services that are geared towards meeting the needs of each customer, and the products they need.

A “value proposition” is a clear, conscious declaration geared towards identifying and expressing the remunerations or advantages a customer is likely to have or experience as a result of purchasing a certain product or service. Developing a value proposition means that the company will provide “superior and profitable customer value” (Lanning, 2000). In case the company’s value proposition is in alignment with the customer profile, the corporation is highly likely to experience escalating sales and profits which would result into the growth of the business in the long run. A company which has the customer profile aligned with the value propositions is likely to have an advantage in terms of competition over other businesses in the marketplace, especially through customer value. A business which emphasizes proposition value is likely to consider clients (customer profiles), to whom the solution bears potential abilities when it comes to delivering value. Such customers are likely to give the firm a competitive ability in the market, if such companies can employ customer value information in coming up with strategies which contribute to “marketing theory and practice” (Parasuraman, 1997).

Moreover, a business with an aligned customer profile and value proposition is likely to experience improved client “understanding and engagement.” Customer profile alignment and value proposition gives a business an enthralling and reverberating way of engaging with customers, an alignment without which a business might indulge customers in ways which might breed misunderstandings (Bruderer, 2013).

What are the different ways you can determine whether the business model for your new product is likely to be successful before you launch your product?

A rationale of how businesses creates, captures and conveys value to customers in different contexts whether social, cultural or economic, is what is referred to as a “business model.” A “business model” is said to be successful before a product launch if it explicitly describes the design, delivery and the distinct capture mechanisms that the business is going to employ. A successful business model as highlighted by Teece (2010), mirrors the developed hypothesis by the management on what the different customers want, and how the firm can prepare to adequately fulfill those needs, make sales and obtain profits (Teece, 2010).

Moreover, a business model which leaves room for further innovations in the future is said to be successful. Customer tastes and preferences often vary and are not static. This will give room for the implementation further changes as needed depending on the customer needs at that time (Teece, 2010). In addition, an efficacious business model according to Casadesus-Masanell & Ricart (2011), is “aligned with the” goals the firm wants to achieve. In other words, the choices made in the design of a successful business model should convey results aimed at enabling the business achieve its long term goals (Casadesus-Masanell & Ricart, 2011).

Furthermore, a fruitful ‘business model’ for a new product should be self-reinforcing such that the choices made by the organizations’ executives complement each other, in addition to, proclaiming an aura of internal consistence. As further highlighted by Casadesus-Masanell & Ricart (2011), it maintains its efficiency over time by dismissing threats such as faking, hold ups, substitutions, and slacks (Casadesus-Masanell & Ricart, 2011). In conclusion, a business model for a new product which fulfills all the above characteristics, that is, is aligned with the goals of the firm, is ‘self-reinforcing’, and is vigorous, is said to be a successful business model.

What is a product owner and what are his/her responsibilities in the new product development process?

A product owner is defined as one of the members of the Agile Team responsible for highlighting team backlog to facilitate the implementation of programs while maintaining the theoretical or the intangible, and technical aspects or constituents for the team (Schwaber & Beedle, 2002). The product owner according to Schwaber & Beedle (2002), has numerous roles and responsibilities in the ‘new product development process’, including the creation and maintenance of the product backlog, in order to achieve desired results by the product development team. This may include and not limited to identifying and describing the product backlog items.

Moreover, the product owner maximizes the significance or worthiness of the merchandise or product and the labor of the workforce team. The product owner in the development process of a new product usually exemplifies the customer, interfaces and also engrosses the consumer. This ensures that the product development team is actually developing the right product, and that the product is of a high potential value to the customer. The product owner in addition has the sole responsibility of steering the product development team in a different direction if need be, and can as well terminate the product development process if it comes to notice that such a change is necessary ( Schwaber & Beedle, 2002).

Furthermore, the product owner is involved in product goal setting and the creation of a vision in the new product development process. This is achieved through ensuring that the visibility of the product backlog is clear to all the product development team members. Moreover, it is his responsibility to ensure that the all of the product development team members have the ability to comprehend all the items in the product backlog to the level that is perfection (Schwaber & Beedle, 2002). The product owner also inspects the ‘new product development process’, and has the sole authority of deciding whether to accept or decline the work done.

What are the main benefits a business derives from using the scrum and sprint system of product development?

Scrum and sprint methods of product development allow the product development team members adjust activities to respond to situations which might arise in the process of managing projects. In the process, business stakeholders are able to come together on a regular frequency, to bring into line the product, customer needs and the goals of the company. This situation results into improved sales and business growth in the long run (Schwaber, 2004). Moreover, the scrum methodology of project management, employs a product owner who has vision for the project, and has knowledge on the requirements. This factor ensures that the product development team creates a product with the potential ability to entice a lot of customers into buying it. As such, the product is likely to do well in the market resulting to increased sales (Schwaber, 2002).

The sprint procedure of product development allows only the good products to be developed, products with a saleable potential. This delivery system shortens the needed time to market products a situation which may result to higher revenues, as each of the finished backlogs represents new release of the product. The review of each sprint moreover, enables product tasting to be conducted during the process of creating the new product, a situation which enables the team to change the scope of the project at any given point. This is facilitated by the involvement of the product owner (Schwaber & Beedle, 2002).

The use of the scrum and sprint methodology of new products development furthermore empowers the scrum master with the ability of tracking progress during the product development process and guide the team towards sprint completion, a situation which ensures that only good quality products are manufactured. The fact that the new product development team has to work within specified deadlines ensures that the company meets its production deadlines (Schwaber & Beedle, 2002).

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