Inputs Into The Innovation Process
Company Success Criteria
The set of financial, strategic, and other criteria that a company uses to evaluate the attractiveness of markets, product platforms, business models, and features. Typically, these criteria go undefined and are not formally agreed upon or prioritized by management. They are rarely made transparent to the organization. Because these criteria are critical inputs into the innovation process, Strategyn has defined a unique and effective set, based on over 60 interviews with executives in a wide range of industries. This universal set of criteria is useful for evaluating the attractiveness of new markets, platforms, business models, and features.
Consumption Chain Jobs
The secondary functional jobs that customers must get done as they purchase, use, and take care of a product or service. For example, customers in many cases must acquire, receive, install, set up, learn to use, interface with, transport, store, maintain, upgrade, replace, and dispose of a product. Those tasks are not the primary reason for acquiring the product or service, but the customer must be able to perform them easily if the product or service is to be perceived favorably. Each of these 12 consumption chain jobs should be considered targets for design innovation, especially those that have a history of poor execution. Each consumption chain job has its own distinct job map and set of need statements.
Broadly speaking, a constituent in the customer chain, for whom the company chooses to create value. Although each constituent in the customer chain may be considered a customer, the primary customer in the customer chain is always the job executor. That is the person around whom the market has been created. Other constituents in the customer chain support the job executor and are trying to execute their own unique jobs. For example, the distributor performs the job of distribution and the purchaser performs the job of acquiring the product.
The group of downstream customers who manufacture, distribute, sell, or purchase a product or service as it makes its way to the person who ultimately uses the product or service to execute the job the product was intended to perform.
Customer Input Hierarchy
The structure and relationship of all the customer inputs that are needed to effectively execute the innovation process.
A metric that customers use to measure the successful execution of a job. When questioning customers about any given job, companies can expect to uncover between 50 and 150 such metrics, which are known in the outcome-driven paradigm as the customer’s desired outcomes because they explain what it is the customer is trying to achieve when executing the job. The name “outcome-driven innovation” originated from the discovery of these outcomes. (See customer needs.)
Synonymous with customer need, above.
The way customers want to be perceived or feel when executing a core functional job. When using a product or service, people may want to be perceived in a way that reflects their desired persona. They may also want to obtain a desired feeling. How they want to be perceived and how they want to feel are the customer’s emotional jobs. When driving a car, for example, a driver may want to be perceived as successful and environmentally conscious and may want to feel a sense of accomplishment. While products and services are created to help customers perform functional jobs, they are often positioned around the emotional jobs customers are trying to accomplish.
The primary task or fundamental goal a customer is trying to accomplish or problem the customer is trying to resolve in a given situation. Removing food particles from teeth, filing a tax return, and cleaning a car’s exterior are all examples of functional jobs that people try to get done. In addition to core functional jobs, there are also related functional jobs that people are trying to get done at the same time. These represent adjacent market opportunities. (See “Giving Customers a Fair Hearing,” in the Spring 2008 issue of the Sloan Management Review for additional details and rules to following when documenting job statements.)
A task, goal or objective a person is trying to accomplish or a problem they are trying to resolve. A job can be functional or emotional.
A visual depiction of a functional job, deconstructed into its discrete process steps, that explains in detail exactly what the customer is trying to get done. Unlike a process map, a job map does not show what the customer is doing (a solution view); rather, it describes what the customer is trying to get done (a needs view). Analysis of hundreds of jobs has revealed that all jobs consist of some or all of the eight fundamental process steps shown in Figure 4: define, locate, prepare, confirm, execute, monitor, modify, and conclude. This insight is essential for creating a framework around which customer needs (outcomes) are gathered. (To learn more about job mapping, see “The Customer-Centered Innovation Map” in the May 2008 issue of the Harvard Business Review.)