A2: Customer Value and Product Features
The objective is to define user’s needs for an existing product and translate these to a new feature.
The assignment links the concepts of the week to one possible work flow associated with connecting the insights on customer value to product development, using a tool, job-to-be-done -framework. This assignment consists of 1) defining user problem, target segment and its need for a feature using Job-to-be-done framework, 2) forming high level definition of user experience, and 3) reporting the results.
WHAT IS A FEATURE?
Product (or service) is typically seen as an entity that has enough functionality to be valuable to user. In contrasts, a feature is not a stand-alone product but a characteristic or additional functionality in an existing product. In terms of JTBD, a product is something that can help user to do the job that needs to be done. A new feature can expand what jobs (and how) a user can achieve with the product. Therefore, a new feature can build more value for the existing users or to capture new user segments. Features can also build differentiation in terms of competition.
In product management, “Feature work” are the PM's efforts that aim to create and capture value by extending a product's functionality and markets into incremental and adjacent areas.
THE TASK IN STEPS
Part 1: Define the job, feature, and its potential value
- Choose your case and define the user’s problem: Pickyour case using the following steps:
- Choose an existing app that you either use regularly or know that other people use.
- Identify competing apps that seem to cater for the same need. Consider why this category of apps exists. What are the users’ goals when they use these apps?
- Narrow down the scope of different goals by selecting a target segment. Choose a segment that you think is a core segment for your chosen case app (or alternatively, a new segment)[i]
- Define the user problem:Use Job-to-be-done -framework to specify what are the needs and goals of the user (of the selected segment). Find people who are part of the defined segment, and validate the existence of the user problem and how people solve the problem currently (with or without an app).
If it seems hard to form a crisp JTBD-description, consider narrowing down the target segment.
- Define the needed feature and its value proposition: Based on the JTBD-results, define a new feature that is needed for the users’ job. Describe the benefit of the feature you propose in 1-2 sentences. Make sure you cover the following aspects:
- What is the problem you’re solving?
- How will this solution benefit your customer?
- What is unique about how you’re solving this problem?
- Value proposition passes the “so what” test?
Part 2: Define and (plan how to) validate user experience
- Describe the user experience: The (high level) user experience should describe the following:
- User story: The format to use for user story: As a < type of user >, I want < some goal > so that < some reason >
- Description: What does the feature do? What are the entry points for the user to this feature? How does the feature interact with other areas of the product?
- Other requirements: Other requirements may be related to functional aspects like security, quality etc.
Part 3: Report the results
- Present the results: The reporting should provide an argument why solving the problem matters, and how it should be done in terms of augmenting the case app with a new feature. Use reporting that details the aspects of your solutions visually. Your visualizations should present:
- The user’s problem and JTBD (with definition of user segment), and the related need for the feature (and naturally the app you’ve chosen).
- Definition of user experience with user story, feature description and other requirements.
- Also, relate the validations you’ve made to the respective points in part 1 and 2.
[I] In reality, figuring out the segments is a non-trivial task, to an extent that there’s an increasing demand for business-oriented sociologists and anthropologist. By picking a familiar app, we can circumvent this challenge in the scope of this assignment, since you are tapping to your experiences and prior knowledge about the app.