Imagine you are a manufacturer of medical devices, say, scalpels for example. Who is your customer?
Is it the surgeon who uses the scalpel for performing a surgery? Or is it the nurse who secures a smooth operation? Maybe it is the medical device technologist who reprocesses the equipment to make it aseptic and ready for the next operation? Or even the hospital’s sourcing team that wants to purchase the best products while optimizing commercial outcomes?
All these health care professionals have one or many touchpoints with the scalpel, and each of them has quite different requirements for it. This is a typical example for a complex market, a market that consists of an ecosystem of customers with different roles and tasks, that have different needs around one and the same physical product.
From the manufacturer’s perspective, it may seem hard to decide which customer group’s requirements are most relevant for product development, for marketing & sales, for the digitization strategy and last but not least for new business model development.
Jobs-to-be-Done thinking offers a workable framework for maintaining an overview and creating the right mix of value propositions.
The health care sector has many stakeholders, each with an agenda, while the competing interests of the different stakeholders aren’t always clear or compatible, as this HBR Article outlines. As a consequence, medical industry products often need to appeal not just to the functional user of an healthcare organization, but to a complex landscape of stakeholders all of whom have a say in whether an innovation is adopted or not. Arlen Myers, president of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, indicates that many (digital) health startups fail because they don’t involve end users early and often enough, they don’t address the needs of multiple stakeholders, or because they create products that interfere with workflows instead of making them easier.
In the Digital Disruption Programme of the University of Cambridge Business School, the stakeholder term is clarified by describing it as an ecosystem. The course defines an ecosystem very broadly as “dynamic and co-evolving communities of organizations, customers, competitors, suppliers, producers, financiers, trade associations, standard bodies, labor unions, governmental and quasi-governmental institutions, and other who create and capture new value through both collaboration and competition.” A company operating in such a complex market should not be viewed as part of a single industry, but as part of a business ecosystem that crosses a variety of industries.
In Jobs-to-be-Done language, the market ecosystem members are different “job executors” having different “jobs-to-be-done”. Their individual jobs-to-be-done are interconnected: they are like pieces of a puzzle that together form a bigger picture.
The JTBD Needs Framework helps to define and align the different job executors and jobs-to-be-done in a systematic way. It differentiates between three types of customers: the core job executor, the consumption chain executor and the buyer (see graphic at the end of the blog article).
Putting all types of job executors together, a structured view emerges that can deliver a comprehensive base and “North Star” for the creation of solution offerings that deliver value to all members of a market ecosystem. If you want to learn more about innovating and growth in market ecosystems, highlight the 16th and 17th of June in your calendar: at the “JTBD VIRTUAL MASTER CLASS BASIC” you will get more insights on the topic “ODI & Health Care – The Innovation Ecosystem”. For more inspiration on innovation in medical industry, read the case study from Advanced Surgical Tools or our Blog article Escaping the commodity trap: Medical Industry.
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