Jobs Theory
Jobs Theory
Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

Jobs Theory creates a common language that can serve as a North Star to align Product, Design, and Development teams as they collaborate to create new products and services.

In a day and age in which consumers’ needs, and expectations are in constant flux companies have to be able to get new products and services out to market quickly in order to remain competitive.

To accomplish this, companies — and more specifically product teams — need to optimize their processes in order to accelerate delivery and limit waste.

In large organizations, optimization involves obtaining alignment across multiple divisions and departments. And in product teams, a lack of alignment can create tension among team members that have inherently different motivations and desires, but ultimately need each other to survive. …


Facilitation supplies
Facilitation supplies

A collection of real world tips and advice on how to run productive meetings and workshops.

Start Off Strong by Reviewing the Goals and Objectives

  • Review the goals and objectives at the beginning of the meeting and make sure everyone is able to see them/read them (ex. display them on a slide that everyone can see)
  • Be sure to ask if anyone has questions, or needs anything clarified, before you begin
  • Keep the goals and objectives up and visible when you can (in-person), or repeat them periodically (remote) to keep them top of mind

Share the Why

  • Explain WHY the goals and objectives you have outlined are important and HOW their participation is going to…

Do I really need to schedule that meeting framework
Do I really need to schedule that meeting framework

As the meeting owner, your goal should be to strive to make the best use of the meeting attendees’ time

Serious question, when was the last time you left a meeting and felt like it was an effective use of your time? And I don’t necessarily mean jumping high fives and confetti, but genuinely feeling better after a meeting than you felt going into it.

Technology has made it easier than ever to stuff our coworker’s calendars with invites, and setting up a “quick meeting” has become as second nature as snapping a selfie.

There have been a lot of articles written about how to make meetings more engaging, productive, and effective, but I feel like most meetings end up being a waste of time for a couple of core reasons. …


User Value Story — Gaining alignment
User Value Story — Gaining alignment

In 2019 I wrote an article about using Jobs Theory to align product teams. Simply put, “jobs” transcend products, services and internal politics to create a common understanding around value for the user.

And as a follow-up to that article, I have created an activity workbook to help product teams gain alignment around a user’s Job to be Done (JTBD).

The workbook includes 7 activity guides and is designed to help teams create a full picture, and narrative, of the user's role(s), goal(s), and the jobs/tasks they are hiring products and services to help them with.

User Value Story — Activity Guide
User Value Story — Activity Guide

OVERVIEW

User Roles. Roles help us focus on the user’s primary job and functions. …


Rocks balanced along the shore of Lake Travis
Rocks balanced along the shore of Lake Travis
Credit: Roman Grant

VUCA, is a military acronym that stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. It’s an excellent way to view the complexity of the world around us.

And like Mike Tyson said, “everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth.” But seriously… No workshop plan, or meeting agenda, survives first contact with reality.

This is the first article in a series about workshops that I will be writing. …


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SDS Specialists guiding customers

I have a cousin that works at a liquor store with about 13 or so other Social Distancing Squares. Well, he thinks there’s about 13, but he’s not really sure since they have to stay so far apart from each other during their shifts. Either way my cousin was one of the first Social Distancing Squares, or SDS Specialists as they prefer to be called, to get hired and he is amazed at how fast the job has grown in such a short amount of time.

The last time we talked, he told me about what he likes to do to pass the time when it gets really busy at work. “I like to play this game where I look at what people are buying — you know, the type of alcohol and stuff — and try to figure out what they are planning to do,” he said. “It’s the masks that really make it a challenge. Between that and the angle, it’s hard to get a good read on the person,” he explained. …


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Photo by Roman Grant

(A short essay generated from the variety emails I have received over the past few weeks 😏)

It is safe to say these past weeks have been among some of the most tumultuous and emotional that any of us can remember in our lifetimes. The impact of the corona virus outbreak has been felt by individuals and families, companies and communities, across the United States and around the world.

During this challenging time, we know your time is precious. And we’ve been working around the clock to adapt to this new landscape. …


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Photo by William Moreland on Unsplash

I have a fish tank with no fish. Just water, playground sand, and a few rocks from adventures with my daughter. It was an impulse buy from Amazon, a task (see distraction) for me to complete while I sit wondering when things will return back to normal. Normal, of course, being relative.

I’ve made a few of these purchases over the past few weeks. And thankfully dodged a couple that would have been regrettable once my life resumed it’s normal cadence.

Did you know that chickens live for 5–10 years. Maybe you did, but I wasn’t aware until about a week ago. A week ago when I was almost convinced that raising, “just a couple of chickens” would be a “good challenge” and use of time. It’s funny how we often try to rationalize things to fit our internal narratives. …


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Photo by Victoria Wendish on Unsplash

A thoughtful icebreaker question can be a powerful tool that provides a wealth of insights to a facilitator. I’ll admit that I am biased, but I love to use a good icebreaker question to kick off my workshops. And even though it can feel a little touchy-feely, I am always amazed at how groups are able to connect and build trust from learning just a little bit about each other.

Below, I will share a few of the questions that have been useful for me during workshops along with the rationale behind why I like to use the question.

Q1. If you were asked to give a 30-minute presentation on a non-work related topic, and only had 5 minutes to prepare, what would your presentation be about?


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What if I told you that a $7 addition to your facilitation toolkit could help you keep participants engaged, on track, and energized during your next workshop or group strategy session?

Now don’t get me wrong, facilitation is challenging, and a party clapper isn’t going to save you if tempers rise and tables start flying. That being said, it’s an excellent addition to any facilitator’s toolkit and it’s easily the best $7 dollars I have ever spent on workshop supplies (sorry Post-It).

Increase Engagement

As the facilitator you set the tone for the day. Do you want participants to support each other? Do you want people to feel comfortable sharing their ideas? …

About

Roman Grant

A former Army nurse that fell in love with product management and human-centered design. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-always4wrd-podcast/id15172994

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