Jobs to be Done: Theory to Practice
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Read between January 17 - February 05, 2019
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Tying customer-defined metrics to the underlying process the customer was trying to execute was the key to success.
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Clay was quick to key in on the fact that the focus of our approach was not on the customer or the product, but rather on the underlying process the customer was trying to execute, or, as he eventually came to call it, the “job” the customer was trying to get done.
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“Innovation can be far more predictable—and far more profitable—if you start by identifying the jobs that customers are struggling to get done”.
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Companies fail frequently at innovation because they struggle to understand and rationalize all the customer’s needs.
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But there is a problem: despite its popularity, academic support, and widespread use, the ideas-first approach to innovation cannot be counted on for predictable
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Generating more ideas that fail to address unmet customer needs is misguided, and doing something bad faster does not lead to better results.
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It is like expecting a doctor to recommend the right treatment without knowing what is wrong or what the symptoms are.
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The third reason why the ideas-first approach is doomed is that customers cannot articulate the solutions they want.
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As amazing as it sounds, the truth is companies routinely try to satisfy customers’ needs without a clear definition of what a need even is.
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"People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!" Clayton Christensen said, “People buy products and services to get a job done”. In his most recent book he says, “Customers don’t buy products; they pull them into their life to make progress.”
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Jobs-to-be-Done Theory provides a framework for (i) categorizing, defining, capturing, and organizing all your customer’s needs, and (ii) tying customer-defined performance metrics (in the form of desired outcome statements) to the Job-to-be-Done.
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Because customers are loyal to getting a job done, customers will switch to new solutions when they are able to get the job done significantly better.
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The core functional job is the anchor around which all other needs are defined.
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a job is stable; it doesn’t change over time.
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While defining the functional job correctly is important, uncovering the customer’s desired outcomes (the metrics they use to measure success when get the job done) is the real key to success at innovation.
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Emotional jobs define how customers want to feel or avoid feeling as a result of executing the core functional job. Social jobs define how the customer wants to be perceived by others.
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Knowing how to classify all the customer’s needs changes everything.
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new products and services win in the marketplace if they help customers get a job done better (faster, more predictably, with higher output) and/or more cheaply.
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So if the job is to “cut a piece of wood in a straight line”, don’t say “accurately, safely and quickly cut a piece of wood in a straight line”. Accurately, safely and quickly vaguely describe outcomes associated with getting the job done.
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Rather define the job around what the customer decides to do in that situation. For example, commuters may find themselves “on a long, boring commute”, but “having a long and boring ride to work” is not a job—it is a situation commuters find themselves in. You cannot study the job of “overcoming boredom” because it is not a functional job.
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A job statement always begins with a verb and is followed by the object of the verb (a noun).
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Job statement = verb + object of the verb (noun) + contextual clarifier
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Outcome statement = direction of improvement + performance metric + object of control + contextual clarifier
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The only way to discover segments of customers with unique sets of unmet needs is to segment the market around unmet needs.
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asking customers what job they are trying to get done instead of asking them what solutions they want
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Job-to-be-Done – A task, goal or objective a person is trying to accomplish or a problem they are trying to resolve. A job can be functional, emotional or associated with product consumption (consumption chain jobs).
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1962 Theodore Levitt said, “people don’t want a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.”
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