This post discusses a specific aspect of Jobs to be Done. If you haven’t already done so, we suggest starting with the post—What is Jobs To Be Done. This will give you a broad overview of JTBD concepts with links to other posts that take a deeper dive into those concepts.
Jobs-To-Be-Done is a contemporary methodology for identifying and precisely defining customer needs with respect to the “jobs” they’re trying to get done. Once prioritized, these needs define the value that individuals and organizations want from products and services to get those jobs done better, faster and cheaper.
With this knowledge, a company can consistently create new products and services and enhance existing offerings that can satisfy customer needs better than competing solutions. This enables companies to can create and maintain “best value” solutions for customers while minimizing the cost structure of those offerings. Simply put, companies can maximize the demand and profitability of any product or service throughout its entire market lifecycle.
The Job construct, whether explicit or implied, is an essential part of many popular innovation approaches and methodologies such as design thinking, ethnography in its many forms, the lean startup, as well as the Business Model Canvas and the Value Proposition Canvas. So, a good understanding of Jobs-To-Be-Done can add additional rigor to these methodologies, which can translate to more innovation success.
Jobs-To-Be-Done represents a culmination of the research and writings contributed by various individuals over the last 70 years. These contributors include academics across multiple disciplines and key individuals who pioneered many of the Jobs-To- Be-Done methods currently in use.
What makes jobs to be done very effective is that it lies on a theoretical foundation. As such, it explains “why” and therefore predicts customer buying choices. This is an important distinction because when you know ahead of time the value that customers want to get a job done, you can focus your innovation efforts on creating new products and services that enable them to get those jobs done better than competing solutions. Further, it become much clearer how to enhance existing products and services to keep them positioned as the best value among competing solutions throughout the product lifecycle of those offerings.
Benefits of Jobs-To-Be-Done
First, you can quickly and reliably identify the jobs people and organizations are trying to get done and the value that they want from products and services to get those jobs done well.
What I mean by “quickly” is that the Jobs-to-be-done Framework provides a structured way to understand customer behavior, which is a very complex phenomenon. This framework and its methods enable us to target exactly the information that we need for the purpose of creating customer demand. When we know what to ask customers and how to interpret customer data, the time required to define the value that customers want is greatly reduced. As a result, we avoid wasting time and resources exploring superfluous aspects of customer behavior.
What I mean by “reliable” is that Jobs-to-be-Done has a theoretical underpinning that explains the causal mechanism of customer behavior. That is, Jobs Theory reveals “why” customers choose to buy and use particular products and services and not others. Because jobs theory establishes a cause and effect relationship that is quite stable and predictive, we can target our innovation efforts to providing the value that customers want and avoid wasting resources on product features and benefits that customers don’t value.
Secondly, Jobs-to-be-Done enables us to better understand through the customers’ eyes what solutions they might hire to get a particular job done. This is important because customers don’t always make buying decisions based on industry-defined product and service categories. It’s easy to get blindsided when you’re not clear on what your products and services are competing against from the customers’ perspective.
Third, when you know what value customers want to get a job done and all the competing solutions they might consider, you have a kind of compass to create products and services that get the job done better than competing solutions and at a lower cost. It becomes much clearer how to position your products and services as the “best value,” creating a demand “pull” for your offerings. This is the essence of creating customer demand.
Lastly, anyone in an organization can effectively use the Jobs-to-be-Done framework and methods with just a little education. You don’t have to be an expert with years of experience to get the benefits of this approach.
At the most basic level there’s the Jobs to be done thinking process which help us understand the often-elusive concept of “customer value”. Simply put, jobs to be done enables us to perceive value the way customers do — that is, customer empathy. And with customer empathy, employees can better align their work with customer priorities thereby promoting a customer-centric culture that accelerates successful innovation.
In short, Jobs-To-Be-Done is a fast, reliable and inexpensive way to define the value that customers want from products and services and is really an indispensable tool for all those involved with innovation.
Summary of Benefits
- Quickly identify jobs that aren’t getting done well with existing solutions. Innovation efforts can then focus on exploiting those high-potential opportunities.
- Customer interviews are more productive because innovators know what questions to ask. This is important because 80% of customer information is superfluous for the purpose of innovation.
- The logical structure of a job provides the framework around which customer needs can be defined.
- The JTBD framework provides a systematic way to determine the circumstance and/or limitations of solutions-in-use that causes customers to struggle to get a job done well.
- When customer needs are prioritized for importance and satisfaction, a set of value targets is ascertained that define the value customers want from solutions to get a job done better. Innovators now have a spec for designing a best value solution.
- With value targets in hand, it becomes clear how to group customers into segments that want the same or similar value from solutions. Companies can then use their resources efficiently to create products and services that customers want.
- Jobs to be Done enables innovators to define all competing solutions from the customer’s perspective.
- With value targets in hand, innovators can design new solutions and enhance existing solutions in ways that enable customers to get a particular job done better than competing solutions at the lowest possible cost.
- Jobs to be Done can add additional rigor to other innovation methodologies and tools like design thinking, customer development and the Lean Startup, the business model and value proposition canvas, among others.
- Jobs to be Done enables innovators to systematically improve the customer experience for any product or service.
- Jobs to be Done is the only methodology that effectively connects customer needs with customer value, something that has long eluded practitioners and scholars alike.
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