What is Jobs-to-be-Done?

Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) is best defined as a perspective — a powerful lens through which companies can observe markets, customer needs, competitors, and market segmentation differently, and in doing so, make their success at innovation far more predictable and profitable. Companies look at the world of innovation through this lens to accelerate their growth.
JTBD GUIDE
HOW TO INNOVATE AT THIS STEP IN THE JOB MAP

Uncover hidden opportunities. Get there first. Win every time.

Pursue big ideas. Get there first. Win every time.

Download your free copy of Tony Ulwick’s book Jobs-to-be-Done: Theory to Practice.

Download your free copy of Tony Ulwick’s book Jobs-to-be-Done: Theory to Practice.

FREE JTBD BOOK DOWNLOAD
FREE JTBD BOOK DOWNLOAD
Jobs to be Done Book

What is Jobs-to-be-Done Theory?

Jobs-to-be-Done Theory is a theory of innovation that is based on the economic principle that people buy products and services to get “jobs” done, i.e., to help them accomplish tasks, achieve goals and objectives, resolve and avoid problems, and to make progress in their lives.

The theory goes on to say that to create products and services that are likely to win in the marketplace, companies must make the customer’s job-to-be-done the unit of analysis, work to gain a deep understanding of the job, and then create offerings that will help people get their jobs done significantly better and/or more cheaply.

Making the job the unit of analysis, rather than the product or the customer, opens the door to new possibilities. While products come and go, the customer’s job-to-be-done remains stable over time, providing companies with a stable focal point for their value creation efforts.

Consider the job of listening to music on the go.

If cassette tape, CD, and MP3 manufacturers focused on the job instead of the technology, they may have avoided disruption. Maintaining market leadership means staying focused on helping people get more of the job done and help them get it done better and cheaper.

Listening to be music JTBD

With a focus on the job-to-be-done, the world looks different. A market becomes a group of people trying to get a job done. Customer needs become the measurable outcomes they are trying to achieve. A new language of innovation emerges — one that is helping companies take the randomness and risk out of their innovation initiatives.

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The core tenets of JTBD Theory

JTBD Theory is comprised of a set of tenets, each of which reveals a unique aspect of the theory. Collectively, the tenets offer a foundation upon which an organization can reinvent its approach to marketing and innovation..

The nine tenets of JTBD Theory: building blocks for predictable growth.

01

People buy products and services to get a “job” done.

02

Jobs are functional — with emotional and social components.

03

A Job-to-be-Done is stable over time.

04

A Job-to-be-Done is solution agnostic.

05

Success comes from making the job the unit of analysis, rather than the product or the customer.

06

A deep understanding of the customer’s job makes marketing more effective — and innovation far more predictable.

07

People want products and services that will help them get a job done better and/or more cheaply.

08

People seek out products and services that enable them to get the entire job done on a single platform.

09

Innovation becomes predictable when “needs” are defined as the metrics customers use to measure success when getting the job done.

These tenets detail a sound and proven theory because they are based on evidence, verification, and repeated testing by the Strategyn team. The world’s most sophisticated companies are relying on them to successfully accelerate their innovation efforts.

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Tenets of JTBD Theory >>

Why is Jobs-to-be-Done important?

Putting Jobs-to-be-Done Theory into practice enables companies to adopt a common language of innovation and transform their innovation processes from an art to a science. Most notable, applying JTBD allows companies to:

1.

BREAK DOWN FUNCTIONAL SILOS AND ALIGN TEAMS.

With Jobs-to-be-Done, all functions in the business can align around a common understanding of the customer’s needs and how to create value for that customer.

2.

CREATE WINNING PRODUCTS.

With a deep and comprehensive understanding of where customers struggle to get a job done, companies are far more likely to pursue big ideas, get there first, and win in the marketplace — the first time around.

3.

COMMUNICATE OFFERINGS EFFECTIVELY.

Jobs-to-be-Done helps marketers align the entire organization around a clear and consistent messaging strategy that strongly resonates with customers.

JTBD provides valuable insights to help inform nearly every business discipline.

Executives

Executives

JTBD helps executives confidently grow the business by answering questions like:

  • How can we align the efforts of our product teams around value creation?
  • How do we instill an innovation mindset that is truly customer-centric?
  • How can we be certain we are pursuing big ideas that will win in the marketplace?
  • How can we protect ourselves from being disrupted?
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Product Managers

Product Managers

Jobs-to-be-Done helps product teams launch highly successful products by answering questions like:

  • Do our products get the entire job done, or only parts of the job?
  • What holes exist in our product portfolio?
  • Are customers cobbling together solutions to get the entire job done?
  • What actions can we take that will have the greatest impact on the biggest customer population?
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Product Development

Product Managers

Developers use JTBD to streamline product development efforts by helping them determine:

  • What product tradeoffs should be made to maximize value creation efforts?
  • What consumption chain jobs are customers struggling to execute?
  • How effective is the user interface?
  • How can we improve the user experience and customer experience?
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Marketers

JTBD helps marketing teams position and communicate the value of company offerings by answering questions such as:

  • What unique and valued competitive position should we claim?
  • What value proposition will strongly resonate with customers?
  • How should we customize our marketing communications?
  • How should we adjust our content?
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