A job is the progress a customer seeks in a particular context
Knowing more and more about customers is taking us in the wrong direction. What we need to focus on is the progress that the customer is trying to make in a given circumstance — what the customer hopes to accomplish. This is the job to be done.
When we buy a product, we “hire” it to help us do a job. If it does the job well, the next time we’re confronted with the same job, we hire that product again. If it does a poor job this time, we “fire” it and look for an alternative.
The 2 Assumptions
When you decide to adopt a Jobs to be Done approach, you work with simple assumptions that drive decision-making.
Customers buy a product to perform a specific task
A passenger doesn’t want a ride in a taxi, he wants to reach a place.
A construction worker doesn’t want to push a wheelbarrow, he wants to move material from here to there.
An accountant doesn’t want a computer program, she wants an easy method to calculate tax.
Tasks become the job to be done.
Tasks are the heart of strategies and innovations
Our products evolve over time, but the jobs to be done remain.
If the customer’s needs are always initially conceived as the JTBD, they remain stable and valid for longer periods. Companies can remain focused on outcome-driven innovation.
Jobs To Be Done Example
Imagine you have just taken a photograph, there are numerous potential jobs now
1) Capture this moment privately between two people, so we can look back on it fondly in years to come.
2) Embarrass a friend in front of another friend.
3) Get this photo backed up online, so I can point others to it.
4) Get a copy of this photo to my grandmother who doesn’t use computers.
5) Make this look cool and interesting. Like me. And then share it.
6) Get this edited and into my portfolio so people consider hiring me for future engagements.
In this case the products you could hire are Facebook, iPhoto, Instagram, Flickr. When you think about how many of these apps you use, you realise the job is the distinction here, not you.
Focusing on the job rather than the persona helps highlight how features like red-eye reduction, multiple photo sizes, or filter effects are only useful for certain jobs
Desired Outcome Statement
|Object Of Control
|Time it takes
Listening to music
Example “Hiring” an iPod
The user experience is tailored to do the job of helping you feel motivated when you go running. The iPod is smaller than a CD player, easier to use, and it allows you to have more than one CDs worth of songs on your playlist. You don’t have to listen to the same music over and over again or change a CD.
Feature: 5 GB Storage
Benefit: 1,000 songs your pocket
Context: When you go running
Job to be done: You want to motivate yourself with music
System of Progress
All customers journey through the same System of Progress
According to JTBD theory, the journey for progress includes four touch-points:
The customer imagines a better life solution — a “new me”
The customer searches for and chooses a solution
The customer uses the solution in order to start making progress
The customer realises the “new me”
Forces of Progress
Anxiety force reduces progress. There are 2 types of anxieties for customer jobs:
- Anxiety in Choice (I will choose the wrong product)
- Anxiety in Use (the product won’t work the way I expect)
Inertia force reduces progress – a tendency to do nothing or remain unchanged.
There are two types of inertia’s for customer jobs:
- Habits in Choice (I will choose products that I always have)
- Habits in Use (I will use products that I always have)
Push force improves progress
It is signified by a need to change. There are both internal (e.g. motivation for progress) and external (e.g. life forcing someone to change) pushes.
Pull force improves progress and it is signified by an aspiration or ideal that someone is in pursuit of (e.g. a better life).