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JOBS TO BE DONE


Rocket fuel for product marketing and innovation

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JOBS TO BE DONE


Rocket fuel for product marketing and innovation

Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) is a collection of principles that help us understand, describe and predict how customers will behave. It was developed by Bob Moesta, Rick Pedi, John Palmer, Pam Murtaugh, and others in the early 1990's and initially made famous when referenced in Clay Christensen's book, The Innovator's Dilemma. In recent years, it has increased in popularity as more companies have thrived through applying the principles to their innovation and product development efforts. 

A Job to be Done is not an activity ("help me manage my team") or the outcome of using a product ("help my team get tasks done on time"). Rather, a Job to be Done illustrates a customer's struggle for progress ("Help me generate sales for my business") and how they see their life improving once they have a solution for that struggle ("... so I will have predictable revenue to fund our needs").

Customers with this struggle will choose from a variety of products depending on their situation:

        In the beginning, I need help getting started, so I...
        ...Get a sales coach
        ...Or pursue an MBA
        ...Or read a book about management
        ...Or take an online course

        Eventually, I realize I'm struggling to keep up, so I...
        ...Increase my prices
        ...Or hire a salesperson
        ...Or subscribe to basecamp
        ...Or find some sales automation software

        When I'm ready to grow the business, I...
        ...Build a team and hire a sales manager
        ...Or get Salesforce
        ...Or find some automation software 

JTBD helps us understand why customers choose one solution over another. It helps us define markets based on causal factors like revealed consumer motivation rather than correlative factors like geography or vertical industry.

We help our customers use JTBD thinking to:

  • Develop marketing that connects a customer to a Job to be Done.
  • Position the product against all solutions customers may choose to get their Jobs Done -- not just similar products.  
  • By deeply understanding how the product helps the customer in their struggle for progress, Product teams are able to better manage their backlog and create innovative solutions to help customers get their Jobs Done cheaper, faster, better. 

 

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Resources


Jobs to Be Done can be a challenging concept to understand. Fortunately there is a generous community who is passionate about the idea and is eager to teach and discuss it. 

Resources


Jobs to Be Done can be a challenging concept to understand. Fortunately there is a generous community who is passionate about the idea and is eager to teach and discuss it. 

My Resources

I host a podcast called Jobs to be Done in 5. I also help manage the largest collection of JTBD articles on the internet at JTBD.info

I have developed the Demand Profile to help document key data from customer interviews.

PEOPLE ON TWITTER

The #JTBD tag is a good place to start. Here are some people who frequently talk about and help people understand JTBD on Twitter:

Videos

I owe a great debt of gratitude to Bob Moesta who has evangelized JTBD thinking after being one of the early pioneers. Following are a couple of videos where Bob shares his perspective on what JTBD thinking is. 

Websites

JTBD.info is a great collection of articles about the principles of JTBD and examples of people applying it in their business. I contribute and go back to it regularly to learn more. 

jobstobedone.org is rich with information about tools you can use to learn what Jobs To Be Done is, how companies are using it and tools that you can put in to practice to apply the idea to your own venture. 

GeneratingDemand by John Palmer (one of the co-creators of JTBD)

Books

I found the following books to be quite helpful as I began my journey of learning about JTBD. 

WARNING: Two Different "Jobs to be Done"

When I was getting started with Jobs to be Done, I found it very confusing. A signifiant factor in this confusion is that there are two different interpretations of Jobs to be Done Theory and many methods built on top of those two theories. While they initially seem to share some similarities, the methods and underlying theories are very different and, in my opinion, incompatible with one another. 

One take on the theory of Jobs to be Done was created by Bob Moesta, Rick Pedi, John Palmer, and others. In the words of John Palmer, this version of the theory: "does not describe what the product must do, it describes what the customer must do." This is the theory that Motile uses to guide our work. 

The other version of JTBD theory was developed by Tony Ulwick. I confess to knowing very little about his interpretation of JTBD -- only enough to know that it is different. As I am admittedly ignorant about Tony's interpretation, I will not comment on it, and I am neither a critic or advocate. You can learn more about this flavor through these resources: