Jobs to be Done Framework

Clayton Christensen, author of the The Innovator’s Dilemma, also invented the “Jobs to be Done” framework.

From the Clayton Christensen Institute:

The jobs-to-be-done framework is a tool for evaluating the circumstances that arise in customers’ lives. Customers rarely make buying decisions around what the “average” customer in their category may do—but they often buy things because they find themselves with a problem they would like to solve. With an understanding of the “job” for which customers find themselves “hiring” a product or service, companies can more accurately develop and market products well-tailored to what customers are already trying to do.

Too often, entrepreneurs think in terms of features. If our product does X,Y, and Z, then people will buy it. Instead, think about the job that needs to be performed and how the solution will fit it. Think solutions to jobs, not features.

What else? What are some more thoughts on the jobs-to-be-done framework?

2 thoughts on “Jobs to be Done Framework

  1. Anyone have any good examples of this framework being implemented on the marketing side (in website design specifically) for a SaaS company, other than Intercom?

  2. Despite claims to the contrary, the concept of “jobs to be done” comes from Tony Ulwick (Strategyn) — something that Christensen credited in “The Innovator’s Solution” in 2003, but seems to have since forgotten. If renaming Tony’s Outcome-Driven Innovation methodology as JTBD can be called “invention”, then I suppose it’s fair to say Clay invented it, but most of us would be hesitant to say that. In the process of redescribing it, Christensen also makes it almost unimplementable, although he tells much better stories.

    If you want to really understand how to capture jobs and apply the theory, the best source is Tony’s original book “What Customer’s Want”, or his most recent work “Jobs to Be Done: Theory to Practice”.

    @Brian: Strategyn has many examples on their website which you might find useful.

    In my 2014 book (“Disruption by Design”), I also talk about “jobs to be done”, specifically how to apply it to create disruptive innovations intentionally. The chapter discussing JTBD is also is an adaptation of Tony’s work.

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