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Jobs-To-Be-Done (JTBD)

Introductory Description

Jobs to be Done (JTBD) is a framework that focuses on understanding the specific tasks customers are trying to accomplish - their "jobs" - and how a product or service can be designed to fulfill these jobs. It emphasizes customer needs and behaviors over product features and specifications.

Detailed Description

Jobs to be Done (JTBD) is a robust customer-centric framework originally popularized by Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor, and later further developed by Anthony Ulwick. It posits that customers hire products or services to perform certain jobs in their lives. By understanding these jobs and the specific outcomes customers are trying to achieve, companies can innovate and design solutions that directly meet those needs.

Clayton Christensen's perspective on JTBD emphasizes the circumstances or situations that drive customers to adopt new products. According to him, understanding the context or the "job" that customers need to get done is key to driving innovation. For instance, a person "hires" a milkshake in the morning not because of its taste, but to keep themselves full during a long commute. In this view, the job is defined broadly, beyond functional tasks, to include social and emotional dimensions as well.

Anthony Ulwick's approach, on the other hand, introduces a methodology called Outcome-Driven Innovation (ODI). The ODI process begins by defining all the jobs a customer is trying to get done and then identifying the desired outcomes or metrics that customers use to measure success when executing these jobs. This approach is more structured and focuses on quantifying the unmet needs, making it possible for companies to prioritize where to focus their innovation efforts based on opportunities for the greatest impact.

Ulwick's ODI process includes defining the job map, which is a step-by-step representation of the customer's job, and categorizing over 100 potential customer desired outcomes. The outcomes are then ranked by importance and satisfaction, resulting in an 'opportunity score'. High-scoring outcomes represent areas of opportunity where customer needs are unmet, guiding companies where to focus their innovation.

In both approaches, the core premise is that by understanding the "jobs" that customers are trying to accomplish and the outcomes they desire, companies can create superior products and services that fulfill these needs more effectively than the competition. This not only provides a valuable framework for product development and innovation but also for the formulation of marketing, sales, and overall business strategy.

Thought Leaders on the Topic

Anthony Ulwick, Clayton Christensen

Original Sources or Resources for Further Reading

Jobs To Be Done

Detailed Insight

Key Insights

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Growth & Business Design

When it comes to growth, misunderstanding or misalignment can lead to detrimental outcomes, including resource waste, market misalignment, and stunted growth. By contrast, having a shared language and clear definitions can cut through ambiguity, foster collaboration, and boost the effectiveness of strategic decisions.


Embrace the power of shared language and understanding to drive more rapid, aligned, and effective execution and implementation. This is your key to outcompeting in your chosen market.


This library will further strengthen your understanding, allowing you to dive deeper into the intricacies of growth, and facilitating more nuanced conversations within your teams. 

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