Innovation is difficult. There are many ways to think about innovation, but one method that has proven useful for many companies is the “Jobs To Be Done” Theory. The Jobs-To-Be-Done theory argues that people don’t just buy products– they hire them to get jobs done. And it’s our job, as product designers and developers, to understand what those jobs are so we can offer solutions in a way that surpasses customer expectations.
1. What is the Jobs To Be Done Theory?
If you’re wondering what is jobs to be done theory? Then look no further; the Jobs-To-Be-Done theory is an innovative method for understanding what people are hiring products to do and how we can create better solutions. Understanding this will help you discover your customer’s unmet needs so that you can more effectively innovate.
2. How does this theory work to innovate new products and services?
To understand how to use this theory, we first need to break down the “job” that our customers hire products and services for. Customers don’t just buy products– they hire them to get a specific job done. And once they find something that works, it’s hard for them to switch because of their pre-existing relationship with the product.
Once we understand what jobs our customers are trying to get done and how they currently hire solutions for these purposes, it’s much easier to uncover new needs that can be filled with innovative products or services.
The next step is understanding the pain points of getting the job done (i.e., why people hire current solutions in the first place). For example, the job that people use smartphones for might be to keep up with social media during lunch breaks at work. One of the pain points is being able to quickly check email and post updates before going back into a meeting.
In order to uncover innovative opportunities within this framework, we can ask questions about each step in the job.
For example, what barriers exist in performing each step? What are the emotions people feel when trying to do a certain task? Who else is involved, and how does that affect the performance of getting the job done?
Understanding these parts within an overarching “job” can uncover new opportunities to innovate with products or services.
3. Why is understanding jobs important for innovation
This is essential because customers don’t buy products– they hire them to get a job done. Therefore, if we want to create innovative solutions that surpass customer expectations, it’s important for us as product developers and designers to understand what those jobs are to offer better value with our offerings.
This method is also systematic because every step in the job reveals something new about the customer’s pain points and motivations, which helps us uncover new opportunities for innovation.
In addition to this framework being systematic, it also generates more and better innovative ideas because we’re taking a step back from just understanding what people are buying now. We can ask questions that dig deeper into why customers need these products– and in doing so, discover new opportunities that were previously hidden.
4. Example of how a company used the Jobs-To-Be-Done theory to innovate their product
A perfect example of this is Microloans and Mobile Banking.
In this case, the “job” is to provide a way for people living in poverty to have access to financial services so they can better their lives. However, traditional banks require collateral (such as land or property) that many of these families don’t own.
Instead of approaching the issue by assuming what people needed, these banks took a step back and discovered the actual “job” that people were hiring their products to do. They found that many of these families wanted access to financial services so they could avoid loan sharks who charged extremely high rates.
Understanding this job opened up doors for new solutions– such as mobile banking that didn’t require collateral and Microloans that were offered to those who didn’t qualify for traditional loans.
The jobs-to-be-done theory doesn’t just help us uncover opportunities– it also changes the way we approach innovation. Instead of asking what people want, we’re asking why they need these products in the first place so that we can better understand their motivations and pain points.
In conclusion, the jobs-to-be-done theory is a systematic way to uncover more and better innovative ideas. It works by first breaking down the overarching “job” that customers want done into individual steps, understanding why people hire current solutions (pain points), then uncovering new opportunities for innovation within each step of the job. This method generates more and better innovative ideas and helps us understand the motivations of our customers.