In seeking to better understand customer jobs-to-be-done, I found myself a bit underarmed. Meaning, I didn’t really have a way to do this. The value of jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) thinking has only emerged recently. It’s still nascent, and there aren’t ready guideposts to follow. However, Tony Ulwick has been at it over two decades. Indeed, his outcome-driven innovation remains a powerful methodology with the structure needed to effectively identify opportunities. It is the JTBD standard.
But in my work, I wasn’t ready to engage external consultants. My project was more low level, relating to a significant enhancement to an enterprise software platform. My needs – and budget – didn’t rise to the level of a full-fledged consulting engagement. Also, I wanted to be the one talking with customers.
So I did what anyone interested in innovation would do. I hacked my own approach. I wanted a way to elicit jobs-to-be-done that had the following aspects:
- Accessible anytime I wanted it
- Low cost (free!)
- Allowed me to rank different jobs-to-be-done
- Created a way of seeing where the opportunities are
- Deepened my understanding of, and connection with, customers
The presentation below outlines a method to generate opportunity maps with customer jobs-to-be-done:
As you’ll see in the presentation, I consider this an initial blueprint. One that can, and should, be hacked to optimize it. But as the approach exists now, it will provide significant value. And for those who haven’t engaged customers at this level of dialogue, you’ll be amazed at what you learn.
Give it a try and let me know what value you get in talking JTBD with your customers.
(Cross-posted @ I'm Not Actually a Geek)