What is the job to be done? Using Clayton Christensen’s Jobs Theory in design

What is the job to be done?

What is the job to be done? Using Clayton Christensen’s Jobs Theory in design.

We hold Clayton Christensen’s Jobs to be Done in highest regard during our design process. Our first design question is: What is the job you need done?

Nobody that ever bought a drill actually wanted a drill. They wanted a hole. The product purchased was simply hired or used to deliver the actual job to be done – the hole.

Jobs to be done is a theory from Professor Clayton Christensen, a thought leader in disruptive innovation. Jobs theory has revolutionised the way we approach and execute the design process at Game On.

Before we start designing, we ask our clients:

  • What progress are you trying to make?
  • What are the struggles you have in making this progress?
  • What job needs to be done to remove the struggles?

The word “job” summarises what it is that the user really wants to achieve or accomplish, given their unique set of circumstances. Successful innovations, according to Professor Christensen, are those that help customers to solve problems, addressing the factors holding them back effectively so that they can move forward. Customers should experience functional, emotional and social benefits from their experience with a product or service. To get to the real job to be done, we should ask ourselves what those experiences should look and feel like for the customer, as they achieve or accomplish what they desire. What functional benefits should emerge? How should this job improve or benefit the emotional being of the customer and provide social benefits as a result?

Designers are constantly looking to improve and innovate. However, the most disruptive of innovations will fail if it does not address the job to be done. As such, we start every design session with a dreamy space that allows the customer to share their dream experience and uncover the job that they would like done.



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