Foreword Reviews

Jobs to Be Done

A Roadmap for Customer-Centered Innovation

Company leaders looking for ways to institutionalize innovation are sure to find this guide useful.

Based on the work of a Harvard Business School professor, Jobs to be Done demonstrates a systematic, repeatable way for companies to innovate.

In the broadest sense, “jobs” are what any company’s customers want to accomplish; surprisingly few companies, however, have an in-depth understanding of what their customers really need. Wunker, Wattman, and Farber, a team of consultants with the firm New Markets Advisors, believe that customer insight is the key ingredient to developing innovative solutions.

Jobs to be Done is a road map for creating new ideas. The authors acknowledge that Clayton Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School, first popularized the Jobs-to-be-Done theory, and that their book is an effort to formalize his innovation process. Divided into two parts, the book first delves into the theoretical underpinning of the “Jobs Roadmap,” exploring and defining concepts like jobs, job drivers, success criteria, and obstacles. Also discussed are two major characteristics of the innovation process: the value of the jobs developed, and the competitive environment.

Perhaps the most important point in the first portion is that companies need to view the world from the customer’s perspective. According to the authors, the most successful companies are “those that have figured out how to satisfy the right jobs and alleviate the right pain points.”

The second half of the book demonstrates how to apply the Jobs Roadmap. It moves from establishing objectives to planning an approach, generating ideas, “reframing” a perspective, and experimenting. The book utilizes a number of examples to illustrate the process in action.

Jobs to be Done is highly organized and expertly crafted. The text is augmented with numerous useful flow charts that make the process visually come alive. Company leaders looking for ways to institutionalize innovation are sure to find it here.

Reviewed by Barry Silverstein

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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