How to apply outcome-driven innovation to your business goals with “Jobs To Be Done”

by | Mar 22, 2023 | Jobs to Be Done Theory and Target Market Segmentation, Market Research, User Experience

From defective to effective: Putting predictability back into product development

Have you ever used a product or service and thought, “Wow, this is super useful!”?

That’s no accident.

When products or services are invented with the outcome in mind, there’s little chance of failure – because the company designing the product likely has a comprehensive, customer-centric, and data-driven innovation process.

At the risk of sounding philosophical, Outcome-Driven Innovation (ODI) is a mindset as much as it’s a process – a yellow brick road to predictable innovation, if you will. It’s the meatballs to your business spaghetti, the generator to your loadshedding, and the practice to your jobs-to-be-done theory.


Critical steps of Outcome-Driven Innovation (ODI)

1. Who’s my key customer?

Remember the jobs-to-be-done framework? We covered the three key customers: the doer, the lifecycle support team, and the buyer.

You should know who you’re dealing with by now. This will give you the insight you need to improve the job while making it more affordable for customers. And that, friend, is how you address customers’ unmet needs.

2. What’s the job to be done?

The core functional job is the be-all and end-all of a successful innovation; it’s what encourages stability and focus in the long term.

But, be careful.

Define the job too profoundly, and risk limiting your growth opportunities. Broaden it too much, and you may end up with non-actionable insights.

To avoid the former, ask customers how your product or service helps them get the job done. Then, to prevent the latter, think about whether or not your product or service will complement the job from start to finish.

It’s all about placing yourself in the customer’s shoes, creating separate jobs-to-be-done scenarios, and defining the job rather than the situation.

3. What are the desired outcomes?

A “job map” best interprets the steps needed to get a job done. Instead of describing what the customer is doing from a solutions perspective, it defines what the customer is trying to achieve.

For example, you don’t need a lawnmower; you need the lawn to be neat. Although the lawnmower helps you to get the job done, it’s not your end goal.

But don’t mistake a job map for a customer experience map. This exercise has nothing to do with how Karen experienced the buying, installation, and product cleaning process.

Your job map should describe the customer’s job, irrespective of what your competitors are doing or the solutions customers use. This way, you can identify desired outcomes that don’t change, while developing innovative solutions that do.

4. What do my customers value?

“Hi, I’m looking for bread that has a freshly-baked crunch, is freezable, and doesn’t shrink when toasted.”

Your first reaction may be to chase Maude out of the shop, but that won’t get you any closer to getting the job done. You can, however, ask Maude which products she’s tried before, assure her that you have a better product, and ensure you have what it takes to satisfy unmet needs better than your competitors can.

5. Create an innovation strategy

What if we told you that comparing the superiority of your competitors’ products to yours own is outdated? You’re likelier to win over customers by comparing competing offerings against desired outcome statements. This way, you can pinpoint which desired outcomes you should address to offset the competition’s strengths, while dentifying any unmet customer needs that come with it.

From here, you can formulate an innovation strategy without thumb-sucking.

How? Using the qualitative, quantitative, and analytical data you’ve accumulated from your ODI process.


Win the outcome, win the market

When creating a new product or service, the last place you want to be is in the unpredictability corner. ODI allows you to understand the job better and get the customer-defined metrics you need to analyse your market accurately.

Chat with us if you’d like experts to take over your ODI strategy.

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