The Milkshake Story of Jobs to be Done
Robyn Bolton explains the nuances of Jobs to be Done.
Before we go any further, I need to be clear that I absolutely, totally, and completely believe in Jobs to be Done. In fact, more than once, I have uttered the words, “Jobs to be Done is a hill I will die on.”
Which means that I died a little inside when a client recently said to me,
“Jobs to be Done is amazing. ‘Jobs to be Done’ sucks.”
He’s right (as much as it kills me to admit that).
In an academic setting, the term makes perfect sense.
I understand where the term comes from and applaud the logic and clarity of the analogy at its core. Just as a company hires a person for a task or set of functions (a job), a person “hires” a product or service because they have a problem to solve or progress they need to make. They have a Job to be Done.
Managers and executives who work with me to learn Jobs to be Done and how to apply it quickly grasp the concept. After just one-hour, they can re-tell and explain the Milkshake story, identify functional/emotional/social jobs in role plays, and swear that the approach completely changes how they see and think about their business.
In the real world, the term is profoundly confusing.
Then the managers and executives, believing so strongly in its ability to transform the business, decide to roll it out to the organization. They talk about it, send articles about it, and train everyone to apply it in customer interviews. With great excitement, everyone from employees to senior leaders fan out to talk to customers, take copious notes, discuss insights with their teams, and happily declare that their customers’ Jobs to be Done are to buy the company’s products.
Key points include:
- Jobs confusion
- Customer Jobs to be done
Read the full article, “Jobs to be Done” Doesn’t Work. (But one of these options might), on MileZero.com.