Microsoft Product Lead on Jobs To Be Done Transformation (Part 2)

WAZE is a great example of how to apply jobs to be done theory. Remember, Google and Apple both had advanced map apps before WAZE appeared. However, the job of a GPS map wasn’t just to get you from point A to B. Instead, it takes you there as quickly as possible. That’s where Google Maps became a victim of a focused disruption strategy.

The addition of real time traffic alerts increased the value of WAZE exponentially by providing a more useful experience. It performed the Prepare, Monitor and Modify phases of the job map better than Google Maps. Thanks to this key modification, Google decided to acquire WAZE for nearly a billion dollars.

Music and Game Changers

First, we can look at Apple’s iPod as an example. In short, it completely made portable CD and tape players obsolete. The iPod improved upon almost the entire job map including the Locate → Prepare → Confirm → Execute → Monitor → Modify steps. Here, instead of an incremental change, this disruption strategy transformed how we listen to music.

Second, we have XBox Live. This game system displaced techie LAN parties as a networked way to play video games. Most importantly, this disruption strategy transformed the job of playing games like the iPod changed music listening. In the past, we would physically lug our XBox consoles around and connect them together. Now, we’re leveraging the internet to create an entirely new experience.

How To Identify Jobs To Be Done.

Simply put, customer research is the main way to identify jobs to be done. Furthermore, we accomplish this through observation or interview. Setting up screen sharing software is a good way to put yourself in their shoes. Furthermore, you can even ask them to vocalize when using the app to understand where bottlenecks exist.

In the end, the jobs to be done disruption strategy begins with identifying areas of satisfaction, frustration and importance on the job map. Some key questions to ask customers are:

  • What are their goals?
  • How do these goals map to determine the job to be done?
  • What parts of the job do they struggle with?
  • Which workarounds do they use?
  • Finally, what products or services do they not use? Furthermore, why aren’t they using them?


Click here for Part 1

Click here for Part 3