JOBS TO BE DONE: Theory to Practice

By Anthony W. Ulwick

In his latest Jobs-to-be-Done book, Tony Ulwick takes Jobs Theory and the Outcome-Driven Innovation process to the next level. He explains disruptive innovation and 4 other growth strategies through a Jobs lens and introduces new ideas, tutorials and templates that can be used to achieve predictable growth. Learn how to replace luck with a predictable innovation process.

“I call him the Deming of Innovation because, more than anyone else, Tony has turned innovation into a science.”
- Philip Kotler

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“Learn about the methodology we've developed and used in over 1000 engagements to help Fortune 500 companies make innovation far more predictable and profitable. Companies that use ODI have found that the success rate for their innovation projects improves 5X.”
- Tony Ulwick

About the Book and Author

Jobs-to-be-Done is best defined as a perspective — a lens through which you can observe markets, customers, needs, competitors, and customer segments differently, and by doing so, make innovation far more predictable and profitable.

JOBS TO BE DONE: Theory to Practice takes the theory and the ODI process to the next level. This jobs-to-be-done book reveals:

  • Why companies fail at innovation and how to avoid the two most critical mistakes that companies make.
  • How to employ the Jobs-to-be-Done Theory Needs Framework to categorize, define, capture, organize and prioritize customer needs.
  • The Jobs-to-be-Done Growth Strategy Matrix—a tool that fills in the holes in disruptive innovation theory, and other innovation theories, by examining them through a Jobs lens. It defines and reveals which of the 5 growth strategies to pursue in a given situation.
  • Improvements to the Outcome-Driven Innovation process—and how the process ties customer-defined metrics to the customer’s Job-to-be-Done, transforming every aspect of opportunity discovery, marketing and innovation.
  • Outcome-Based Segmentation: what is it and how it uncovers hidden opportunities for growth.
  • The 84 steps associated with the ODI process, revealing in detail what it takes to turn Jobs Theory into practice.
  • A three-phased approach that a company can use to build a competency in innovation.
  • The JTBD Language of Innovation – the lexicon of terms needed to establish a common language for innovation.

The book also includes six detailed case studies of companies that applied the Outcome-Driven Innovation process and achieved impressive results including: Microsoft, Kroll Ontrack, Arm & Hammer, Bosch, Abbott Medical Optics, and Hussmann.

About Tony

Tony Ulwick is the founder and CEO of the innovation consultancy Strategyn. He is the pioneer of Jobs-to-be-Done Theory and the inventor of Outcome-Driven Innovation® (ODI), a proven innovation process with an 86% success rate. Tony has worked with dozens of Fortune 500 companies, helping them make innovation more predictable. He manages the Jobs-to-be-Done Medium publication JTBD + ODI.

About Tony

What People are Saying

Anthony Ulwick has taken the guesswork out of innovation. For 25 years he has worked to guide companies to success. He has done this by introducing us to Jobs-to-be-Done theory, and converting it to practice using his rigorous innovation process known as Outcome-Driven Innovation.

The vast majority of innovation projects fail. With Ulwick’s process we finally learn what the best know already – innovation cannot be left to chance. It can and should be managed for successful outcomes.

I call him the Deming of Innovation because, more than anyone else, Tony has turned innovation into a science.”

Philip Kotler S. C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

“Outcome-Driven Innovation’s customer-centric approach to innovation and product design helps us define and address truly important client challenges. That additional clarity further enables us to develop and deliver solutions that provide real customer value, as well as deep, ongoing benefits to my organization and me. Our understanding of client needs and how to gain insight into those needs has been greatly improved.”

Alex Johnson System Architect
Next Generation Systems of Process Automation, Schneider Electric

“Outcome-Driven Innovation unlocks unique insights into your customers and their challenges. It impacts revenue growth through new product development and identification of new customer segments.”

Joe Camaratta Managing Director, MedTech Playbook

“Jobs-to-be-Done Theory and Outcome-Driven Innovation provide absolute clarity for strategic growth initiatives and product innovation. There is no better way to put yourself in your customers’ shoes.”

Steve Thompson Vice President of Business Strategy, National Oilwell Varco

“The Jobs-To-Be-Done approach drove within us a heightened focus on our customers. We discovered important and often “unspoken” customer needs. Even in established markets, we gained new insights enabling stronger value propositions, more impactful customer communications, and innovation better aligned with market needs.”

David Rusinko Director Strategic Marketing, Momentive

“We are committed devotees. Our innovation teams have seen the Outcome-Driven Innovation process work not just once, but over and over again. Without a doubt, it brings predictability to innovation and contributes to growth.”

Clive Meanwell Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, The Medicines Company

“In What Customers Want, Tony Ulwick redefined how innovators think about their customers. His importance and satisfaction framework for a customer’s “jobs to be done” has influenced a generation of marketing and innovation professionals. Now with his new Jobs-to-be-Done book, we get the refined version, based on a decade of Tony’s learnings applying the framework.”

Michael Wynblatt, Ph.D., Vice President of Innovation, Ingersoll Rand

“I’ve had the privilege to work with Tony and his team across two different organizations. Each time he has elevated our thinking and brought us a way to drive innovation that is radically different from traditional methods. It has been a great journey watching our team think and act with a focus on customer-centric outcomes.”

Frank Grillo Chief Marketing Officer, Harte Hanks

“Jobs Theory and Outcome-Driven Innovation have proven to be highly valuable in the development of innovative pharmaceuticals. A focus on the ‘job’ brings clarity to the complex healthcare delivery process and reveals hidden opportunities to positively impact the patients’ pathway to health.”

Simona Skerjanec Lifecycle Leader – Neuroscience, Roche

“Acquiring technologies for developing new medical products has always been an exercise in trying to guess correctly. ODI has provided us with an enabling technology shopping list we can execute with confidence. ODI makes Business Development far more precise.”

Sean Thompson, MS, MBA, CLP Sr. Director, Business Operations & New Product Development, GenCure

“The ODI process provides broad and detailed customer insights that are superior to typical market research methods and critical to developing better solutions for customers. ODI helped us understand a new space and identify the underserved needs so we could enter a new market in a differentiated manner.”

Brian Craig VP of Strategy and Business Development, Surgical Innovations, Medtronic

The Original Jobs-to-be-Done Book

What Customers Want

What Customers Want (2005)

Tony Ulwick's original Jobs-to-be-Done book introduces Jobs Theory and the Outcome-Driven Innovation process. Timeless. A must read: available at

“Ulwick's outcome-driven programs bring discipline and predictability to the often random process of innovation.”
- Clayton Christensen