Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Job Mapping to Turn Customer Input into Innovation

The Customer-Centered Innovation Map.
By: Bettencourt, Lance A., Ulwick, Anthony W.,
Harvard Business Review,
May 2008, Vol. 86, Issue 5

Some interesting points

We have developed an efficient yet simple system companies can use to find new ways to innovate.

Our method, which we call "job mapping," breaks down the task the customer wants done into a series of discrete process steps.

By deconstructing a job from beginning to end, a company gains a complete view of all the points at which a customer might desire more help from a product or service - namely, at each step in the job. With a job map in hand, a company can analyze the biggest drawbacks of the products and services customers currently use.

Job mapping also gives companies a comprehensive framework with which to identify the metrics customers themselves use to measure success in executing a task. (For a description of these metrics and a discussion about how to gather and prioritize them, see Anthony W. Ulwick's "Turn Customer Input into Innovation" in HBR's January 2002 issue.)

Job mapping differs substantively from process mapping in that the goal is to identify what customers are trying to get done at every step, not what they are doing currently.

Lance A. Bettencourt ( is a senior consultant with Strategyn, an innovation management consultancy based in Aspen, Colorado. Anthony W. Ulwick ( is the founder and CEO of Strategyn. He is the author of What Customers Want (McGraw-Hill, 2005).

No comments: