Why a Product Manager should own a “job”, not a set of features.

A session at Productized Conference 2015

Friday 9th October, 2015

6:30pm to 7:15pm (LMT)

The natural state of digital products is to gradually decay to a state of mediocrity and irrelevance. Even if your company starts with a well executed, innovative idea, the pull towards product entropy is surprisingly strong. One of the reasons for this is that product managers so frequently end up viewing the world through a lens of features; designing, building, comparing, and promoting features.

The jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) framework is a powerful approach to combat the siren call of a focus on features. Pioneered by Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen, this framework looks past the surface categorization of products, and instead focuses on the deeper “jobs” that customers “hire” a product to accomplish.

At Intercom, we’ve slowly embraced the JTBD approach over the past two years. We started with incorporating JTBD into our design process, then using it to drive our packaging and pricing models, then rolled it out across our marketing messaging, and most recently we restructured our product teams around our customers’ JTBD. In this talk I’ll share our experiences and lessons learned as we have essentially bet the company on this approach, with takeaways for product managers to start incorporating JTBD thinking into their own products and organizations.

About the speaker

This person is speaking at this event.
Brian Donohue

Product Manager at Intercom

Brian is a Senior Product Manager and team lead with Intercom, based in Dublin. Intercom is a fast growing B2B software startup ($31M raised, 5k+ customers) on a mission to make internet business personal.

He previously worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (a major US educational publisher, NASDAQ: HMHC). As Director of UX, he focused on strategy, customer insight, process, interaction design and project frameworks. Later as Director of Design, he managed the team of lead designers in the 50+ person design studio, rolling out a practical UX toolkit and broader UX design philosophies to help the traditional print publisher translate its expertise to the wildly changing world of ed-tech.

Prior he spent 7 years at IQ Content, one of Europe’s top UX consultancies. As Director of Consulting, he managed a team of 14 consultants across a wide range of design projects with clients such as Citibank, Vodafone, Goodyear, permanent TSB, and Airtricity.

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Time 6:30pm7:15pm LMT

Date Fri 9th October 2015


Auditorium, FIL Meeting Center

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