The jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) framework defines, categorizes, captures, and organizes consumer needs. The jobs-to-be-done framework is based on the premise that consumers buy products and services to get jobs done. While products tend to come and go, the consumer need to get jobs done endures indefinitely. This theory was popularized by Tony Ulwick, who also detailed his book Jobs To Be Done: Theory to Practice.
Understanding the jobs-to-be-done-framework
But why do products and services tend to come and go? Most failures occur because of a misalignment with consumer needs. That is, product development teams do not understand the metrics that consumers use to measure success.
To that end, the jobs-to-be-done framework was created. It allows businesses to identify consumer needs that are less likely to become invalid or obsolete over time. By developing products based on these needs, the products themselves are more likely to endure. There is also a higher likelihood that the business has developed an innovative product.
In the next section, we will look at a methodology that guides innovative, needs-based product development.
The eight-step jobs-to-be-done methodology
While there are several approaches to determining customer needs, this methodology allows businesses to identify needs at every stage of the job process.
1 – Define
A customer usually begins by defining what they need to proceed with a job. This includes identifying an objective and then formulating a plan toward achieving that objective. Weight Watchers assists dieters in losing weight by offering a suite of weight-loss plans where the hassle of counting calories has been removed.
2 – Locate
In the second step, the customer locates the items and information required for the job. Here, a business can innovate by making the location process easier. DIY removalist company U-Haul provides moving kits with its range of vehicles, with the number and type of each box specific to every customer’s move.
3 – Prepare
Preparation involves the arranging of necessary inputs within the environment required for the job. Most jobs require some degree of preparation and it can be made less difficult by automation, safeguards, or user guides to name a few.
4 – Confirm
What information does the customer need to verify before proceeding with the job? This step is especially important for jobs that require quick and accurate decisions or checks. Oracle created merchandising software that enabled staff to gauge the best time and markdown percentages for product sales.
5 – Execute
As the job is being carried out, a business should address needs resulting from problems or delays. Identifying needs in the execution stage is vital because customers consider this is the most important part of the job. During surgical procedures, Kimberly-Clark developed a heated water system to avoid fluctuations in patient body temperature.
6 – Monitor
Does the customer need to monitor something that will aid in the successful completion of the job? That is, will adjustments be necessary to improve execution? Nike manufactures shoes containing sensors that give instantaneous data about the exercise session with respect to fitness goals.
7 – Modify
If adjustments are necessary, the business must reduce the number of adjustments required as a matter of priority. When, how, and where will the adjustments take place? Microsoft’s automatic update system saves customers the hassle of finding, downloading, and then implementing updates.
8 – Conclude
What does the customer need to do to complete the job? Some jobs are concluded simply, such as the drying of hands after they have been washed. Other jobs including the printing and binding of a completed report are more complex.
Adhesive company 3M simplified the often convoluted process of removing wound dressings after surgery. By designing a dressing that adhered only to itself and not to the skin, the job of removal became quick and painless for the patient.
- The jobs-to-be-done-framework is an innovative approach to product development through a detailed analysis of customer needs.
- The jobs-to-be-done-framework helps a business address discrepancies between metrics it considers important and metrics considered important by the customer.
- The jobs-to-be-done-framework features an eight-step methodology that describes the evolution of a job from creating a plan to job execution and adjustment-making. This allows a business to systematically anticipate and then meet customer needs.