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What is Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) framework?

Definition: Jobs-to-be-Done is a framework or a way of thinking about product development and innovation from the customer's perspective and underlying needs.

According to the JTBD framework, customers buy products to perform a specific task or address a specific problem or need. Customers don’t buy a product or service because of its features but to achieve a desired outcome.

The JTBD framework helps companies understand customers underlying needs and address them more efficiently with their products or service.

Core principles of Jobs-to-be-Done theory

The 6 core principles of the jobs-to-be-done theory are:

  1. Customers will buy your product or service not per se, but as a tool to get a job done. 
  1. Every JTBD is functional, social, and emotional, meaning that customers don’t only buy the product/service because of its functionality but because of other components as well.
  1. A JTBD endures the passage of time while products and services change.
  1. A JTBD is independent of any solution, product, or service. There can be different solutions to one JTBD.
  1.  A JTBD is the focal point of the analysis because customers don’t know what they need ( in terms of solutions and products), but they know what they want to achieve as an outcome.
  1. Customers seek solutions that will help them do the JTBD faster, more effectively, or cheaper.

Benefits and drawbacks of Jobs-to-be-Done 

The benefits of JTBD

  1. Innovation & New opportunities

By understanding and implementing the JTBD framework, a company can find undiscovered and unresolved customer needs, thus creating a useful feature or product.

  1. Customer-centric design & solution

By learning more about their customer’s  JTBD, the company focuses more on the customer's desired outcome than the feature itself, leading to products that meet customer needs.

  1. Targeted messaging

In marketing, companies can use the JTBD framework to create messages and campaigns that resonate with their customers. By understanding and communicating the needs and outcomes customers desire, the message will reach the target audience faster.

  1. Differentiation

Again, in a marketing campaign, companies can use the JTBD framework to differentiate their product from others on the market. 

The drawbacks of JTBD

  1. Limited perspective

A drawback of the JTBD model is that it mainly focuses on the customer’s perspective. Even though that’s a great starting point, the framework dims the importance of other aspects, such as industry trends, internal limitations, and inflation.

  1. Complex

Implementing the JTBD framework can be time and resource-consuming. Not all companies have the resources to conduct customer interviews, in-depth research, data collecting, etc.

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Article FAQs

What isn’t a Job-to-be-Done?
A job-to-be-done is not a task or a feature but a customer's underlying need. For example, a JTBD for someone who buys software to store files is” increasing productivity.” Using specific software or a feature such as “integration with other tools” isn’t JTBD.
What are examples of jobs to be done?
For Teams who use Mindmehs, a virtual desk software, to increase productivity, the JTBD is “ reducing time spend on coordinating tasks” or “ keeping track of progress.”
What are the three main types of jobs to be done?
The three main types of jobs to be done are: Functional - A company uses a project management tool to plan projects more efficiently. The JTBD here is “increased productivity.” Social - A team uses an online collaboration tool to work together more efficiently. The social JTBD here is “ to feel as a part of the team and prompt social recognition.” Emotional - An individual uses a time management tool to stay organized. The JTBD here is “reducing stress and feeling in control while working.”

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