You may have heard about the Jobs to Be Done theory – it is being used by some of the larger successful IT companies, including departments at Google, Cisco, Intercom and Basecamp. It’s a way to laser focus your product and service development directly on what your customer really needs in order to get their ‘jobs’ done.
What is the Jobs to Be Done theory?
“Job” is shorthand for the goal that a customer wants to achieve. It’s more than just a straightforward task, it’s also includes the situation and the experience the customer wants to have.
It is easy to get shallow and non-detailed answers and statistics when you directly ask your customers “What do you want?”, “Why do you want it?”, and “Which product do you prefer?”. But these answers lead to misdirected or inappropriate products and services (solutions). The Jobs to Be Done method lets you dig deep in your customer interviews to find the true, underlying motivations for why they purchase the solutions they do.
You will collect a lot of information from your customers as you follow the JtBD method:
- The emotional reasons that drive them to purchase one solution and avoid another.
- The fears that hold them back from switching solutions.
- The circumstances that pushed them to look for and purchase a solution.
- How they found out about the solutions they purchase.
- What characteristics they use to compare solutions.
It’s impossible to get a clear picture of your customers’ Jobs to Be Done without analyzing the mountain information you collect and presenting it visually. One of the earliest diagrams that are used in this method illustrate forces.
Jobs to Be Done – Force diagrams
Whenever a customer considers a product or service, there are forces at work. These forces are what drive them to either purchase a solution, or stick with their current solution.
- Frustration with the current situation pushes towards a new solution.
- Attraction to the new solution pulls the customer to choose it.
- Fears can hinder a customer’s purchase – fear of change, fear of not making the right decision, etc.
- Other reasons may hold a customer to their current solution – loyalty, other integrated tools, etc.
You can represent this in diagram form: