Using Job-to-be-Done to improve marketing, design and development

Using Job-to-be-Done to improve marketing, design and development

This talk covers the basics behind the 'Job to be done' product lens, and how it can be used to create products with resonate better with users.
Apologies for the horrible orange speaker notes - Keynote sadly doesn't do a great job at exporting normally


James Cox-Morton

December 19, 2014


  1. Improving sales, marketing, design and development with Job-To-Be-Done by James

  2. Customer centric thinking The traditional approach

  3. Selling more milkshakes This is based on a real case

    study of a fast food franchise that wanted to sell more milkshakes
  4. Focus Group What would make you buy more milkshakes? Identified

    groups of people who buy milkshakes “Will making the shakes thicker, more chocolaty, cheaper, or chunkier satisfy you better?”
  5. No impact on sales Clear feedback received and implemented, but

    no impact on sales
  6. Interviewing customers A different approach Instead of just asking focus

    groups what they wanted from a milkshake, they approached customers immediately after the point of purchase
  7. What job is the milkshake hired for? Ask after purchase

    ‘What task did you buy the milkshake to do?’
  8. What job is the milkshake hired for? • Bored •

    Hungry • Only one free hand • Can’t make a mess on work clothes Commuting
  9. What else had you hired for this job? Bagel with

    Jam/Cream Banana Donut Too dry, boring Sticky fingers, gooey steering wheel Gone too quickly Hungry again at 10am
  10. The milkshakes weren’t competing to be the best milkshake

  11. The milkshakes weren’t competing to be the best milkshake They

    were competing to be the best candidate for the job
  12. Once you understand the job the vectors for improvement become

  13. Being better at the job • Fruit chunks • Thicker

    • Optimise for drive-thru More entertaining experience Entertains for longer Lower risk of being late for work These changes lead to improved sales
  14. Other jobs milkshakes were hired for • Problem: Too big

    for children to finish • Solution: Separate, smaller product Reward for children
  15. Job-To-Be-Done A shift, from Users, to Jobs as the primary

    unit of analysis
  16. “Customers rarely make buying decisions around what the ‘average’ customer

    in their category may do — but they often buy things because they find themselves with a problem that they need to solve”
  17. Customers don’t buy what sellers think they’re selling

  18. Customers don’t buy a drill

  19. Customers don’t buy a drill They buy a hole in

    the wall
  20. Selling a drill • 0.8 Horse Power • 2 x

    3.0aH Li-ion batteries • 25 torque settings
  21. • High-power for external walls • Rechargeable batteries hold charge

    between use • Multiple speeds suitable for screwing to heavy boring Selling to jobs Selling to jobs focuses on the capacity which is afforded to the user, not the qualities of the product
  22. JTBD isn’t just about selling Jobs should guide the entire

    product development process
  23. Successful design is the result of good fit between context

    and form - Christopher Alexander From ‘Notes on the Synthesis of Form’ Context is the world your product lives in, form is what you are creating.
  24. Jobs give us context Understanding this context allows us to

    design forms (products) which are a great ‘fit’.
  25. JTBD can prevent over-serving and reduce opportunities for disruption

  26. JTBD helps to determine ‘good-enough’ As product performance increases, so

    does cost and complexity Understanding the jobs users hire your product for can help you to understand when performance improvements are no longer meaningful
  27. So, how do you use JTBD?

  28. Focus-groups Understand jobs by • Observing customers • Interviewing about

    jobs Observing customers performing jobs with their current solutions. If observation isn’t practical or possible, interview users about how they perform jobs
  29. “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they

    would have told me a faster horse.” Not Henry Ford Analysis should focus on understanding the jobs of users, not asking them what they want. Solutions should be derived by product teams identifying opportunities to improve existing approaches to accomplishing jobs.
  30. “Act not on the requests of your customer… but act

    upon their behalf” Jason Fried
  31. User Stories Job Stories

  32. As <user> I want <some feature> In order to <reach

    an outcome>
  33. Low value. We’re interested in jobs, not users As <user>

  34. Doesn’t capture why these conclusions were reached I want <some

    feature> In order to <reach an outcome>
  35. As <user> When <context> I want <some feature> In order

    to <reach an outcome> story.html Job stories, as proposed by Alan Klement
  36. As an account owner I want to check my balance

    online In order to know my balance at any time
  37. When I see a fabulous pair of boots in town

    near the end of the month I want to check my balance on my mobile In order to see if I have enough cash left to treat myself Note you could record multiple specific ‘when’ contexts for the same feature
  38. Now the story contains the motivations which drive the feature

  39. Now the story contains the motivations which drive the feature

    This makes it easier to empathise with the user
  40. Writing Job Stories Ask ’When will people use the product/feature?’

  41. Writing Job Stories Keep it real Try to base your

    contexts on facts as best as you can
  42. Writing Job Stories Embrace fat ‘when’ statements

  43. Writing Job Stories http:// 2013/09/5-tips-for-writing- job-story.html

  44. JTBD Summary • Focus on jobs, not on users •

    Users respond to messaging which solves their jobs • Understanding context is the key to creating great experiences • Understanding of jobs should drive all areas of business