Job To Be Done Theory: An Ultimate Guide


Although the Jobs-to-Be-Done (JTBD) theory has been around for a while, it has only recently been applied to product development and management.

Many product managers are unsure of how to use the JTBD framework effectively as a result of its frequent modifications.


What is the Job To Be Done Theory?

Jobs to be Done’s focus on understanding the customer’s unmet needs is a clear improvement over other strategies because it does not rely on chance and prevents squandering time and resources on ineffective or irrelevant alternatives.

The jobs-to-be-done theory, to put it simply, contends that “customers want to make progress in their lives, and they hire products to help them get that job done.”


By highlighting the functional, social, and emotional factors influencing customer decisions, JTBD theory helps you better understand customer behavior.

This understanding of consumer preferences can be used to develop new products and enhance customer service for those that already exist.


Four fundamentals of JTBD innovation theory

Since Jobs-to-be-Done is a complex idea, it is useful to comprehend the following JTBD theory fundamentals that underlie the operation of the JTBD framework.


People purchase goods and services to order to get a “job” done

Everybody has issues they’re working to resolve and goals they’re working to achieve. According to the jobs-to-be-done theory, these are the tasks that the customer must perform.

In the world of product management, these are frequently referred to as outcomes.


You are drawn to this position as a product manager. Customers want a product manager because customers look to “hire” a product or service to complete their tasks.

The job specifies the goal that the client is attempting to achieve, not the method by which they plan to do so.


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Functioning jobs also include emotional and social elements

Jobs can initially appear to be purely functional if they are defined as goals that people want to achieve.

But in addition to these social and emotional factors, job-to-be-done also considers the reasons why people are attempting to complete a given task.


You’ll discover the terminology that customers use to describe their unmet needs when you delve into these emotional and social components.

Your go-to-market message will be stronger when you can explain your value proposition in your customers’ own words.


The stability of a job to be done over time

Over time, what someone tries to achieve is generally consistent. As they learn about new and unique products, they alter their approach to completing that task.

Because the jobs remain constant over time, figuring out the tasks that customers are trying to complete is a good way to describe value, which you can then use to decide what to put in your product.


Additionally, it offers a vocabulary you can employ when marketing your product to help customers understand how it facilitates their work.


The unit of analysis is the job

As opposed to your product or your customer’s characteristics, the JTBD framework centers the discovery process on what your customers want to achieve in a specific situation—the job.

Define the needs of your customers using your knowledge of their jobs, and then develop the metrics you will use to assess your performance.


When you concentrate on customer jobs, you become more interested in the issue than the resolution.

By doing this, you increase the likelihood that your product design will take into account the needs of the customer rather than delivering functionality that has little added value.


Why is Job To Be Done principle important
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How do we use JTBD?

To start, compose an outcome statement that encapsulates the underlying causes, conditions, and context of the issues your user is experiencing.

Second, clearly define your target audience. Determine the defining traits of the population you will serve in order to interview the appropriate people.

Personas are helpful in this situation in addition to a JTBD strategy.


Third, learn about the habits of your potential customers. Find out what they currently use to solve a particular issue and what difficulties they encounter when serving customers.

You need to know what products they currently “hire” or “fire” in order to do their jobs, as well as the reasons behind those decisions.


Fourth, use surveys and interviews to learn more about the attitudes and choices your customers are making in relation to your product. You should comprehend:

  • What they intend to achieve and why
  • What stands in the way of them doing their job
  • how they currently complete their work.


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Why is the Job To Be Done principle important

Centered on the customer- involves creating a shared understanding of your team’s and your customers’ needs.

Segmenting customers- Asking for a variety of jobs in Jobs to Be Done can be used to create a new kind of segmentation.


Marketing- By focusing on pertinent product features, customer approaches can be strengthened.

Competitive advantage- Jobs to be Done can present a distinctive viewpoint on the market and competitive environment.


You can develop new products and business models that are better suited to the needs of your customers’ thanks to Jobs to be Done.


Example of JTBD 

Use Linkedin to get a job done

Less than Instagram or Facebook, LinkedIn has more than 800 million users, making it the most popular business networking site ever.

Every LinkedIn user has thought about switching to the premium service at some point, so you should recognize something when you click the button to learn more.


Milkshake Marketing

Talking about JTBD without citing this instance is akin to discussing spy films without bringing up James Bond. The most well-known JTBD case study was written by Clay Christensen, the creator of the JTBD theory.

It looks into the reasons why early-morning commuters purchase milkshakes from fast food outlets.



A new theory or methodology called “jobs to be done” asks customers about the more difficult tasks (jobs) they want to finish rather than about their personal characteristics.

As a result, the product, the user, and the competition are seen from a new angle. The strategy works well when combined with established techniques, like those from design thinking.


A customer’s perspective of the underlying needs or desires a good or service can fulfill is provided. You can learn more about your customer thanks to it than just that.

Additionally, it will give interesting, occasionally unexpected information about your business, its goods, and services. These might even go against what you already believe.


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