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What is JTBD - Jobs to be Done Framework?

Posted by Adrian M.

Article Rating // 3974 Views // 0 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Domain Modeling, Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN)


“Jobs to be Done” also known as JTBD is a market and customer research framework with the goal of identifying the underlying tasks (aka jobs) that customers are trying to get done in the given problem domain.

The Jobs to be Done theory and method was first popularized by Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School professor, in his very popular book The Innovator’s Solution.

In one of his article titled “Know your Customer’s Jobs to be Done”, Mr. Christensen clearly explains the genesis and core of this concept:

“The theory of jobs to be done was developed in part as a complement to the theory of disruptive innovation—which at its core is about competitive responses to innovation: It explains and predicts the behavior of companies in danger of being disrupted and helps them understand which new entrants pose the greatest threats.”

“What they really need to home in on is the progress that the customer is trying to make in a given circumstance—what the customer hopes to accomplish. This is what we’ve come to call the job to be done.”

To even begin to understand your customer you need to walk a mile in their shoes; you need to understand the jobs they have to do aka their “jobs to be done”.  Tasks or jobs are foundational for discovering what motivates your users/customers and why they behave the way they do.

New Markets Advisors, a leading consulting firm in this area, uses a proprietary step by step approach to their Job Roadmap when they apply the Jobs to be Done method to help their customers to innovate:

  • Establish Objectives -> Strategy
  • Plan Your Approach -> Research Methods
  • Build a Jobs Atlas -> Customer Research
  • Generate Ideas -> Ideation
  • Reframe Your Perspective -> Open Innovation
  • Experiment & Iterate -> Test and Learn

Other practitioners take a more traditional approach to jobs-to-be-done by thinking of job as a process which is documented using a Job Map.  Basic steps to create a Job Map include:

  • Define - Define the aspects of the job your customer has a problem with.
  • Locate - Locate and define the inputs and resources your customer needs to do the job.
  • Prepare - Identify how your customer must prepare and transform the inputs in order to get the job done.
  • Confirm - Ask what your customer needs to verify or validate to ensure the job is done right.
  • Execute - What does the customer need to do to execute the job successfully.
  • Monitor - Determine what areas or metric your customer needs to monitor to ensure the job is done right.
  • Modify - What aspects of the job steps need to be changed in order to successfully complete the job.
  • Conclude - Are there any specific steps which must be completed in order for the job to be final and done?

Business analysts and product managers can use the Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) method to create innovative product roadmaps.

Jobs to be Done - JTBD




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