Avoid These Mistakes When Implementing Jobs-To-Be Done

When you’re building a product for customers, it’s easy to get lost in the weeds. You can start working on the wrong problems, focusing on the wrong features, or asking the wrong questions. But there’s a simple way of avoiding these mistakes: Jobs-To-Be Done (JTBD). In this article, we’ll look at what JTBD is and how it can help you build better products by doing less guessing and talking to real customers about their needs.

Don’t just ask the customers what they need.

Avoid These Mistakes When Implementing Jobs-To-Be Done
Avoid These Mistakes When Implementing Jobs-To-Be Done

Don’t just ask the customers what they need.

Don’t ask them what they think they need.

Don’t ask them what they want, like, or prefer, either.

Don’t get lost in the weeds.

Don’t get lost in the weeds.

This mistake is easy to make, but it can be easily avoided by focusing on what’s important to your customers and not getting caught up in all of the details (the ones that don’t matter).

When you’re implementing jobs-to-be-done, you’re trying to learn more about what drives your customers’ behavior and why they choose one product over another–not so much because they have some sort of technical issue with their current product or service provider, but because they want something different from what they currently have. Focus on understanding how customers think about their problems, not just solving them technically.

Don’t just ask existing customers.

  • Don’t just ask existing customers.

When you’re trying to understand how your product is being used and what problems it’s solving, it can be tempting to focus on existing users who have been using the product for a long time and are happy with it. This will give you useful information about how people perceive your product in general terms. But it won’t help you understand why they choose one solution over another–or whether there are other solutions out there that might be more compelling than yours. To get at those kinds of insights, talk to people who have recently switched from using one solution (for example) or never used any solution at all (but may consider doing so).

Don’t think in terms of features, solutions, and benefits.

When you’re thinking about your customers, their jobs, and how to improve their experience with your product or service, don’t think in terms of features or solutions. Instead, focus on the job they want to be done–the pain they’re trying to solve–and how that pain can be alleviated by using your product. What is the benefit of solving this specific problem?

As an example: if someone needs a new pair of shoes for walking/running/etc., then perhaps they have been looking around at different brands and styles but haven’t yet purchased anything because there hasn’t been any brand that fits all three criteria (good quality shoe at an affordable price). If you were selling running shoes online through Amazon Marketplace Fulfillment Services (AMZN), then having more than one option would be helpful because it gives people choices based on what type of shoe they need rather than just one style per brand like other retailers may offer.

Don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach.

When you’re implementing jobs to be done, don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach.

  • Don’t use a general template. This will lead to all of your solutions being very similar and not meeting the needs of your customers as well as they could.
  • Don’t think of it as a one-size fits all solution. Each job has its own unique characteristics that need to be accounted for in order for you to come up with an effective solution for each individual customer segment or job title within those segments (e.g.: “The Customer Segment Who Wants To Save Money”).

You can avoid these mistakes when you implement Jobs-To-Be Done.

You can avoid these mistakes when you implement Jobs-To-Be Done.

  • Understand what you’re doing:
  • Understand the customer, not just their job to be done
  • Understand the goal, not just the problem or solution:
  • What is the customer trying to achieve? Why do they care about this? What are their goals and aspirations? How will this help them achieve those goals and aspirations? This helps us understand what we’re really trying to accomplish (the goal) so that we can develop solutions that truly meet those needs–not just solve a problem or provide something new/different/cooler than what exists today (the problem).


The most important takeaway from this blog post should be that you don’t have to make all these mistakes. You can avoid them if you follow the right approach. So when you’re making your own product decisions—or deciding which products to buy—consider Jobs-To-Be Done.

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