In my last post I was talking about why knowing your customer’s Jobs to be Done is crucial for making products they’ll love. Excited to start discovering the Jobs to be Done that your customers have? Here’s a quick guide with steps to get your Jobs to be Done journey kickstarted. Mind you, there’s much more to be discovered but that’s for later posts.
The process of getting from Jobs to be Done research to product improvements can be divided into roughly 3 steps:
Here I’ll describe the first two steps in more detail and give you concrete tips for executing them.
As a known saying goes: ‘good preparation is half the battle’. Before starting your interviews you first have to know what you are looking for. In this case Jobs to be Done your customers have for which they would use your product. Start with noting down the signals that are important for your research.
A Job to be Done describes the progress a person is trying to make in a given circumstance. It consists out of the progress someone is trying to make, actions that someone is taking and factors that aid and hinder progress. Jobs to be Done can be summarised in many ways, but this is the format I normally use:
To show an example:
Interviewing is one of the best ways to uncover Jobs to be Done as it allows you to go in-depth and uncover the ‘why’ of actions. You want to find out why people use the products they do. Uncovering their Jobs to be Done and all the contextual factors that influence their decisions is key.
Here a quick guide for setting up your JTBD interview:
The structure I usually stick to is:
While interviewing it’s best to have at least one person devoting his attention entirely to the interview. So no notes taking, rely on memory and a recording instead. But with shorter on the spot interviews this can be hard so if you need to resort to note-taking write down the ‘signals’ you’re looking for (progress, actions, pushes & pulls), preferably in the exact words someone said it.
If you have more time write the interview out as a story, sticking to the timeline surrounding the ‘hire’ you focussed on. Again include the progress, actions, pushes & pulls. And one big advice: Especially if it’s a long interview, plan at least half an hour directly after the interview to summarise it. At this moment everything is still fresh in your mind, also non-verbal cues. Seriously, it will save you a lot of time having to listen back to the interview to remember everything again.
Now that you have your data the next step is to analyse it to extract important Jobs to be Done. The key to doing this is detecting patterns in what interviewees said, especially across several interviews. A way of doing this is cluster analysis, which is a way of detecting patterns of similar reactions in qualitative data.
To conduct a rough version of cluster analysis execute these steps:
One of my cluster analyses ended up looking like this (snippets from interviews on yellow notes, the green ones representing JTBDs, the blue ones pulls or pushes, the pink ones describing relationships, etc.):
This process might take a while but leads to valuable insights. If you’ve discovered the Jobs to be Done that are most important for your product or service start summarising these in Jobs to be Done descriptions (see the description at the start of this article).
This tweet by Ryan Singer (product strategist at Basecamp) shows a more methodological approach to JTBD clustering.
If you’ve found Jobs to be Done you can use these as a blueprint to not only guide your product and customer journey design process, but also to identify promising markets and choose your product/service design strategy in the first place. I’ll expand more on this in blog posts to come.
JTBD research is no rocket science. With these steps you can start uncovering important JTBDs of your (potential) customers today. The most important key take-aways: When interviewing, focus on the timeline surrounding the ‘hires’ (big or small). When analysing data focus on the similarities between different interviews. And remember what a complete JTBD consists of: the progress someone is trying to make, actions for getting there, pushes that move her to look for a new solution, and pulls that draw her towards a certain solution.
Now let’s get JTBD discovering!