When you work along with a team of people, one of the most crucial decisions to be made is to choose one or several work methodologies that allow you to reach your goals more easily. In the past we have told you about methods such as Kaizen or Kanban. Following that line, today we bring you another suggestion of work methodology: ‘JTBD’ or ‘“Jobs To Be Done”’.
The story of the ‘“Jobs To Be Done”’ method is linked to that of its creator Clayton M. Christensen, who introduced a new point of view regarding product innovation. How to explain it the easy way? What Christensen seeks with this method is that companies focus on customers, and that they do it by answering this question: why do they buy our products?
Indeed, the majority of products have a defined serviceability, that is, a primary objective. We buy food to nurture ourselves, but what kind? how do we choose one foodstuff over another? do we look for the same when eating salad or a hamburger? This work methodology is all about getting to know the motivations behind customers when purchasing a specific item or service.
All this, as you’ve probably guessed by now, is closely related to marketing; and this is the field in which JTBD method can be of more help to companies, by improving product approach and sales. But, as we will see, this method can be implemented in any area of business or company department.
“Jobs To Be Done” step by step
We are going to explain this new method and how useful it can be for the performance of your professional work.
The beginning is the key
What the ‘“Jobs To Be Done”’ method explains is that people buy products thinking that they’re going to meet some kind of need; in other words, those products are going to be used to change some situation in our lives.
For instance, when a consumer wants to buy a wireless mouse, beyond its colour or shape, he will be probably more interested in what a certain brand is capable to offer that others don’t. Elements such as connectivity or range will be decisive when making a choice, since those are the factors that will meet his needs: “I need my battery to last over 20 hours”.
Selling is not everything
The principle of the JTBD method is to satisfy needs. And final customers are not the only ones with a need to meet. Nowadays, “Jobs To Be Done” is going one step forward regarding team management and interdepartmental relations. The classic idea of departmental organization just needs to shift, and communication with other employees should be seen as a customer-company interaction.
For instance: the computer department becomes the company, while HR becomes the client. What is HR’s professional need? what can a computer specialist offer that no other member of the organization can? “I need to work remotely” or “I need my computer ready for the meeting at 4 o´clock”; that is, duties that only a professional can carry out.
Even beyond that notion, aren’t distributors and manufacturers (and the rest of elements within business environments) both customers and brand? Why does the one providing us with aluminium and iron, for example, “need to deliver the material before deadline in order not to generate loss”, while “requiring certainty that he’ll be paid for the prime material delivered”?
So, how do we implement JTBD method?
Having all the above in mind, the first thing we have to think about in order to implement this work methodology is to answer the following question: what does my product do for consumers? During this step we must enumerate all the benefits our product provides to customers, and also all the befits we can offer to our colleagues.
Then, it could be useful that you picture Maslow’s hierarchy of needs while you find the answer to the following question: how does our product meet our customers’ needs? At this point you should follow an inductive methodology, starting from the general to the more specific aspects.
Lastly, it will be very useful to conduct some research in order to know which product the customer purchased before, so that we can clearly understand the reasons behind him acquiring our service. That will allow us, with regard to the promotion of our services, to know what products should be advertised further.
Beyond external customers, making a list of your potential customers’ needs, interesting benefits and issues, and of your own as an internal customer, speeds up interdepartmental communication and, therefore, efficiency (imagine a listing of people you can ask every time you’re in doubt, thus accelerating procedures).
Benefits of “Jobs To Be Done”
The first thing we’re going to notice is an increase in team efficiency. As we already mentioned, external and internal communication improves significantly when the inner workings operate to perfection. Being aware of the benefits we can provide makes us faster and more reliable.
Secondly, the ultimate goal of JTBD method goes through consumers relating our products to a given need (you need a product to wash the dishes, and your brain probably associates that with a popular brand). By making that association, our brand’s competitors will find it much more difficult to place their product within our business line.
This advantage of JTBD method, which entails a confrontation with competitors, becomes an opportunity to not duplicate efforts regarding interdepartmental relationships. If everyone performs assigned duties, no work will be done in vain and no unnecessary resources will be destined to reach the same objective.
Lastly, ‘“Jobs To Be Done”’ entails a shift in perspective by placing the focus on both users and the problem to be solved. This change allows to find new solutions to old issues, by understanding what worked well and what didn’t during the strategy followed.
Sources: El País, Repensadores, Medium
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