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Use the Jobs to be Done Framework to Help Customers Complete Jobs

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Summarize the Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) framework.
  • Identify how JTBD enhances the practice of relationship design.
  • Explain how organizations can use the JTBD framework to help customers accomplish specific jobs.

A Jobs Approach

Another key practice organizations can use to create a more effective design and build process and, as a result, more effective products and services is the Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) framework. 

JTBD asks teams to align the goals of their design and build process with what customers want to accomplish—a particular purpose or job. Put another way, JTBD asks teams to consider the specific job customers need to get done when using a product or service, including how they can make their solution more useful in getting customers to achieve this goal. 


To learn more about the Jobs to Be Done framework, check out the Jobs to Be Done for Designers module on Trailhead.

The JTBD Framework Brings Clarity

Through the practice of relationship design, teams center their design process around relationships. This means the landscape of needs gets complicated very quickly. For example, do they prioritize their product or service’s relationship with their primary user, or prioritize how their product or service impacts the web of relationships their primary user has within a particular social context? What’s more, teams must also consider stakeholders. How do they decide what’s more important, between internal relationships that will bring their product or service to market and the external relationships that their product or service creates?

Enter the JTBD framework. Teams can zoom out from this complex web of relationships by clarifying the key job that both internal and external groups are trying to accomplish. With the JTBD framework, teams have a set of focused priorities to guide what they’re designing via a job statement. We can think of a job statement as a clear understanding of the job customers want to achieve—a good job statement factors in relationships, as represented by the social and emotional needs of the job. For example, a functional need of a job might be that customers need to access important meeting notes while they’re away from their laptops. But a social-emotional need might be that they want a discrete way to review notes before a customer meeting, so they can feel more confident and prepared to nurture customer relationships and close deals faster. 

To understand how JTBD works in action, let's check with Bloomington Caregivers to see how they apply this framework. 

The Four Principles of JTBD

You learned earlier that Bloomington Caregivers recently brought a new mobile app to market that helps customers experience more efficient and accessible outpatient care. Bloomington Caregivers used the JTBD framework to better understand how to help customers complete a specific job: Feel more included and in control of their care and healing process, so they have more confidence sharing their needs and concerns with providers and loved ones. 

Bloomington Caregivers designed for this specific job by applying four common JTBD principles. 

  1. Customer-centric: Identify jobs through conversations with customers—they’re at the center of all new products, features, and innovations.
  2. Solution agnostic: Start by looking at jobs only—when you describe a job as intrinsically tied to an existing solution, you miss the chance to innovate on behalf of your customers.
  3. Stable over time: Work from the premise that customers’ needs are relatively stable over time—frequently changing customers’ jobs and needs might mean it’s time to return to the drawing board.
  4. Measurable outcomes: Make sure you’re able to measure the effectiveness of the job you’ve captured—customers want products or services that help them get a job done better.

Let’s see how Bloomington Caregivers applied each principle during its design and build process.

The Bloomington Caregivers team applying the four common jobs-to-be-done principles

  • Customer-centric: Bloomington Caregivers worked with a diverse group of stakeholders, including potential customers and community members, identifying the specific job of enabling users to feel more included and in control of their care and healing process and confident in sharing their needs and concerns with providers and loved ones.
  • Solution Agnostic: Bloomington Caregivers began with the specific job above instead of turning to existing solutions—to bring more innovation and intention to the design process.
  • Stable Over Time: Bloomington Caregivers knows, based on its research, that this specific job is a long-term, sustainable need.
  • Measurable Outcomes: Bloomington Caregivers built in-app tools to give customers more control, measuring how much these features were used and collecting feedback on customer satisfaction around personal control to measure how well they’re solving for their job.

When you approach design by considering how you can best serve customers and their specific needs, including how you can factor in social contexts and dynamics, you create more effective products and services. This helps organizations cultivate more trusting and sustainable relationships with customers and communities, demonstrating that design as a social practice is a win-win for all.


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