Black Swan Farming

Develop Better Products by Understanding Jobs To Be Done – Agile2017 Workshop

Abstract:

Jobs to be Done (JTBD) is an interview technique and way of thinking for revealing deeper insights into why people choose a product or service. Using JTBD helps us to avoid building stuff that no-one wants. It is a way to better understand what a product or service really needs to do.

Why this matters

The first principle of the Agile Manifesto says: “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software”. And yet, 15 years later, we still see a lot of organisations delivering software that generates very little or no value. The main reason is quite simple: it doesn’t satisfy customers, because it doesn’t help them with their Job to be Done.
No team wants to build a product that no-one wants. Not only is this a waste of time and money, but it is a huge waste of precious human potential. How can we do better?

Stop fooling ourselves

Part of the problem is that we have so many cognitive bias that we have to fight against. We are prone to fooling ourselves into believing that we really do know what customers want – treating bold assumptions as facts.
As a result, we spend most of our time adding new features, iterating on our products and blindly following product roadmaps that actually get us nowhere at all.
JTBD helps us better understand what users and customers are trying to get done, as well as their purchase decisions. Armed with this information we are in a much better position to test different solutions that are more focused on what customers are more likely to actually use.

Learning Outcomes:

Link to the session abstract on the Agile2017 Conference Schedule.

This workshop was facilitated by Özlem Yüce.

More articles on JTBD on BlackSwanFarming.com:

Jobs to be done

Health tracking jobs-to-be-done

Cameras and the job to be done

What is the job to be done?

Jobs to be done is a topic that we’re actively using and learning about along the way. We plan to publish more on this when clients allow it, but it tends to be treated as commercially sensitive.

The JobsToBeDone.org site has lots of great material that is well worth reading and absorbing, so go and check that out!