January 28, 2021 · 2 min read

The Jobs-to-be-Done Framework

A pragmatic approach to product management

I've been involved in product management for a long time now since I was working as CTO in companies with no product managers for the last 10 years.

I recently discovered the "Jobs to be done" approach and did some research about it. It's about understanding the intrinsic motivation of people to purchase a product or perform an action.

The broad idea is best summarized by a quote from this HBR article:

The idea is that correlating customers based on characteristics is a poor way of understanding the behavior: Consider the case of one of this article’s coauthors, Clayton Christensen. He’s 64 years old. He’s six feet eight inches tall. His shoe size is 16. He and his wife have sent all their children off to college. He drives a Honda minivan to work. He has a lot of characteristics, but none of them has caused him to go out and buy the New York Times. His reasons for buying the paper are much more specific. He might buy it because he needs something to read on a plane or because he’s a basketball fan and it’s March Madness time. Marketers who collect demographic or psychographic information about him—and look for correlations with other buyer segments—are not going to capture those reasons.

Understanding can help to better optimize the user experience. You might realize that people open your app frequently to do something very specific you did not imagine before. Or you might find out about powerful mechanism explaining why people by a product. I like the mini van example mentionned by Ryan Singer in the podcast below.

Further reading and listening

🧑‍💻  I'm Romain, software engineer freelancer, ex co-founder and CTO at Yeeld and Eventmaker.

You may be interested in ways I help or simply want to follow me on Twitter / LinkedIn / Github.