Jobs To Be Done (JTBD)

Jobs_to_be_done_3This customer came to us with an adoption problem. They had a product that clearly solved a well know problem in their industry. For some reason user adoption of the product was relatively low with fewer customers getting the expected value than they expected. There was a suspicion, within the company, that the design of the user interface was responsible.

We reviewed the product and used a Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) approach to understand how the product fit within the target customer’s workflow. Jobs To Be Done is a simple but powerful approach that helps to better understand the context in which users use your product. It highlights hidden opportunities and helps you set the right direction for your product strategy.

The Product

The product itself is a data analytics platform used in the Oil & Gas industry. It helps to improve the efficiency of oil well drilling by using analytics to improve the behavior of drilling operations. Problems during oil well drilling can be extremely expensive. Spotting problems early enough can potentially save millions of dollars in lost drilling time.

The Problem

In many cases the customers were not seeing the expected benefit. After implementing the product it wasn’t leading to the correct change in behavior. These companies were not seeing the expected savings. On closer investigation it seemed that the various users in the customer were simply not using the product and therefore not getting the benefit of the insights it provided.

This is what lead our client to suspect the user interface as the potential problem. We certainly wouldn’t rule this out but before we could confidently make that call we needed to understand the context better. After reviewing the product and receiving both sales and technical presentations we sat through the product training and interviewed the implementation consultants. The next step was to interview the customers and understand how they saw the product fit in their existing workflows.

Jobs To Be Done

The Jobs To Be Done approach lets you look at what the customer is trying to achieve and then place the product within that process. Our adaption of the approach ensures that every step adds value to the overall goal. This means when you place the product into the process you can clearly see where it’s adding value, where it falls short and potential opportunities to improve.

The approach is relatively easy to apply and results in a set of simple visualizations the team can use to discuss improvements of all sizes including potential strategy changes. While we interviewed our client’s customers we sketched out these processes and asked them to help us position the product in the process. We then discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the product in this context.

We created a high level view of the drilling process in Skore app:

Simple high level view of the oil drilling process

This showed us where the product supported the customer’s activities. Next we broke the most important step, drilling the well, into a more detailed view. At this point we identified a series of user journeys that each resulted in a different outcome. Again each outcome added in some way to the overall customer goal.

Detailed user journey

Each of these user journeys followed the key steps that the customer did to achieve those goals including using the product. These visualizations made it very easy for the customer to describe what they needed and where the gaps were. When shared with our client, not only were we able to articulate why the users were not using the product as expected but our client also identified other improvement opportunities.

Providing the high level context first allowed the whole team to see the relationships between the different parts of the product and how each of those fit into what the customer did. It made it much easier to discuss improvements and understand the impact on the customer before any development even took place.

Product Strategy

These simple visualizations really helped to understand the product better. It helped the development team understand the context of what they were building better. It helped the sales team position the product better. It helped the implementation team train new customers better and it allowed the whole company to reach a shared understanding about how their product worked and what value it provided. As a result it guided a new product strategy that allowed them to deliver more value for their customers.

photo credit: Rig night shot 2 via photopin (license)


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