Jobs don’t come in neat, little packages. You have to hunt for them. You won’t find jobs from analytics or marketing surveys, and you can’t just “brainstorm” jobs and needs. You have to get out and talk to job performers in formal interviews.
Interviewing experts in a given domain will accelerate your learning about what job they are trying to do, revealing a true JTBD. Interview users to determine what is motivating their action and see if you’re on the right track. A few informal conversations can do wonders for narrowing in on the distinctions and labels that will make the most sense.
First Step - Form hypothesis about job, performer and needs
Second Step - Get the right people, the job performers You need to determine not only whom you want to talk to, but whom you don’t want to talk to.
Determine who the primary job executor is:
Create a screener for recruiting that consists of criteria that you’ll use to select participants, working with our Research Ops team to build in stop points to disqualify a person from your research. Avoid including any reference to a specific product, service, or brand.
Note that if you use existing customers for the interviews, be cautious about their bias toward your solution. You’ll need to explicitly steer them away from talking about your product or solution. It’s harder to interview existing customers from this perspective, but possible.
Avoid interviewing people who believe they can speak on behalf of job performers. You want to talk to the actual job performers, not the people who manage the job performers.
At a minimum, you’ll need about 5–6 interviews to start seeing consistent patterns. It’s recommended to double that number— 10–12 participants are better. More participants will strengthen the thoroughness of your research.
Third Step - Conduct the job interview Then lead an open interview that lets them speak in their own words about their objectives. Probe on the job process and needs. Make sure you record the session.
Note: The JTBD approach assumes that people are first and foremost motivated to get the job done so they can make progress. The interviews favor a more surgical approach to reach their goals and needs. Jobs interviews are not intended for gaining empathy for participants per se, although that is often inevitable.
Fourth Step - Analyze the data and create JTBD
Sometimes, JTBD need to be created so fast you don’t have time to conduct job interviews. In this case, it is still a best practice to validate the JTBD with job performers.
You’re looking to increase your confidence in your stage’s priorities, strategy, and how you are measuring success and maturity of your stage.
Here are some points to consider when formulating the main job:
Test your main job statement against these questions: