Brian Rhea Brian Rhea

How to Run a Successful Jobs to Be Done Workshop

In today’s competitive business environment, understanding customer needs and preferences is crucial for success. Traditional market research methods often fall short in providing actionable insights that drive innovation and growth. That’s where Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) theory comes into play. By focusing on the functional, social, and emotional jobs customers are trying to achieve, JTBD provides a fresh perspective to uncover unmet needs and develop solutions that truly resonate with customers.## Understanding the Concept of Jobs to Be Done

Before diving into the intricacies of running a successful Jobs to Be Done workshop, it’s important to grasp the fundamental concept behind this theory. Essentially, Jobs to Be Done posits that customers “hire” products or services to get a specific job done in their lives. This job could be anything from accomplishing a task more efficiently to seeking emotional satisfaction or social acceptance.

For example, imagine a person who is looking to buy a new car. Their job to be done might be to find a reliable and fuel-efficient vehicle that fits their budget. In this case, the person is not just buying a car for the sake of owning a car, but rather to fulfill a specific need or desire in their life.

By understanding the jobs customers are trying to do, businesses can align their offerings with these needs, gaining a competitive advantage and driving customer loyalty. This customer-centric approach allows companies to move away from product-centric thinking and focus on solving real problems for their target audience.

When companies understand the jobs their customers are trying to accomplish, they can develop products and services that specifically address those needs. This not only improves the customer experience but also increases the likelihood of repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

The Importance of Jobs to Be Done in Business Strategy

The Jobs to Be Done theory has gained significant attention in recent years due to its potential to transform business strategy. By understanding the jobs customers are trying to accomplish, companies can develop innovative products and services that meet those needs precisely. Instead of relying on guesswork, JTBD provides a systematic framework for identifying and prioritizingcustomer needsNeed a Stellar Jobs to Be Done Survey? Here’s How to Create One!Learn to design a JTBD survey, download a JTBD survey template, and prioritize your product roadmap effectively. Discover how to utilize the Jobs to Be Done approach for understanding customer needs with our step-by-step guide., leading to more successful product launches and improved customer satisfaction.

Furthermore, the Jobs to Be Done approach helps businesses differentiate themselves from competitors. By focusing on the specific jobs customers are trying to do, companies can create unique value propositions that resonate with their target audience. This allows them to stand out in a crowded marketplace and attract customers who are seeking solutions that truly address their needs.

Key Principles of Jobs to Be Done Theory

There are several key principles that underpin the Jobs to Be Done theory:

  1. Customers hire products or services to complete a job.
  2. Jobs are functional, social, or emotional in nature.
  3. Jobs have progress measures that customers use to evaluate success.
  4. Customer decision-making is driven by the desire for progress.
  5. Competing solutions are evaluated based on their ability to help customers make progress.

Understanding these principles will lay a solid foundation for running a successful Jobs to Be Done workshop. By delving deeper into each principle, workshop participants can gain a comprehensive understanding of how to apply the theory in practice. This knowledge will enable them to identify the key jobs their customers are trying to accomplish and develop strategies to meet those needs effectively.

Moreover, the Jobs to Be Done theory encourages businesses to continuously evaluate and improve their offerings. By understanding the progress measures customers use to evaluate success, companies can gather valuable feedback and make iterative improvements to their products and services. This iterative approach ensures that businesses stay relevant and continue to meet the evolving needs of their customers.

Preparing for a Jobs to Be Done Workshop

Running a successful workshop requires careful planning and preparation. Before the workshop, there are several key steps to take:

Identifying the Right Participants

The success of a Jobs to Be Done workshop hinges on having the right mix of participants. Ideally, this includes individuals from various departments, such as product development, marketing, and customer service. Including a diverse range of perspectives can lead to more comprehensive insights and innovative solutions. Additionally, involving customers or end-users in the workshop can provide valuable firsthand experiences and feedback.

When selecting participants, it is important to choose individuals who have a deep understanding of the business and are willing to challenge assumptions. This can help foster a collaborative environment where ideas can be freely shared and explored.

Setting Clear Objectives for the Workshop

Clearly defining the objectives you want to achieve through the workshop is crucial. Do you want to identify new market opportunities? Improve existing products? Generate innovative ideas? Setting specific objectives will guide the discussions and ensure that everyone is working towards a common goal.

By setting clear objectives, you can also establish a framework for evaluating the success of the workshop. This will help you measure the impact of the ideas and solutions generated during the session.

Gathering Necessary Materials and Tools

Make sure you have all the necessary materials and tools ready for the workshop. This includes whiteboards, sticky notes, markers, and any other supplies needed for group activities. These materials will facilitate brainstorming, idea sharing, and visual representation of concepts.

In addition to physical materials, consider using software or online platforms specifically designed for Jobs to Be Done workshops. These tools can enhance collaboration and organization, allowing participants to contribute and interact even if they are not physically present in the same location.

Furthermore, having access to relevant data and research findings can greatly enrich the workshop discussions. Consider gathering market research, customer feedback, and industry trends to provide a solid foundation for the workshop activities.

By carefully preparing for a Jobs to Be Done workshop, you can create an environment that fosters creativity, collaboration, and innovation. The right mix of participants, clear objectives, and necessary materials will set the stage for a productive and impactful workshop.

Conducting the Jobs to Be Done Workshop

Now that you have prepared for the workshop, it’s time to dive into the main event. Here are some key aspects to consider when conducting a Jobs to Be Done workshop:

Facilitating Effective Discussions

A successful workshop relies on effective facilitation skills. As the facilitator, it’s your role to ensure that all participants have the opportunity to contribute their ideas and opinions. Encourage open and honest discussions, and actively manage any conflicts or disagreements that may arise. Remember to stay focused on the goals and keep the discussions productive.

During the workshop, it’s important to create a safe and inclusive environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts. Consider using icebreaker activities to help participants get to know each other and build rapport. This will foster a sense of trust and collaboration, leading to more fruitful discussions.

As the facilitator, you should also be prepared to guide the conversation and ask probing questions to dig deeper into the participants’ insights. This will help uncover valuable information and ensure that the workshop stays on track.

Techniques for Uncovering Customer Needs

There are various techniques you can use to uncover customer needs during the workshop. These include conducting interviews, analyzing customer data, and utilizing frameworks such as the Jobs to Be Done Matrix or the Forces of Progress. Use a combination of these techniques to gain a comprehensive understanding of the jobs customers are trying to accomplish and the challenges they face.

When conducting interviews, it’s important to ask open-ended questions that encourage participants to share their experiences and frustrations. This will provide valuable insights into their motivations and the outcomes they desire. Additionally, analyzing customer data can help identify patterns and trends that can further inform the understanding of customer needs.

The Jobs to Be Done Matrix is a useful tool for organizing and categorizing the jobs customers are trying to accomplish. It helps identify the functional, emotional, and social dimensions of a job, providing a holistic view of customer needs. The Forces of Progress framework, on the other hand, helps identify the obstacles and motivations that drive customers to seek solutions.

Prioritizing Jobs to Be Done

Not all jobs are equally important or offer the same growth opportunities for your business. It’s essential to prioritize the identified jobs based on their potential impact and feasibility. Use techniques like the Opportunity Solution Tree or the Job Map to evaluate and prioritize the jobs. This will help you focus your efforts on the most valuable opportunities.

The Opportunity Solution Tree is a visual tool that helps identify the most promising opportunities by mapping the jobs to be done against potential solutions. It allows you to evaluate the feasibility and impact of each opportunity, enabling you to make informed decisions about where to allocate resources.

The Job Map, on the other hand, helps prioritize jobs based on their importance to customers and their alignment with your business objectives. It allows you to assess the value proposition of each job and determine which ones are worth pursuing.

By prioritizing the jobs to be done, you can focus your resources and efforts on developing solutions that address the most critical customer needs. This will increase the likelihood of success and drive growth for your business.

Post-Workshop Activities

Running a successful Jobs to Be Done workshop is just the beginning. After the workshop, there are several important activities to carry out:

Analyzing Workshop Outcomes

Take the time to analyze the outcomes and insights generated during the workshop. Look for patterns and recurring themes that emerge from the discussions. This analysis will help you identify key customer needs and opportunities that can inform your business strategy.

Implementing Jobs to Be Done Insights into Business Strategy

The real value of a Jobs to Be Done workshop lies in its application to the broader business strategy. Incorporate the insights gained from the workshop into your product development, marketing, and customer experience strategies. Use the identified jobs to inform decision-making processes and drive innovation.

Measuring the Impact of Jobs to Be Done Approach

Lastly, establish metrics to measure the impact of adopting the Jobs to Be Done approach. Monitor key performance indicators such as customer satisfaction, market share, and revenue growth to evaluate the effectiveness of your JTBD initiatives. Regularly review and refine your strategies based on the outcomes.

By following these guidelines and best practices, you can run a successful Jobs to Be Done workshop that unlocks valuable insights and drives business growth. Embrace the customer-centric approach and harness the power of JTBD theory to stay ahead in the competitive landscape. Start today and discover the jobs your customers truly need to be done!

Take action

Step up your product game

I've helped innovative teams all over the world make better product decisions using Jobs to Be Done. Now it's time to step up your product game with AI + JTBD.

Join the newsletter

Get familiar

Join 1,000+ product people and get practical AI + product tips delivered once per week.


  • Gain a deeper understanding of JTBD
  • Stay ahead of the curve
  • Develop a critical eye for innovation
  • Sharpen your skills

Try some resources

Get started

Instantly level up your Jobs to Be Done mastery and uncover insights that lead to meaningful innovations customers want.

$1 / name your price

  • Quickstart ChatGPT Prompts for JTBD
  • Forces of Progress for ChatGPT
  • Beginner's Guide to JTBD Interviews
  • JTBD Resource Library

JTBD + AI Workshop

Get serious

Enhance Your JTBD Toolkit with AI


  • Better Prompts for Better Results
  • Hands-on ChatGPT for JTBD
  • Interview Analysis
  • Research Prep Essentials
  • Advanced Transcript Analysis
  • Copywriting Mastery
  • Developing Hypotheses
  • ... and more!
Get instant access