With most product roadmap prioritization frameworks, the focus is on ‌features. 

Which features are the most essential? 
How much will each feature benefit the customer or the product? 
How much time and effort do we need to build each feature? 

The only problem is that sometimes, you’re not even sure yet which features you should be choosing between. 

For that, you can turn to the Jobs to be Done (JTBD) framework, which focuses first on determining the most important customer outcomes. In this article, we’ll dive into how the JTBD framework works, some of the key benefits, and who it’s best for. 

If you need something more feature-oriented, there are plenty of other models you can try. Check out our guide to the best product management prioritization frameworks and see which one makes the most sense for your team. 

What is the Jobs to Be Done framework? 

The Jobs to Be Done framework is pretty different from other product prioritization methods in that it doesn’t focus on features at all. 

Instead, it focuses on uncovering and identifying outcomes customers are trying to achieve, which can allow you to innovate and prioritize product development that serves those goals. 

The Jobs to Be Done framework is a prioritization framework that focuses on identifying the outcomes users are looking to accomplish. By understanding the core “jobs” your customers need to do, your team can then create innovative solutions and prioritize product development according to customer needs. 

In short, instead of starting with features and prioritizing based on impact, customer satisfaction, effort, or some other benefit, you zoom way out. 

You don’t look at features. You don’t look at your product. You don’t even look at user journeys with your product. 

Instead, you look at the emotional, social, and practical outcomes that customers are looking to achieve, and why they use your product to try to achieve them. Then you prioritize new product development that can help you better support those outcomes. 

A diagram of the Jobs to Be Done prioritization framework. At the top is "main jobs to be done" and branching off is "functional aspects" and "emotional aspects." Branching off emotional aspects are "personal dimension" and "social dimension."

The JTBD framework is very customer-focused — and since it’s so high-level, it can pair well with other customer-focused feature prioritization methods. Try the Kano method if you want to focus on how features impact customer satisfaction, or try user story mapping if you’re working in an agile development framework

How does the Jobs to Be Done framework work? 

At the heart of the JTBD framework are two goals: 

  1. Better understand exactly what the customer needs or wants to achieve when they use a product like yours
  2. Create a customer experience that meets those needs 

This starts with the customer, of course.

Here’s how to implement the JTBD theory for your own product. 

1. Start by collecting “jobs stories.” 

These come from detailed customer interviews. Ideally, you’ll talk to customers who have joined or switched to your product in the last 90 days.

What you’re looking for are the emotional, social, and practical elements that drive customer decisions. 

You’re trying to find out:

  • What is the real outcome a customer wants to achieve with my product? 
  • Why do they want that thing? 
  • What led them to choose this product or solution over another‌? 
  • What pain points currently exist in their solution, or in their previous solution?
  • What are the practical, emotional, and social forces behind the outcome they want? 

2. Sort the JTBDs into categories. 

We’ll go into this more in the next section, but there are two types of “jobs”: 

  1. Main jobs to be done, which are the primary objectives your customers are hoping to solve with your product 
  2. Related jobs to be done, which are secondary jobs connected to the core jobs but not a main objective. 

Within each of these jobs categories, you have different aspects of the JTBDs, that is: 

  • Functional jobs: The primary tasks customers are trying to accomplish (typically with practical, tactical, or functional requirements)  
  • Emotional jobs: The personal aspect of accomplishing a job, aka how the customer wants to feel or avoid feeling in relation to the objective 
  • Social jobs: How the customer wants to be perceived by others as a result of the solution 

We’ll dive into what these look like a bit more in the following section. For now, just keep in mind that this is how you’re grouping the jobs that you’re finding in your interviews.  

3. Create “job cards” (or “job statements”)

Once you’ve done several customer interviews, common stories will start to stand out. From there, you can create jobs cards or statements that encompass the common stories you’re seeing. 

These often use the following format: 

Desire / motivation


Outcome / “job” 

Pain point

“I want to…” 


“so that I can…” 


I want to learn no-code product development

…in my spare time

…so that I can level up in my career 

…without having to spend years learning to code in an expensive program.

You can create multiple job cards or statements based on ‌emerging stories you hear, similar to customer personas. 

4. Prioritize product development based on JTBD

Once you understand your customers’ jobs to be done, you can be more innovative in how your product helps users accomplish those jobs. 

Ultimately, you want to focus your product development on the unmet jobs that are most valuable to your target audience. 

In some cases, this is clear from ‌interviews and your resulting job map. 

In other cases, you may have to pull in more tools and frameworks to help. For example, a competitor analysis can help you chart which of the jobs to be done are most underserved by your competitors and innovate to solve that problem. Opportunity scoring can also be a great way to get deeper insights on which solutions are most valuable to your customers. 

In any case, the result at the end of the JTBD framework is that: 

  • You have a clear picture of customer needs in the form of customer jobs 
  • You understand how a customer’s desired outcomes fit into practical, personal, and social aspects of their main jobs 
  • You can article jobs statements or create a jobs map based on the identified main jobs that customers want to accomplish 
  • You can prioritize product development and solutions to cater to the jobs to be done found in your research

Jobs to be Done framework categories 

With the JTBD framework, there are two levels of categories. First, you have your main jobs to be done and your related jobs to be done. 

Main jobs are the reasons why people look for a product like yours. They’re searching for a note-taking app because they need a way to easily make and organize their notes. Or they’re looking for a networking platform because they want to increase their professional connections. 

Related jobs are secondary tasks that are connected to their primary objective. For example, in addition to creating and organizing notes, users might want to be able to share or collaborate on notes, access them on more than one device, make them searchable, and so on. 

This exercise builds the foundation for your product’s primary offers (core job) and the unique features that differentiate it from other similar solutions (related jobs). 

Then, the jobs in each of those two categories can be further sorted into the aspect of that job. 

Functional aspects  
These are the practical aspects of accomplishing a task. A note-taking app has to allow you to take notes, for example. 

Emotional aspects 
The emotional aspects can be either personal — how a user wants to feel or not feel — or socialhow a user wants to be perceived. 

Even “small” jobs have emotional and social aspects. 

For example, the job of wanting to get your hair cut comes with personal aspects of wanting to express your individuality and your style. It also has the social aspect of wanting to be perceived in a way that aligns with how you see yourself (trendy, cool, edgy, different, classy, etc.). 

All of these emotional ‌and social dimensions are typically under the surface of the main job to be done, but they factor highly into customer decisions.

For example, customers who make their coffee in the morning with a Chemex vs. a basic “Mr. Coffee” coffee pot are looking to accomplish the same outcome — a hot cup of coffee to start their day. But their emotional and social jobs are completely different. 

One might be craving an indulgent sensory experience, a superior taste, a perception of being refined or classy, and so on. The other may be prioritizing a quick and easy experience, something simple they can do while juggling other morning responsibilities.  

At the heart of the JTBD framework is a method for categorizing all of these underlying motivations and objectives so that you can understand how to best solve your customers’ needs. 

Jobs to Be Done framework example

With the JTBD framework, an example can be really helpful for conceptualizing what the framework looks like in practice. 

Step 1: Identity the “jobs to be done” 

Say you’re building an online course library for your no-code development platform (like Bubble!). The courses give your users access to step-by-step lessons to learn to build apps with no-code tools. 

The basic “job” is that a user wants to learn how to use no-code tools. But that only scratches the surface. Why do they want to learn no-code product development? 

Because they want to increase their skills and experience without having to invest tons of time into traditional coding classes. But why? This is when you uncover that maybe they’re stuck in a low-paying job and are looking to break into tech to better support their family. Or they’ve been trying to learn programming for years and want to fast-track their skills so they can grow their career and do more meaningful work. Or maybe they have an idea for an app or product they want to create and want to be able to build and execute their vision without extensive coding experience. Now you’re starting to get a true understanding of the jobs to be done that users are hoping your product will accomplish. 

Step 2: Sort the JTBDs into categories

How did the jobs we found break into these groups? 

The main job to be done is to learn how no-code programming so they can increase their skills and web development abilities. 

Within this, there are functional aspects, for example:

  • Learning practical no-code skills
  • Making faster progress than with traditional coding
  • Building real projects faster
  • Getting help applying to technical roles

There are also personal emotional aspects, such as: 

  • Wanting to gain confidence
  • Enjoying learning something new
  • Engaging in meaningful work

And there are social aspects as well, such as:

  • Gaining respect from peers or family members
  • Increasing marketability
  • Rising up on the social or career ladder 

Step 3: Create job statements

Now you want to translate those jobs and job aspects into job statements. In our example, some job statements might be: 

  • I want to learn how to build with no-code in my spare time so that I can get a better job to support my family without having to spend years in an expensive program. 
  • I want to learn no-code tools during my lunch breaks so I can fast-track my career and get more flexibility and freedom in how I work. 
  • I want to learn how to use no-code tools so I can build my app quickly without having to hire an expensive development team.

Step 4: Prioritize your product development

Ideally, you can prioritize the highest-value unmet needs that your customers have, as shown by their job stories. 

In this example, some priorities for product development could be: 

  • Creating self-paced lessons that are available to users at any time (functional aspect) 
  • Designing different “user tracks” so learners can take the courses most relevant to them at their own pace (functional aspect) 
  • Creating a job board in your product for job-seekers (functional aspect) 
  • Allowing learners to get certified through your courses to showcase their progress on a resume or job application (social aspect)

What are the benefits of the Jobs to Be Done framework? 

The JTBD framework is definitely unique from other prioritization frameworks and offers some clear benefits: 

  • It helps you make sure you’re creating something customers‌ want. With JTBD, you’re focused on the ultimate outcomes the customer is looking for, and working backward from there to create the best solution. This helps you avoid building features that are cool but don’t‌ actually impact your audience. 
  • It can drive innovation. It’s easy to create new versions of existing solutions — but harder to innovate entirely new solutions. The JTBD framework can help you dig deeper into customer needs and provide valuable insights to create truly unique products and features. 
  • It allows you to uncover unmet needs in your target market. If you’re working in a crowded market (and who isn’t?), the JTBD framework allows you to find untapped opportunities and differentiate your solution from your competitors. It can also be a great way to validate or improve your product ideas before you start developing. 

The downside of JTBD is that it’s pretty high-level. Once you’ve uncovered the big-picture goals and motivations your customers have, you still have to identify the best solutions to those problems, and the features, functionality, and so on that you have to build as a result.

That’s why we recommend pairing JTBD with another prioritization framework. Once you’ve got the big picture in place, use another model, like the Kano or MoSCoW model, to help you narrow down specific features and development plans. 

When should you use the Jobs to Be Done framework? 

The JTBD framework works best when implemented in one of two phases: 

  1. At the very beginning of the research phase when developing new products, or 
  2. After you already have a fully-functioning product with a decent user base and are looking for new ways to innovate 

Since the JTBD framework exists to help you uncover customer needs and motivations, it’s not really suited for nitty-gritty feature planning. It’s most helpful when you’re in the early stages, thinking about the big picture and how you can innovate a helpful solution.

Of course, this can happen early on in your product development process, but it can also happen later in the game when you’ve solved some specific problems and want to uncover more.

Keep in mind that using the JTBD framework requires lots of customer interviews. This means you need to have some customers — or at least, interested parties from your target audience — that you can talk to before you can adopt the JTBD framework. 

Implementing JTBD theory into product development 

No matter how many customers you’ve interviewed and how many job stories you have, there’s always more to learn. 

However, at some point, you have to stop researching and‌ start implementing the job stories you’ve found into product development. 

With Bubble, it’s easier (and faster!) than ever to create innovative solutions your customers will love. Bubble’s full-stack, no-code software development platform means development happens quickly and affordably. 

You don’t need an entire development team (though you can hire a Bubble-Certified Developer or agency if you want support). You don’t need a ton of time. Even better: You don’t need to build prototypes and MVPs to test your ideas and then scrap them once you’re ready for the development phase. 

With the JTBD framework, you can validate your ideas and solutions with customers right from the start. Then you can build your product on Bubble, go to market faster, get feedback, and start iterating right away from V1 of your product. 

TL; DR: You can build what your customers want and get it to them faster than before. What’s not to love?

Give your customers the solutions they hadn’t even known to ask for. Start building ‌your customers’ job stories today — for free! ‌ — on Bubble today.