Learnings on Jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) for modelH

Learnings on Jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) for modelH

Learnings on Jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) for modelH

A “job-to-be-done” is the high-level goal that a person is trying to accomplish. This is a simple idea with profound implications. Understanding a consumer’s “job-to-be-done” requires that you resist thinking in terms of your product and/or service and what you must do to sell, service, or provide it. Instead, think in terms of what the consumer is trying to accomplish.

By understanding consumers’ healthcare jobs-to-be-done (JTBD), we can create a tailored value proposition and an intentional experience for them. Think of it as a promise of value to be delivered and a belief from the consumer that it will be experienced.

Still not sure about a JTBD.  Watch this video from the inventor of the concept Clayton Christensen.

We just wrapped up our fifth business building block sprint on Jobs-to-be-done (JTBD). In summary, the sprint for Project 1.4 on JTBD completed 2 objectives:

  • Questions to ask on the canvas for the JTBD building block
  • Help on how to create healthcare JTBD 


modelH Canvas 4 JTBD Highlight

Questions to Ask on the Canvas for the JTBD Block

We defined the questions that should be added to our business model canvas for helping practitioners define their Customer Segment’s healthcare JTBD?

  • JTBD: What is the job-to-be-done? I want to … action words + object of action + context
  • Current Approach: What is their current approach to solving their JTBD now?
  • Benchmark(s): What do they compare their current approach to – good or bad?
  • Performance Criteria: What criteria are used to judge the effort & experience of the current approach?
  • Barriers: What prevents them from trying a different approach?
  • Behaviors: What Key Behaviors are needed to drive completion of their JTBD?
  • Data: What Platform (data) is needed to drive the completion of their JTBD?
  • Value: What creates value in their minds in regards of their JTBD? 


modelH Canvas 4 JTBD Highlight

The Most Important Healthcare JTBD

The single most important JTBD in healthcare is “Health” itself. This, or some derivative of this, is what drives the industry. Even with this clarifying fact, and as simple as this sounds, it is not an easy task to identify the User’s health JTBD. For example, in the aspect of physical health alone, there are four sub-categories: wellness, episodic, accurate, and chronic to consider. And, health is comprised of much more than just physical health. It can be mental, spiritual, and much more.

A good basis for identifying a User’s health JTBD is the Washington State University Wellbeing Model1, which breaks health dimensions down into Financial, Emotional, Intellectual, Social, Physical, Occupational, Environmental, and Spiritual. In this model, “Health” (or as they call it Wellbeing) is the combination of the related JTBD from across these categories. In this model, any single health JTBD is actually drawing from several dimensions. This complexity is why so many healthcare business model Value Propositions fall short.

Clayton Christensen, who developed the JTBD concept, noted that users don’t want drill bits, they want holes. However, a Customer Segment defining their JTBD “wanting to drill a hole”, is misleading. The verb is a factor in the JTBD, but the final state is the truest answer being sought. That is to say that in this case the User might want the hole to make their spouse happy, or to be paid by their client, or to show off their art work, or a host of other reasons. Suffice to say, the User wants the hole and the mental value and rewards that the hole provides them. The danger in this thinking when applied to healthcare lies in the limited knowledge of the User in defining their JTBD.

In healthcare this is demonstrated as a patient stating their JTBD is “wanting to get well”. Based on the nature of their malady (episodic, acute, or chronic) the Value Proposition needed to produce this “end state” can be quite significant. For example, for a Type 2 diabetic to “get well” they need a lifelong commitment to blood sugar monitoring, healthy eating, regular exercise, and possibly, diabetes medication or insulin therapy2. Any Value Proposition short of this complete regimen would fail the patient and lead to long term issues elsewhere.


How to Build a Healthcare Job-to-be-done

It is important that in healthcare, every JTBD is actually comprised of two parts – utility and mentality. A utility JTBD is the high-level goal that a person is trying to accomplish. The mentality JTBD is the set of Key Behaviors that are needed to complete the utility JTBD

So how do you define a healthcare JTBD that can effectively serve to refine your business model’s Value Proposition?

First, start with the concept of “Treasure Mapping” the User’s JTBD through the various states of completeness. This involves identifying where a User is right now (“You are here”) in their JTBD, as well as where the User would like to be (“X marks the spot”) as part of their ultimate “end state”. An example would be a User with a JTBD of “lowering their blood pressure”. Before taking medication, this JTBD needs a Value Proposition that includes a change in diet to include less salt and more water, a regular exercise regimen, and limiting the amount of alcohol consumed3. Treasure Mapping out where the User needs to start and progress through in order to lower their blood pressure is a good way to construct their JTBD. Keep in mind that most User’s do not have a full picture of all of the points along their JTBD treasure map. You will need to account for this in how you construct your Value Proposition from their JTBD and deliver it through your Channels and Customer Relationships.

Second, identify the driver(s) behind the User’s JTBD. Most Users are dragged through the healthcare system kicking and screaming, which makes both patient and provider miserable. Understanding the User’s capacity to engage in solving their JTBD is critical to delivering your full Value Proposition. These driver(s) , or Key Behaviors, are an essential part of designing a healthcare JTBD. There are countless models to use from Maslow to Prochaska. If you can identify what mentality JTBD needs to be solved in parallel with the tangible utility JTBD, you have a much better picture of how a solution should look and how your Value Proposition should be delivered. It is important to note that this point may seem to overlap with the Customer Relationship building block, but it is actually quite independent. Customer Relationships are built on a shared purpose between the business and the Customer Segment. Key Behaviors are solely the User’s. Key Behaviors are required to make the business model work. For example, on the part of the provider the Key Behavior might be bedside manner and communication vehicle that can completely and comfortably educate the patient on condition. Another example on the part of the patient, the Key Behavior is a willingness to embrace and execute on their utility JTBD by overcoming any mentality JTBD that would prevent it.


Getting the Data Needed to Support the Healthcare JTBD

No matter what the JTBD, utility or mental, there will always be a need for the Buyer and User to enter in or allow access to certain data so the Value Proposition can be tailored to their JTBD. An increased understanding of User is critical to discovering their ongoing JTBD and building a lifelong relationship. A JTBD can be derived from your own experience and assumptions, but are best when they are supported by data that has been market validated.

To get access to this Buyer and User data, the business model must present a legitimate reason for every data element requested or accessed, and be transparent with the Buyer and User as to what data is used for and why. Within a JTBD, a small amount of information can go a long way towards tailoring a Value Proposition. It is important to the business model to determine the right and wrong amount of information needed to help the User achieve their JTBD goals. This is done through the business model’s Platform.

How your business model’s Platform obtains the data is as important to the JTBD as the Customer Relationship is to the Customer Segment. Most of your JTBD progress data should be automatically updated. However, your model should also allow the User a method of self-reporting their JTBD progress on your Platform. This gives the User a way achieve their mentality JTBD by contributing to the tailoring of their own utility JTBD.

In addition to the observed facts of the JTBD progress, another part of the necessary Platform data is to understand Buyer & User preferences. Understanding these preferences enables your business model to deliver the Value Proposition in a manner consistent with their choosing. Preferences consist of the frequency of communication, communication channels, and tone of communication. Preferences are best gained by asking about their need for deviations from recommended communication frequencies, channels, and tone.

Take the time to incorporate these approaches into the JTBD Block in your business model canvas. Regardless if your business model is aimed at Patients, Providers, Payers, and or Purveyors, the need for creating accurate JTBD greatly improves your Value Proposition and its chance of Customer Segment adoption.


What is Next?

Next up we are going to look at the Key Behaviors needed from the User and Buyer to ensure the Value Proposition is effectively received.


To your health,

The Team at imagine.GO


1 Washington State Wellbeing Model, found at http://www.wellbeing.wsu.edu/what-is-wellbeing.aspx

2 Type 2 Diabetes Treatments and Drugs by Mayo Clinic staff, found at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/type-2-diabetes/DS00585/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

3 10 ways to control high blood pressure without medication by Mayo Clinic staff found at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-pressure/HI00027

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