How to Integrate Jobs-To-Be -Done and App Definition Statements into Your Mobile Strategy



As a strategist I’ve written a lot about Jobs-To-Be-Done. So if you’re reading this post you already know that customers don’t want the drills – they want the holes in the walls.

But understanding the value in Jobs-To-Be-Done and App Definition Statements (ADS) and implementing these critical elements into your Mobile App development process are two very different things.

Who are they?

A persona represents a cluster of users who share similar behaviors in their purchasing decisions, use of technology or products, customer service preferences, lifestyle choices, motivations and jobs-to-be-done.

  • Who are the customers that hire your app?
  • What are their political identifications?
  • What are their behaviors, attitudes, and motivations?
  • How can you describe your persona’s day-to-day life, their likes and their dislikes, and their behaviors or attitudes?
  • Are they professional or working class?

Problems cross over demographic lines. Focusing on demographics may cause you to target the wrong potential customers and overlook opportunities with a host of others.

Although some amount of demographic data is important to develop your personas, it’s critical that you not fall into the trap of clustering your customers into demographic herds. Males between 35-50 may be the buyers of your product but their demographic information is not what makes them buy your product. The males between 35-50 may be buying your product because they share similar problems to be solved.

Tell me where it hurts

You are the solution provider. Look to your users to determine where there are problems, where there is pain or where there are inefficiencies. Once these are identified, use your in-depth knowledge of mobile (emerging tech, trends and concepts) to devise the best solution to your users’ problems. Customers really only care that you solve their problems; they don’t care how the problem is solved.

Now that we understand who is hiring your mobile app we need to determine what their problems are. I go into this process in more depth in another post. But for this post we should say that you should not ask your users what they want.

As Henry Ford (allegedly) said, “If I would have asked the customer what they wanted they would have asked for a better horse.” Customers are hiring your mobile app because they are not experts and want you to solve their problems.




Be on a mission

Now that you understand who your customers are and why they are hiring your app, it’s time to develop a clear and concise App Definition Statement. A great ADS helps focus your app to do one thing exceedingly well. To do this, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the main features or functions of this experience?
  • Who will use this application?
  • Why will they want to use it?
  • How will they use it?
  • In what physical context will they use it?
  • What aspect of this application will delight and engage the user?

Develop stories

All stories should be filtered through your personas, their problems and a clear ADS to ensure every story is solving the one job your customers are hiring your mobile app to do.

In my next post I will discuss how to execute your strategy using Behavior Driven Development in an Agile environment.

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