The Do’s and Don’ts of Jobs-to-be-Done and Your Mobile App Development

mobile app development

The central question of your mobile app development should be, “What job is the customer hiring my mobile app to do?”

While this may seem like an obvious starting point, I have rarely seen companies employ the “getting the job done” test while developing their mobile app.

Below are the “do’s” and “don’ts” to make a successful app that is lauded and applauded by your customers:

Don’t ask your customers what they want.

Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” The same is true for almost any innovation. In 2009, could any of us asked for the iPad or thought we’d want one? Four years later iPad’s have become ubiquitous, selling faster than any consumer device in the history of consumption.

Customers should not be depended to come up with the solutions to their problems. They hire your brand because they are not experts. They look to your mobile app for an innovative solution.

Don’t build off of demographic data

Clayton Christensen posits “customers rarely purchase in demographic herds. — they buy things because they find themselves with a problem they would like to solve.”

Brands often focus too much on creating apps for narrow demographic segments than for actual issues. Ask your customers what they want to accomplish.

Identify your customers’ problem

Don’t solve for myriad cases; drive to solve ONE job and do it extraordinarily well.

To identify your customers problems ask them what problems they have and why they look to your brand to solve them. (You’d be surprised by what they say) Finally, you should pour over your analytics data to determine what features your customers actually use and don’t use.

Create a Product Definition Statement

Create a Product Definition Statement that states the problem the app is solving for the customers. 

Map it out

Armed with an understanding of your customer’s problems and a concise product definition statement, build the feature roadmap and supporting creative and user flow.

Look to speed, resequence or eliminate user inputs or steps in a job to help quicken, reduce or eliminate the problems. If a gap in a step is identified be sure to fill in with an efficient solution.

Once the road map and supporting documents are completed, a company can create high-value, rich-featured and highly engaging apps.

Get buy-in and stick to the plan

It can be difficult to keep your IT, MarComm, Global HQ and a host of mobile app partners all on target. As a result it is essential to make sure the CMO and CTO both sign off and provide their support for the Product Definition statement and the Mobile App Strategic Roadmap. For multi-nationals there’s another layer– you must get buy-in from Global HQ.

Once you have buy-in, revisit the product definition statement and the roadmap for all creative, user flow and mobile app feature demos.

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