Is it Difficult to Learn JTBD?
Is it Difficult to Learn JTBD?

Is it Difficult to Learn JTBD?

@October 12, 2021

Why is it so difficult to learn how to do JTBD - and to see if it's right for you?

I wrote essays earlier this week for folks who are aware of JTBD, who believe that it might help them, but who aren't yet sure exactly how it works.

Today I started to push on down that line of thinking with a few essays on some of the fundamentals of JTBD, including essays on switch moments, the 4 forces, questions to ask to understand an interviewee's experience over time, and a conversation with a colleague earlier today about how JTBD is more of a theory than a framework and why that matters.

For each of these I poked around to find a good source to cite, a good debate-settling masterstroke by one of the many folks out there who have used JTBD effectively.

And in looking for resources on JTBD for the first time in some time, I stumbled back into the world that folks new to JTBD often remind me of with a grimace.

The limited learning resources and varied interpretations of JTBD present a steep learning curve for novices, and the consequences for being wrong are unclear.

It is challenging and overwhelming to understand how to apply JTBD at your org, run JTBD interviews, understand the multiple interpretations and applications of JTBD theory, and determine whether it is even a worthy endeavor (many believe it is not).

There are few success stories of end-to-end JTBD application, so what does it look like when it's going well? There are even fewer stories of failure, so how bad can it go if you do it wrong?

What is the real outcome? What is the real risk? How do you know if you're doing it right? How do you course correct if you're doing it wrong?

Why are many JTBD resources so muddy? Is it complexity of the theory? Ambiguity of interpretation? Is the secret sauce kept secret on purpose? Is there similar muddiness for other methodologies? In other fields? I wonder.