How to assemble the best-fit team for a JTBD project

The key to effective teams who’ll be key to the success of a JTBD project are those who will mesh well together, and who will complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

How do I choose the right team to take part in my project?

This isn’t an easy answer. And that’s because there are so many things to consider, different things are needed by different people. There’s no cookie-cutter approach.

For us, we believe the key to effective teams that will be key to the success of a JTBD project are those who will mesh well together, people who will complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

It’s all about making the best team with the pieces you have. Not re-inventing the wheel.

We’ve experience of building and launching over 3500 products and services. Here’s what we tell people interested in making a success of job to be done.

You need people who are eager to learn or who aren’t complete pessimists.

What I mean by that is it’s okay if someone has a level of skepticism or doubt, that’s okay. But if they are unwilling to learn and see things from both sides, it’s likely that they are unable to learn. 

Red flag: You may think you need them on the team, but it actually disrupts the team cohesion. It’ll do more harm than good. And the whole idea behind this really is to change your thinking. 

Green flag: If they are asking themselves “why is this better?” or “why this research – how will it make the customer better?” – this is a good mindset to have. 

You need people who are willing to wrestle with language.

Always allow for the different ways people think and process thought. The example of introverts could be useful here. I really recommend giving people the time and space to think, and the space to give their opinion. 

They have to be willing to debate and think about and wrestle with language. They need to be willing to wrestle with the language, and to push back. 

You don’t need a strong-willed person that will always fight for the sake of fighting. You need the people who will thoughtfully talk about and think about other things. 

You need a cross-functional team. 

This usually is made up of people with knowledge in maybe one or two fields. This will allow a range of people who hear the differences in the use of particular words. Whether that’s because they use different parts of their brain or can recall based on previous experiences they’ve had.

Side note: you don’t always need to recruit the most senior people to form cross-functional alignment. These people are great, but based on our experience, often it’s the junior people who can also contribute and add value. 

You need people who have the time and space to dedicate to the process. 

Let’s say you’re a manager and one of your staff has been chosen to join the project team. You need to ensure you give them the time and space to actually absorb themselves in this process and to think. 

These are not ‘jump in for 15 minutes, jump out for 15 exercises’.

The 7 traits we look for when running our JTBD projects:

  1. People who are comfortable being uncomfortable.

    I get it, that’s a very easy thing to say and a very hard thing to find. It’s when you look at your team members and you say “I know they have a comfort spot, but I know they always lean in or they always go one or two steps further than their comfort zone”. 
  1. People who don’t run for cover when faced with change. 

    This person isn’t bad, rather, they’re likely to be a bad fit. 
  1. You want curious people.

    Typically, this is the person that says “I’m interested, but need to know more”. This will give you the right induction. 
  1. You don’t want a load of alphas – you want a couple.

  2. You don’t want a ton of followers – you want a few.

  3. You want outward thinkers and inward thinkers.

  4. You want a combination of people at different stages of their careers.

    Junior people will use a different language to that of senior people who’ve been doing the role for a long time and who may be stuck in their ways. 


As you can see, this isn’t a straight forward answer. But because of the very nature of using Jobs to uncover why your customers actually buy, you need a very different mindset.

I recommend a podcast we recording, Learning Jobs to be Done, as a starting point. It’ll give you an insight into some of the key themes you’ll need to discuss as a JTBD project team.