Job Map Vs Story Map — What’s the difference?

We have been doing story map in our company for a while, then I recently came across terms like Job Map and JTBD (Jobs to be done). It sounded quite interesting, and I thought of sharing my understanding towards Job Map. Let’s see how it goes. Here, I will be comparing Job Map with the Story map.

It is not apples to apples comparison, I suppose, but they are created to uncover opportunities, find problems and solve them. So, why not give it a try?
This is based on my initial understanding towards Job Map, and I might have missed out some key points. Experts, please correct me If I am wrong.

Here is a basic glimpse of what Story Map and Job Map is,

Story Map

Story mapping keeps us focused on users and their experience, and the result is a better conversation, and ultimately a better product 
- Jeff Patton

Story map helps the team in getting a shared understanding of the work to be done in their project. It is often a set of user stories grouped together and ordered to form a map that makes sense. It has a narrative flow from left to right, describing the user activities, and tasks from top to bottom, to support those activities.


Story map drives the team in getting into the smaller details of the goal that the organization is envisioning. It manages to chunk bigger activities into logical and meaningful tasks

Job Map

Job Map on the other hand aids in defining the vision and direction of the organization.

According to Ulwick and Bettencourt,
“Job mapping differs substantively from process mapping in that the goal is to identify what customers are trying to get done at every step, not what they are doing currently.”

The steps defined in the Job Map are Universal and not tied to any particular organization, demographic or user types.

Job map can be used as a framework for identifying the metrics and measuring the success of the task being executed. And it serves a more important purpose, preventing the team from directly arriving at a solution.

Now, let’s find how they differ from each other,

Having seen the differences, let see how they can be applied in a scenario.
Scenario: Purchasing a personality development book from an e-commerce site.

This is a simple scenario considering only the basic flow or the happy path.

1) Story Mapping:

The story map above has 3 levels: Goals > Activities > Tasks

2) Job Mapping

Job map sort of governs the process and has no levels or grouping by itself.
Let’s try to map some of the existing solutions to the universal job steps. Some of the examples below are taken from amazon.

1. Define

Room for Innovation — Make Planning Easier

  • Show books based on browsing history
  • Recommended Books.
  • Related to items that the user has viewed.
  • Show suggestion based on categories while searching.

2) Locate

Room for Innovation — Make required inputs easier to gather

  • Filters with all the necessary categories and inputs for refining the results.

3) Prepare

Room for Innovation — Making setup less difficult and ensure proper guides.

  • Results are organized by — Category, reviews, and best selling items.
  • Results can be sorted by — New, popular, reviews, published date etc.
  • Price for different formats

4) Confirm

Room for Innovation — Information the user needs to confirm readiness.
In product page,

  • Book format — Highlighted to show the current selection.
  • Delivery Address present.
  • Availability is shown
  • Cash on Delivery option is shown, meaning no upfront payment is required
  • Delivery date is provided.

5) Execute

Room for Innovation — Avoid problems and delays; Optimal results
What If am not in? option ( In Amazon)— If the user is not sure whether he will be available during the delivery period

6) Monitor

Room for Innovation — Linking monitoring with improved execution
Checkout wizard showing real-time progress

7) Modify

Room for Innovation — Reduce the need to make alterations or making alterations easier if there is a need.
Return or replace item from my orders, if not satisfied with item

8) Conclude

Room for Innovation — Simplify the process of concluding the job.
Cash on Delivery option — No need of going through the payment steps.

As we have seen above, story map and job map approach the problems and opportunities in a different manner.

Story map is very powerful as it helps the team in getting a shared understanding, and also optimizes the release and delivery planning. But the team might miss out some important steps like validation, planning, modification etc. Job map can be used as a checklist to measure those steps.

I hope if both could be integrated together, they would form a good combo.

This is the first article in this series, and I hope this article evolves over time as I get to know more about the process.
Please share your thoughts and comments below.



User Story Mapping book by Jeff Patton

Job Map