what is joint application development
Joint Application Development (JAD) is a process used in the life cycle area of the development of software for the purpose of speeding up the design and development of the software and improving its quality through better communication within a group. This is achieved by gathering all stakeholders – users, developers, designers, and testers – into a structured workshop setting to extract consensus-based system requirements.
JAD was introduced in the late 1970s by IBM to address the issue of poor communication between end-users and developers. Traditional methods involved developers interviewing users individually to determine system requirements, which could lead to inconsistent views and miscommunication. With JAD, everyone comes together in one place to define and agree upon system requirements, ensuring everyone is on the same page and reducing misunderstandings.
The key players in a JAD session are:
- Facilitator: An individual who leads the JAD process, guiding the discussion and ensuring the objectives of the session are met. They must be unbiased and concentrate on the process of the session rather than its technical content.
- End Users: They provide inputs about their expectations and requirements from the system.
- Developers: They understand the user requirements and ask clarifying questions. They provide inputs about what is technically feasible.
- Observers/Scribes: They document the entire process and note down the requirements and issues raised during the session.
- Executive Sponsor: A senior executive who can make business-related decisions. They provide the business perspective and help in resolving conflicts.
The primary advantage of JAD is it allows for a collaborative and engaging environment that encourages active involvement from the client side, leading to a faster and more accurately defined final product. However, scheduling and coordinating JAD sessions can be challenging, and they require experienced facilitators for effective execution.