planning, scheduling, and conducting a Joint Application Development (JAD) session

JAD Session

The JAD team is the very heart of the JAD process and the selection and inclusion of individuals are critical to the overall success of a JAD project.  The team should consist of a mixture of skills from a variety of individuals (lead functional, test manager, lead designer, lead architect, end users, etc.).

The JAD session is a structured meeting conducted by a Project Manager (PM)/Software Project Manager (SPM) or JAD Facilitator, designed to extract high quality information from users in a compressed time frame.  This process uses visual aids and a workshop environment to exploit group dynamics.  In the case of a small requirement, telephone interviews or telephone conferences can be substituted for JAD sessions.

These sessions may be used during the Technology Development Phase for the 5000.02 Framework and the Define Need Phase of the Non-5000.02 Framework  of the Systems Engineering Process (SEP) to decompose the customer requirement and verify that the developer has captured all of the requirements, architecture, and design considerations and has the correct interpretation of these requirements and considerations.

JAD Session Participants:

Program Manager:  Assign a facilitator.

Proposal Team Participants:  Provide charts, diagrams, or visual aids, etc., to be reviewed or discussed to document identified requirements.

Lead Analyst/Lead Designer:  Perform the Data/Activity modeling for the JAD.

Facilitator:  The JAD facilitator is the key person in the team and is responsible for the planning, execution and managing of the project. Choosing a facilitator is the first important step. He /she should be a respected, skillful leader with a good reputation within the program.  Choosing a poor JAD facilitator may mean the difference between a good project and a poor one.  It is essential that the facilitator be given the authority as well as the responsibility and will work closely with the Program Manager to achieve the objectives of the JAD project.

The facilitator’s responsibilities include:
  • Schedule the JAD session.
  • Ensure all participants attend the JAD sessions.

  • Prepare and distribute the agenda of the JAD session prior to the meeting.

  • Notify the participants what subject(s) will be discussed at each scheduled JAD session.

  • Cancel the session when the knowledgeable participants are not present or review material is not available.

  • Direct the discussion during the JAD session and ensure that each member remains focused on the topic being discussed.

  • Ensure representatives for all affected systems agree and understand the requirements and technical solutions.

  • Establish suspense dates for all action items issued.  Monitor and track status of all action items.

  • Set up next meeting date as necessary.

Recorder:  (Can be any participant).

  • Record session action items.

  • Document and distribute minutes to all JAD participants.

  • Provide any pertinent documents that can be used for requirement extraction during the JAD session.

Business Process Owner Representatives:  Customer’s Analyst/End-User/Customer.

  • Attend the JAD session at the designated time.

  • Bring supporting documents.

  • Correct/validate findings.

Procedure (When/How Asset is Used):

Before each JAD session, the facilitator will verify that all of the participants are present and the review material is available.

The JAD session starts with the facilitator briefing the agenda for the current session, followed by the participants briefing the status of their action items from previous JAD sessions.

Each participant will support the JAD session and fulfill assigned action items.

During the JAD session, the recorder will capture the extraction of the requirement information. The recorder will document and date/time stamp all interview notes from a JAD session.  

JAD sessions should be limited to a four hour session per day with breaks every hour.

The JAD session follows meeting rules:

  • Only one team member talks at a time

  • Talk to the subject of the meeting

  • Requirements come from the user not the Proposal Team

  • Requirements are authorized by the user

  • Requirements are authored by the user