JAD stands for Joint Application Design. JAD sessions involve a series of meetings and workshops. During these sessions, key players for a project will discuss the needs of their client or project and develop solutions for them. If you are a business leader at an ebusiness or a regular corporation, you may find that a JAD session could be helpful. These sessions bring together the leaders of a large project, allowing them to brainstorm together. If you want to learn more about how to have a successful JAD session, read below.
Have A Goal
The first step to having a successful session is to have a goal in mind. Ensure that you are familiar with the client, task or project at hand. Consider what you want to accomplish during these workshops and meetings. Create an agenda for the session, just as you would due if you were organizing the Flash Memory Summit. A list of objectives will help to keep the team on track throughout the session. Once you have developed an understanding of the project, you will be able to embark on your next step.
A JAD session is nothing without its participants. In order for these workshops to be effective, you must ensure that you assemble the right team. A good JAD session includes high-level management officials to oversee the event. Additional participants should include knowledge workers, IT specialists and an adequate mix of supervisors, operations workers and other invested parties. If you assemble a good group of enthusiastic participants, your JAD session will surely succeed, whether your focus is custom software development or improving office efficiency.
Who To Include In A JAD Session
If you want to follow the traditional model for JAD sessions, there are some stakeholders that should certainly be apart of the conversation. Here are the team members you should definitely have present for a JAD team session.
- Executive Sponsor
- Session Leader/Facilitator
- Strategic Users
- Real End Users
- IT Representative
These parties should definitely be present at an JAD meeting. Make sure to include at least one person from each of these areas invested in a project.
The next step to hosting an effective session is to prepare research. You should have familiarized yourself with the project during the goal-development phase. However, now is the time to do more in-depth research. Use this information to understand the history and context of the project, like a freight solutions project for example. Provide that information to your team, as well. With a strong foundation of knowledge about your business goals and the industry as a whole, you will be able to ensure that the JAD session is focused.
Have A Facilitator
A facilitator will be an invaluable asset to your JAD session. Choose someone to maintain order during these workshops. This individual will help keep the flow of ideas moving in the right direction. If possible, hire a trained facilitator. This will be especially useful for larger groups. A good facilitator will ensure that all rules are followed. They will also conduct a productive meeting by following tasks and encouraging open discussion. If you want to host a successful JAD session, a proper facilitator will be a key element, just make sure they are there in person and not via hosted VoIP.
Set Time Limits
Have your JAD facilitator set a time limit for your session. This goes for discussions held within the JAD session, as well. It can be easy to ruin an otherwise productive JAD session with a conversation that runs a little too long. Make sure the facilitator actually intervenes when those time limits have been exceeded or when side conversations are derailing the session. This way, you can get the most out of your JAD session in the least time possible for maximum efficiency.
If you really want to get the most out of a JAD session, you need to be sure to follow through and finish strong. At the conclusion of your sessions, you will want to be sure that IT team members present a finished design document in a timely manner according to the guidelines you set at the onset. If possible, make sure they have a prototype ready for demonstration, as well. Then be sure to bring the entire team back together to discuss the effectiveness of these JAD sessions and suggest possible improvements going forward. If you really want your JAD session to be effective, you absolutely must finish strong, regardless of whether you are hosting JAD sessions for semiconductor companies or a publicy-traded tech giant.
A JAD session can be an excellent tool to utilize for your business. Large projects that require special attention, like enterprise supply chain changes, can be better focused through the meetings and workshops held in a JAD session. If you want to provide your clients and employees the opportunity to explore the best possible course of action for a project, consider hosting a JAD session. Be sure to refer back to this post if you are in need of a guide.
Photo from http://adikristanto.net/joint-application-development/