OneSpring created Joint Application Modeling, or JAM Session, back in 2007. The JAM is all about gathering the right software requirements earlier in the life-cycle utilizing design, visualization, and rapid prototyping to communicate stakeholder requirements. The goal is to reduce stakeholder ambiguity and development changes downstream which directly impacts project costs and time-to-market. Additionally, user satisfaction is increased. The JAM has not changed much over the years. What has changed is the technology we use and the knowledge we’ve gained on how to successfully execute a JAM Session. However, the value to the client remains the same even in the face of advanced methodologies such as Agile and Lean.
I recently participated in a JAM Session with a client I felt was advanced in terms of their software development capabilities. At first, I wondered how much we would be able to help them by utilizing the JAM. My doubts were quickly proven wrong. What happened during the JAM was exactly what always occurs; the client walked away with a newfound understanding of the value of visualizing software in real-time. The JAM continues to be all about getting everyone on the same page and cutting through confusion. Design techniques in form sketching, process definition, and of course visualization continue to be central to building consensus among disparate and sometimes geographically dispersed users and stakeholders.
I’m thrilled that so many clients have benefited over the years by employing these techniques. Even though the changes in process and technology are significant from 2007 to today, I’m happy to report that the JAM Session still brings considerable value. At the end of the day, it’s all about people and process. How you bring them together and share ideas is what the JAM is all about.