Joint Application Development: Definition, Phases & Methodology

Instructor: Olalekan Stephen

'Lekan has years of professional experience which includes tutoring/mentoring young professionals, currently concluding research project for Masters degree in Info. Sys. Mgt.

Collaboration is one of the key factor which powers technology innovation. In this lesson, we will understand the process of joint application development (JAD) which enhances the stakeholders' collaboration in software development cycle. The lesson highlights the approach as well as the phases of joint application development process.

Joint Application Development

Joint application development (JAD) is a process originally meant for the development of computer systems, but it can be applicable to other types of development also. It is an approach of ensuring accuracy between project scope definition and delivery through continuous collaboration with the stakeholders. These interactions form the core of JAD development process and lifecycle. It is a modern means of collecting and analysing software requirements that are discussed on series of meetings and workshops between business and the technical teams.

JAD is more prevalent in agile delivery environments in which software products are developed and shipped in short cycles based on agreements between the commercial and technical stakeholders on what is known as minimum viable product (MVP). In other words, anytime there is a need for business representatives and the technology teams to deliberate and develop synergy on issues around product development or testing requirements, JAD session becomes necessary. In what is largely dependent on the size of the development project, the session may last for few hours to a day or even weeks in some cases.


Phases of Joint application development
jad phases


Methodology

JAD approach is to allow project executives and the representatives of the customer to identify and appoint a trained facilitator whose role is to support project delivery. While the facilitator helps in driving the projects, key decisions have to be taken by the executive sponsors. Other key stakeholders include the subject matter expert who are responsible for turning customer's requirements into technology-powered solution, and the documentation expert whose role is to clarify the points of discussions and to document them effectively during the JAD sessions. The facilitator serve as the central link between different stakeholders for the purpose of initialising and driving the JAD workshops and sessions.

Phases of JAD

Now that we have good understanding of JAD approach and how it works, we can now discuss some of the stages and steps involved in the development process.

Define Objectives: The facilitator, in collaboration with other key stakeholders, defines the objectives and agenda items and distribute them to participants for review. The objectives include the purpose of the session, scope of project, its expected outcome, as well as participants of application development.

Session preparation: This is often the sole responsibility of the facilitator who is expected to gather all relevant information and sent to participants ahead of time. The facilitator is also expected to carry out some research at this stage in order to get better insight into the objectives of the JAD sessions as it relates to the project at hand and an organisation as a whole. The logistics for the session needs to the arranged and planned, things such as venue and time of the session need to be identified and communicated to the participants in due course.

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