Joint Application Development (JAD): Advantages & Disadvantages

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  • 0:04 JAD Approach
  • 1:12 Advantages
  • 3:01 Disadvantages
  • 4:35 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Olalekan Stephen

'Lekan has years of professional experience which includes tutoring/mentoring young professionals. He has a masters degree in Info. Sys. Mgt.

Joint application development (JAD) is a development methodology and approach that's dependent on interactive collaboration between stakeholders through a series of workshops and discussion sessions. This lesson focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of the JAD paradigm.

JAD Approach

Imagine an online retail company developing a listing website to manage online merchants. The usual way to coordinate the requirements gathering could be through a series of uncoordinated one-on-one meetings among different individuals and teams, documentation by the project sponsors and perhaps through phone calls and emails. This approaching of defining and interpreting business requirements into deliverable actions is somewhat unorganised with potential for huge redundancies and inefficiencies that may lead to schedule and cost overruns. To improve systems development requirements, the concept of joint application development (JAD) was designed.

The JAD approach is to bring together technology experts, business representatives and key project stakeholders through a series of workshops and sessions in order to define the requirements from the perspective of business ideas and technology implementation. In order to add centralized coordination to the process, JAD workshops or sessions are managed by facilitators whose role is to identify the objectives of the agenda and to drive the entire session in agreement with other key players of the project.


JAD as a system development process has changed the way requirements are gathered and systems are designed, and it comes with several advantages over the legacy approaches, as highlighted below:

Improved delivery time: Due to the coordinated approach of bringing professionals and subject-matter experts together to deliberate in a structured and organized manner through JAD sessions, valuable time is saved and the overall design and delivery schedules are improved. The unnecessary communication and actors are not involved in the discussion that thoroughly reviews the business goals and formulates requirements that can be promptly delivered by the technology team.

Cost reduction: The accelerated analysis of the requirements as well as speedy design and efficient delivery ultimately leads to cost savings for the organization.

Better understanding: Even though product direction is often identified and suggested by business executives, the careful selection of participants of the JAD sessions ensures that professionals can interact and provide better understanding of the objectives and goals relative to their skills and knowledge. This ultimately removes any ambiguities related to final goals, objectives and expectations from the deliverables. This is largely possible because the coordination by the facilitators ensure that every participant contributes to the session, thereby increasing the overall value of the JAD process.

Improved quality: The approach of bringing all key decision makers and customers into the discussion and sharing different opinions helps identify and resolve errors early in the development process. This results in a better quality product that meets the customer satisfaction.

Wide adoption: JAD is a well-known accelerated design methodology. It is widely popularity and supported in most organizations.


As with any method and approach of solving problems, JAD also has some disadvantages. Therefore, there is need for effective review and deliberations of the following prior to adoption:

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