Requirements Best Practices

Don’t Let Becoming More Efficient Slow You Down

Madeline Wigen | May 15, 2015

Adopting a new software system at work can be daunting, no matter how much benefit is promised. You may find yourself prioritizing other activities over learning the new system and new workflows as an act of avoidance. Perhaps you let other team members adopt first in hopes that you can learn from their experience and get help along the way. Even when you know that your team, your product, and your company needs to improve its processes or approach (you may have even been an advocate!) change is hard for everyone, especially when there is already so much work to do, and so little time to do it. And if you’re the person in charge of leading your team though that change, you may find yourself less concerned about learning the system yourself, and more concerned about onboarding your team.

At Jama we know our customers can’t afford to be slowed down by adoption. Everyone in our Product team, especially the UX group, places onboarding and adoption of Jama as one of the highest priorities in our ongoing product development. And it shows. Two years running, in surveys of our customers, “Ease of Use” is one of the most commonly cited reasons users like Jama. According to Mike Chally, our Director of UX, this is because the team is designing Jama to “think like our customers think,” focusing on core workflows in product delivery and optimizing Jama to support them.

Jama customer Nielsen studies consumers in over 100 countries and given the frequency with which the average consumer moves, there’s no time for them to be bogged down with problems using the software. When it came to finding a modern requirements solution, Nielsen Engineering Manager Jeremey Davis, told us fast onboarding was a key advantage. “[We chose Jama for its] ease of use, low learning curve, it’s simple to manage, and a powerful collaboration tool in the Review Center.”

Another challenge to onboarding members of your team can be the varying frequency with which people use the tool, and which features they use; not everyone is a power user. With some software, it can be a challenge to onboard these peripheral users efficiently, and it can sometimes take a few false starts before they find value.

Not so for Omnigon. This Jama customer builds premier online experiences for some of the biggest names in entertainment and sports – PGA Tour, NASCAR, American Idol—and uses Jama to manage project requirements. Clear communication with its clients is critical to Omnigon’s success in delivering product as expected, on time. “The Review Center has been instrumental for us, giving our clients access to the requirements and the ability to approve or comment on them within the system,” says VP of Service and Operations Roman Bediner. “It’s relatively straightforward to get [clients] up and running, and has also been a great tool for traceability and accountability. We are saving hours each week.”

Getting past the anxiety of onboarding a new system isn’t without effort, but the rewards of better communication, better quality products and happier customers make it all worth it. We’ve got more ideas about getting your team ready to adopt in this past post by Jama Senior Consultant, Dennis Hodge’s 5 Tips for Software Adoption.