Jama at HIMSS 2016

Medical product managers cite team alignment as their biggest challenge.

Ian McCulley | March 11, 2016

Last week Jama sent a team to the Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society (HIMSS) trade show in Nevada.


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The HIMSS Conference brings together more than 40,000 health IT professionals, clinicians, executives and vendors from all over the world — many brilliant people. We had conversations with Product Managers about how embedded software changes the way they build medical devices. These devices are critical because lives are at stake. The product leaders cared about being able to connect information together without losing vital or life-critical data.


We conducted a  research activity asking product managers what they care most about. Resoundingly the No. 1 concern is team alignment. Not a surprise. Every single one selected different words and phrases to represent what challenged them and what inspired them, but all of them called out team alignment as their biggest challenge.


Secondarily,  defects, were named. But again that comes around to team alignment, because they think defects come from poor communication and misunderstandings about what we should be doing and why. One product manager kept talking about the pace of change, that it’s so fast (mostly because of software in the products) teams can never seem to catch up to what’s going on. Most didn’t want to blame the teams for this and know that somehow, product management isn’t doing a good job at keeping the story straight for everyone. Yet they want the teams to own some of this, too.

What medical device companies make is simply too complex to be understood by any one person. It still has to be safe to make something when each person only follows a small piece of what’s happening. Jama’s Review Center is a formal way to check whether at least key people agree on what’s happening and why. This gives teams higher confidence. With our upcoming improvements in viewing traceability and being able to make changes in that view, there will be even more ways to analyze and share understanding of what is being made and why.

In demos, product managers appreciated the ease of use of Jama, how modern and intuitive it is, and the collaboration it fosters across teams, stakeholders and geographies.

Want to see for yourself? Try Jama for free.

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