Often when conversing with a potential customer about the challenges they are facing bringing products to market, document chaos has driven them to their breaking point. “I have three versions of our latest Business Requirements Document (BRD) on my desktop,” a prospect told me a few weeks ago. “Unfortunately, the only person who knows which version is correct is on vacation. Out of the country.”
Another potential customer told me she has a folder just for emails from her product management team. The emails in this folder primarily focus on the decisions she needs to make. “The unread emails in there are in the hundreds,” she said.
These problems probably sound familiar to you. In the hustle and bustle of trying to develop the perfect product, thousands of pieces of communication are flung far and wide across the enterprise. As a result, sponsors are accidentally left off important emails written to lend context to the decisions being made. Jane Smith the marketer (instead of Jane Smith the developer) receives the latest version of the user stories and deletes the email, inadvertently holding up the decision-making process. Or, like the potential customer from a few weeks ago, multiple versions of one document paralyze the project’s movement forward until the correct one can be identified.
Trying to keep everyone in the organization aligned while embracing increasing complexity when it comes to product delivery can seem impossible. The market doesn’t wait for the correct BRD to show itself in an email inbox. Decisions need to be made on a daily, if not hourly, basis to drive the product through the delivery lifecycle.
In talking with customers to understand their process and pain points, I often ask one simple question. This question serves to not only set the stage to define if Jama is a good fit for them, but also brings some levity to a daunting conversation.
“Let’s say you’re the royalty of modern product delivery. You hold court with project managers and are in charge of knighting the Lancelot of test. Six months from now the kingdom is running smoothly with Jama at your roundtable. What does that look like?”
The answers to this question are fun and enlightening. In one of my favorite conversations with a prospect, he went from one word answers to descriptive statements on the biggest challenges he faces. When the conversation had begun to go in-depth on how things are, he refocused on what could be, “let’s go back to that thing where I’m king… can we do that?” he asked.
These conversations often highlight the biggest things we hear you love about Jama:
- Ease of use and low barrier to entry. A viral solution for which if you are not a user, you cannot wait to add your name to the list.
- Collaboration. Seamlessly pull in stakeholders, sponsors, subject matter experts, testers… anyone who contributes to the success of your project to gain extra insights into what you are doing right or what you are potentially missing. The central repository that is Jama gives everyone the right context regardless of where they enter the conversation.
- Traceability. Easily understand how requirements, test cases, use cases, and any item type your organization uses fit together.
- Coverage. Quickly assess what pieces you are missing. Communicate across the organization to let QA, as an example, know that you’re missing a downstream test case for the high priority business requirement you’re taking to market in a few months.
- Reuse. Living in documents means your organization is often duplicating work. If you have an approved set of business requirements, as an example, reuse it or pieces of it into multiple projects.
What problems does Jama help you solve? If you were the royalty of modern product delivery, what would your world look like? Let us know in the comments below or talk to us @JamaSoftware on Twitter.
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