The Jama Backstory – How We Got Started

Eric Winquist | September 30, 2007

We often are asked about the history of Jama Software so I thought I’d post on how we got started…

A few years ago, after a frustrating session working with one of our clients expensive, cumbersome requirements management tools I heard the team complaining about requirements being locked away available to only a few users, the pain of installation and how difficult it was to use. I talked with other project managers and we figured there must be a better way. We wanted the benefits of a requirements management tool – but without the overhead and hassle.

Our requirements were simple enough – the tool should be 100% web-based but offer rich functionality like a desktop application, provide a depth of features for serious enterprise product development, be easy to use and affordable – just a few simple things! You can probably guess where this is going – we didn’t find the right solution so we decided to quit our jobs and build it.

On March 13th, 2006 we started designing and building the solution. That date is easy to remember as my son was born that day. I guess he didn’t see the project plan I had put together as he was a week early. One year later we launched our first product, Contour.

The company was started sharing space with a group of financial advisor’s – not a quiet place. We’ve moved 3 times as we grew and already have filled our current office. It helps that we’ve adopted virtual systems – VOIP, Web based CRM, Wiki’s, Contour for product development etc so we can just unplug and move when we need more space. We now have customers from around the world, partners in the UK, Germany and Brazil and will continue to grow the team so we’ll likely be moving again soon.

On the product side, our road map is 100% customer driven and we’ve set an aggressive release schedule with monthly updates to ensure Contour continues to deliver the most value to our customers. I invite you to help us shape the future direction of collaborative requirements management. We recently launched our community site at, so join us in the conversation.

Openness is important to our team as both a corporate philosophy in how we do business, but also as the key driver in how we build our products for our customers. We hope this transparency is apparent in every interaction you have with our team, including this blog post.