Breakthrough Insights

2021 Predictions – Product and Systems Development for Engineering Teams

product and systems development

2020 has been a year that’s been described as “unprecedented” and “unparalleled” – as well as other descriptors probably best left out of our blog. As we close out this year, it’s hard to say what awaits us in the new one. One thing that we can be sure of is that innovation in medicine, science, and technology shows no sign of slowing down.

As we enter a new year of technological advancements, Jama Software asked select thought leaders – both internal and external – across various industries for the trends and events they foresee unfolding over the next year and beyond.

In the final part of our four-part series, we ask Josh Turpen, Chief Product Officer at Jama Software, to weigh in on product and systems development trends he’s anticipating for engineering teams in 2021. You can also go back and read Part I, Part II, and Part III of our 2021 predictions series, which focus on predictions for medical device, airborne systems, and automotive development (respectively).

What product, systems, and software development trends are you expecting to take shape in 2021? 
Josh Turpen:

I think 2021 is when investments in Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) will start to pay off. We’ve seen an increase in capabilities building to the point that material work can be done using these technologies. Supply the right data and real insights can be delivered.  

In terms of product and systems development, what do you think will remain the same over the next decade? What will change? 
Josh Turpen:

The Digital Thread will continue to be a focus for systems engineers. Connecting disparate data streams into a cohesive view of product development remains a critical, if elusive, goal.   

With more investment in product development more rigor will come. Connecting development efforts to value, reducing product delivery risk and ensuring that budget holders “get what they paid for” will become a prime responsibility for development teams. 

RELATED: What is the Definition of a Digital Thread?

What sorts of process adjustments do you think development teams will need to make to be successful in 2021?  
Josh Turpen:

Focus on systems and processes that deliver value and don’t be afraid to jettison or modify those that don’t. We’ve all been told there’s a “way to do it” and we all read the blogs that claim success with a methodology. Don’t ignore the anecdotes but focus instead on what works for your development and never lose sight of delivering a valuable product.  

What do you think will be some of the differentiators between a company surviving to see 2030, and those that do not? 
Josh Turpen:

Companies that are not focused on product development at scale are in trouble. Their competitors are. 

Where do you see Jama Software fitting in as the product development landscape evolves, and what can our customers expect as 2021 approaches?  
Josh Turpen:

The definition of value, and the verification that the product delivers that value, are where Jama Software will continue to focus. We’ve got some exciting things on the horizon for variant management, test validation, and ML/NLP that I’m excited to get into the hands of our customers.  

Is there anything else you’d like to add about the future of complex product and systems development in the upcoming year and beyond?  
Josh Turpen:

I’m consistently impressed with what our customers are doing. From launching rockets to saving lives it is an exciting time to be in complex product development. I can’t wait to see what customers will build next with Jama Connect! 

Thanks for tuning into our 2021 Predictions Series! To see some of the incredible things our customers are building with Jama Connect, visit our Customer Stories page.  



Josh Turpen

With a deep background in software development and consulting, Josh oversees the ongoing innovation and refinement of Jama Software’s core product offerings. Beginning as an engineer, Josh’s career has taken him from Indiana to Germany, Colorado, and Portland. His work with the U.S. Department of Defense solidified his knowledge of safety-critical systems, and the vital role requirements and risk management plays within them. Having led product and engineering organizations, with teams distributed across the globe, Josh understands the daily challenges our customers face in a constantly changing marketplace and the tools they need to be successful.