It’s clear you are at a popular show when the parking lot is absolutely jammed by 8:30am and the floor is buzzing with energy. Recently, I had the opportunity to spend three quality days in the heart of “Automation Alley”, Novi, MI, at the 2016 combined Battery, Electric & Hybrid, and Critical Power expo. Given the tremendous growth around electric vehicles and battery technology, we know this was going to be a great place to meet forward-thinking engineers and product managers.
Industry players shared ideas, drove discussion, and presented work around the new technologies and paradigms coming out at a rapid pace. The quality and pedigree of the speakers was top-notch, with key talks given by automotive OEMs, tier 1 suppliers, and research or government labs. What struck me most about these topics was the sense of acceptance of new ideas. It was great seeing Proterra discussing electric busses alongside an industry veterans like GM who is rapidly hiring new engineers. It was also cool to see Google on the same stage with the more traditional players like Continental. The contrast between old and new, experienced and novel, was striking and tells a great story about cross-industry innovation. I can’t wait to see what is in store for next year.
As a provider of Requirements Management software and services, Jama was not the typical attendee. In fact, we were the only provider of such software at the show. As we spoke with more people, I soon realized that every single person was affected by the Requirements in one way or another, and most quite directly. We asked questions like “What does Traceability mean to you?” The responses were usually very strongly tilted to exactly what Traceability means to us, even if the person giving the answer arrived at the definition purely as a thought experiment. Also, when we put our technology into layman terms, every single person we spoke with connected the dots to the business value for their company:
“So … we could collect the Requirements faster? That will save us money.” Yep.
“So I could import the latest Regulatory Requirements from the source and sync them over to all the projects that need to be aware? No more costly mistakes?” Yes, you can.
“So, because this is a database, and not a document, I can search, filter, and look at different revisions over time? That is going to save me a ton of aspirin for my constant headache this causes me.” Absolutely.
The ultimate business values of doing proper Requirements management really resonated with people we met, regardless if they had a background in this practice or not. That was truly refreshing for me and made it apparent that the potential audience for Jama is much larger than we know.
It is incredibly rewarding to us, and our customers, to help simplify and speed up complex product design, one project at a time.
See you again soon, Novi!