We often receive questions around how Jama Connect® integrates with other product development tools. And while many legacy requirements management tools only integrate with their own tool suites, Jama Connect was purposefully built to integrate with top tier solutions, allowing teams to leverage best-of-breed tools across the entire product development lifecycle. Integrating Jama Software with Jira is no exception.
When development solutions are disconnected, information and teams become siloed, often leading to rework, miscommunication, and missed deadlines. That’s why Jama Software offers a host of integrations to enhance and strengthen development workflows. One of the most popular being our integration with Atlassian® Jira®.
To comply with industry standards, engineering teams in regulated industries must achieve requirements traceability across siloed teams and tools. Most software development teams have chosen Jira as their preferred task management tool and refuse to switch to cumbersome legacy ALM tools that would negatively impact their productivity. Attempts to try and achieve Live Traceability with Jira or Jira plugins break down quickly as the complexity of approvals, versioning, change impact analysis, baselines and variant management overwhelm a task management approach.
The best-practice approach implemented by hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies and startups alike, is to use Jama Connect to create Live Traceability™ across a best-of-breed toolchain including Jira or Azure DevOps for the software development team. This approach simultaneously solves the need for Live Traceability AND causes no disruption to existing tools, processes, and even field names for the software development team in Jira.
Using Jama Connect to manage requirements and Jira to monitor tasks separately is a viable solution for many product companies. Those forward-thinking businesses who take advantage of the powerful integration between the two see much stronger management of complexity, traceability, requirements, and progress tracking.
Since we get this question so often, we’ve written about it on our blog and covered it more extensively in a webinar, explaining the benefit of connecting these two best-of-breed tools. Watch the full webinar for an in-depth look at the Jama Connect integration with Jira: “Managing Hardware & Software Product Development Complexity with Jama & Jira.”
In the webinar, Mike Frazier, Principal of Frazier Executive Consulting, and Kevin Andrewjeski, Senior Account Executive at Jama Software, walked through some of the key benefits of a Jama Connect + Jira integrated system.
At the conclusion of the presentation, Frazier and Andrewjeski fielded questions from those in attendance. Below you’ll find a slightly abbreviated version of the question-and-answer session on integrating Jama Software with Jira.
Q: We want to start using a more Agile approach or more Agile methodologies. Do Jama Connect and Jira support an Agile methodology?
Kevin Andrewjeski: Jama Connect, as a tool, is process agnostic. We have customers that are very Agile — internally we use Jama Connect in an Agile way. Also, we have customers that are hardware focused. And then, of course, we have folks that are blended with hardware and software, with waterfall and Agile mixed in together.
So, the tool is very configurable and flexible to fit into your preferred process rather than having your teams try to fit into a process that we are identifying for you.
RELATED: Minimize Late-Stage Changes by Linking Requirements and Tests with Development Activity
Mike Frazier: To add to that, from a transition perspective, at Xilinx we used a waterfall approach for IP development. It might take a year or so to build out a brand-new piece of IP. But then, as we iterated that product — typically Xilinx would release its software on a quarterly basis, and therefore our IP could be updated on a quarterly basis as well — we decided to use Agile for some of those “incremental releases.”
What that did for us is it helped us do smaller chunks of work in a more predictable, smaller amount of time for those quarterly updates.
Now, I will caution companies about how it does require a mindset change, as I’m sure there are those of you that have transitioned from a waterfall approach to an Agile approach. It’s not at all classic, like a waterfall approach.
It requires people who need to be trained on what it’s like to develop an Agile environment. And if there are people within your company who are Agile program managers, take advantage of that.
If not, take advantage of companies that can help you develop your Agile skills. It’s not something you should do without being aware that it does require a shift in mentality for all the stakeholders involved.
Learn more about the benefits of integrating Jama Software with Jira in our blog post, “How Combining Jama and Jira Improves Your Development Process.”
Q: Product managers and systems engineers are the obvious targets of the requirements management tools and processes. What about the rest of the engineering team? Architects, designers, developers, for example?
MF: The beauty of it is if you use a tool like Jama Connect to capture your requirements, and you’re soliciting input and feedback throughout, and using some of the abilities of the tool throughout the requirements capture process, and you’re engaging with your architectural team, potentially all the way down to lead level engineering teams, it creates more of a sense of inclusion. And it also creates that collaboration and communication.
I think maybe the typical thought process people go through is you create a marketing requirements document and you “throw it over the fence” to engineering for feedback.
What tools like Jama Connect will do, as long as you include the appropriate stakeholders from not only engineering but other downstream organizations such as production or operations, and other organizations that typically aren’t involved in the requirements management process, you’re going to get all of that stakeholder feedback earlier in the development cycle and minimize surprises. So, I think it could be used for all aspects of the organization.
RELATED: How to Create Live Traceability™ With Jama Connect and Jira
KA: To add on to Mike’s comments, from a Jama Software perspective, it’s a way to encourage collaboration. So, you may have core users in marketing, engineering, depending on your structure, that are really the people creating these requirements and managing these requirements, but you might have a broader group of people participating in providing feedback and a clarification.
And so those users, that we term as collaborators, can actually participate in the system without a paid license so that you’re really encouraging that feedback and collaboration, especially cross functionally, with the ultimate goal of making sure you’re building the right product.
Developing complex products with partners requires a common vision. Learn how better requirements management helps better facilitate the collaboration process by watching our webinar.
Q: Can you speak to some of the training, some of the education that you offer on how to create effective requirements?
MF: Jama Software does a very good job offering white papers and other resources around best practices for requirements, test, and risk management.
Personally, the way I get involved in requirements management with my clients is typically during the product development lifecycle. Most of my clients are looking for help on the front end of the development cycle, where they’re struggling with a scenario where you have one-third of bug escapes due to poor requirements.
Q: Does Jama Software provide a solution for the Jama/Jira integration?
KA: Yes, we offer a seamless solution for integrating Jama Software with Jira , as well as Jama Connect to other tools. The integration technology itself is from our integration partner (TaskTop) not something we create internally. But we can help you get configured and installed as part of the implementation of Jama Connect, so they’re coupled together.
Learn more about integrating Jama Connect and Atlassian Jira to improve visibility and alignment across your development teams and lifecycle by downloading our datasheet.