Best Practices

The No. 2 Most Important Key to Delivering High-Value Products

Today’s post concerns the second of five key points to consider when designing and building complex products such as embedded systems, integrated systems and connected devices. In this series, we outline how our products and services help you put best practices in place.

If you or your team are researching product management or product development tools and solutions, this series of practical and tactical points should be worth your time.

For a refresher on the introduction to the series, read The No. 1 Most Important Key to Delivering High-Value Products.

Key #2: Provide all stakeholders with a common understanding of what’s being built.

Without context and organization applied to collaboration, concerted efforts are an impossible dream. Social project management tools invite input but often lack the direction and order needed to get from questions to answers, or to understand where, how and why priorities change and who and what these changes affect. Task management tools provide to-do lists with limited functionality, and they tend to lack explanation of the circumstances, facts and reasoning required to understand assignments.

At the other end of this spectrum is Jama’s Review Center, which is designed to get and keep everyone on the same page at every stage. By bringing the business stakeholders in early, product teams get commitment and buy-in to the solution they ultimately build. By bringing the entire product development team (including engineering, QA and design) to the process early, product quality will be higher and teams will iterate and launch faster.

What else does this mean to you?

  • Jama’s sophisticated workflow guides large teams through reviewing, editing, discussion and agreement. Groups collaborate in parallel so that teams A and C to don’t have to finish before team T can act. Question and decision visibility enables faster resolution around issues. Also important: Reviewer comments are retained for context later, so as new members join or leave projects, solved issues don’t need to be rehashed or re-explained. Our customers report that this typically cuts their review cycles in half.
  • Once work begins, the structured comment stream continues, serving as a living document of progress and changes. Each user comment easily tags to specific work items, components, customer names, releases, systems or projects, providing valuable context for otherwise isolated conversations and decisions. Decisions are flagged for future searchability, and all contributors and stakeholders are directly linked to those decisions—very valuable for retrospectives and quality control.
  • Key #2 in a nutshell: Every team contributor and interested party can define, collaborate and get commitment and sign-off on a set of features, requirements and specs. Then, we’ll keep your entire team informed through the process about progress, changes and decisions.

If you’re finding these posts informative and helpful, please come back next Thursday for the continuation of this series with Key #3.