Tag Archive for: A Developing Story

Image courtesy Rimac Automobili

In 2009, 21-year-old Mate Rimac was converting an old BMW to electric power in his garage in Croatia. Within three years, that vehicle would break several world speed records. More importantly, the project would lead to the founding of Rimac Automobili.

In just ten years since those initial tinkerings in Mate’s garage, Rimac Automobili has gone on to design two cutting-edge electric sports cars: the Concept One and the C_Two. It has also become a key supplier of electrification systems and components to such automotive icons as Aston Martin, Pininfarina, and Koenigsegg.

Rimac’s innovation and success have supercharged its growth. It has consistently doubled its staff year over year. Naturally, such breakneck expansion comes with a few growing pains — especially when one is developing technically complex large-scale systems.

Requirement Silos Led to Communication Breakdowns

When Rimac was a small company with a handful of engineers in a garage, it was easy to keep team members in the loop. Features were devised in casual conversations and developed in discussions over lunch. Requirements were recorded in Microsoft Word and Excel documents.

When Rimac grew beyond a hundred employees, however, the need for a more structured approach became obvious.

At Rimac, every system that goes into its vehicles is designed and developed in house, by small teams. Working with requirements in the relatively closed environments of Microsoft Word and Excel, Rimac’s teams began to operate in silos. They didn’t always realize how their development decisions would impact others. Consequently, their review process began to break down.

For example, a small team might decide on a change and move forward with it. Communication of that change to affected teams, however, was not always timely. And when those teams were notified, it was through emails — which often got lost in crowded inboxes.

Image courtesy Rimac Automobili

Homebrewed Headaches

Eventually, Rimac tried to standardize its process and improve communication. The team started by storing requirements as numbered items in Microsoft OneNote. But as requirements were changed and others added, the numbering was altered. References in emails to specific requirements quickly went out of date, resulting in confusion and delay.

Next, Rimac developed their own requirements management tool. This homegrown solution worked a bit better than OneNote, but it was of limited utility in proving compliance with homologation standards and directives.

As an automaker, Rimac must adhere to international homologation — a vehicle approval process through which companies receive a government-issued certificate declaring their product is ready to enter the market. When Rimac’s C_Two Product Manager, Marko Šustić, asked his functional safety experts how other companies were managing compliance, they suggested Jama Connect™.

An Across-the-Board Process Upgrade with Jama Connect

Not long afterward, Rimac contacted Jama Software and set up a demonstration workshop. As Rimac’s engineers laid out their predicament, none of their issues came as a surprise to Jama’s Professional Services team.

“When we were describing the problems we were having, the Jama team members were smiling with every new problem put on the table,” Šustić says. “Because they knew Jama Connect would basically solve all of them.”

Once they began using Jama Connect in 2018, it didn’t take long for Rimac to become believers. Communication and collaboration between teams and suppliers improved rapidly. Confusion around requirements all but evaporated. Traceability and compliance issues were soon resolved as well.

Image courtesy Rimac Automobili

Clearer Requirements

One immediate and unexpected benefit of using Jama Connect is that it has helped Rimac’s team members write better requirements.

Before adopting Jama, Rimac’s engineers tended to write their requirements in long paragraphs built from vague sentences that were confusing and prone to misinterpretation. These muddled paragraphs slowed review by the rest of the team. Plus, they were difficult to revise when sent back for correction.

Using Jama Connect, team members have learned that the long paragraphs they had been writing often harbored multiple requirements intermingled together. They’ve learned how to break those paragraphs down to their elemental components and to tag each with a unique ID that will remain unchanged throughout the system lifecycle. Rimac’s requirements have become easier to understand and review, easier to reference, and easier to implement and verify.

Simplifying Compliance with “Awesome” Traceability

Another aspect of Jama Connect that continues to impress Rimac is it’s traceability features. These help teams track requirement interdependencies throughout the development and verification chain.  They’ve helped Rimac ensure compliance with applicable regulations and demonstrate that compliance to relevant authorities.

“The traceability is the wow factor,” says Šustić. “It’s awesome, because I can open up a comment that our CEO made, that I then recreated as a requirement, and from there, I can trace it all the way down to, say, a specific lightbulb.”

Smoother Collaboration with Partners

Thanks to Jama Connect, Rimac is finding it much easier to collaborate with its external partners as well.

When the team was previously sending out requirements in Word documents, miscommunication was frequent. Now, Rimac can easily collaborate with partners in on-site workshops, editing requirements directly in Jama Connect in real time. When they aren’t in the same room, it’s quick and easy to export requirements and send them to suppliers — with full confidence in their accuracy.

Image courtesy Rimac Automobili

Proving Functional Safety Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

Finally, by embedding compliance directly into the development process, Jama Connect takes care of most of the heavy lifting in proving functional safety. Providing compliance documentation to Rimac’s functional safety experts is no longer a hassle. There’s no scrambling to satisfy audits after the fact.

“Now, when I deal with our functional safety partners, I just give them the login credentials to Jama Connect,” Šustić says. “They can log in and type their verification and validation plans in the project. Since they’re already familiar with the software, everything works great, and it’s much more streamlined.”

The Road Ahead

Rimac continues to expand its use of Jama Connect throughout its operation. They’re especially interested in using Jama Connect to facilitate reuse of existing requirements in future vehicle development. They’re looking to further develop autonomous driving features already in use in the C_Two, for example.

Rimac’s next goal is to grow from a low-volume manufacturer of complex, high-end electrification components, to an established, high-volume tier-1 supplier for the industry. Jama Connect will be there to help them meet the challenges of greater volume, mounting complexity and increasingly stringent safety regulations.

To learn more about how Rimac is employing Jama Connect to breakthrough new boundaries in automotive development, read our customer story.

Ossur uses Jama for Medical Device Development

In medical device development, control of quality and risk is heavily driven by regulatory requirements. Compliance with international medical device standards like ISO 13485 and ISO 14971 can drain resources and reduce operational agility if the means of demonstrating compliance are not agile themselves.

The more complex the project, the higher the risk. And the higher the risk, the more stringent the medical device compliance procedures. Managing hundreds of requirements in a document-based system without traceability becomes a major chore.

Össur, a global leader in non-invasive orthopedics, had for several years been relying on an internally developed document-based process to manage its product requirements. While their system had been working as intended, they felt there was an opportunity to streamline procedures and compliance tasks.

Read our eBook to learn how to overcome the three biggest challenges in medical device development.

The Costs of a Rigid Requirements System in Medical Device Development

Continually evolving its processes has always been a key to success for Össur, whose cutting-edge prosthetics technologies have been showcased in publications like Popular Science and have been worn in competition in the Olympic Games. They examined their development cycle for inefficiencies and noted their requirements process unfolded in a sequential manner that was costing them an enormous amount of time and effort.

In specifying a highly complex Össur medical device, several engineers would collaborate on drafting requirements and compiling the requirements document. The document would then be circulated for review. Once approved, the requirements would be verified. If any requirement needed to be added or changed, however, the entire review and approval cycle had to be repeated.

“Our old system was very rigid,” said David Langlois, Director of R&D for Bionic Solutions at Össur. “The minimum effort was always quite high, which means the overhead was also high.”

Össur knew it was time for a change. They wanted something that was as close to a turn-key solution as possible — one that would provide traceability and dynamic content management, and would be scalable across their organization. Plus, it needed to be capable of handling the complete development chain — from requirements through verification and validation, along with easing the path to compliance to ISO standards like ISO 13485 and ISO 14971 — for a diverse product line.

After evaluating several alternatives, including some designed specifically for medical device development, Össur chose Jama Connect™.

 Learn more about how Jama Connect helps teams improve medical device development.

Replacing Process Rigidity with Speed and Agility

Össur began using Jama Connect in 2018, starting with a small group of developers working on bionic lower-limb prosthetics. They immediately began seeing dramatic improvements in their process, especially in the areas of traceability, impact analysis, and test management.

As soon as they began importing their data into Jama Connect, Össur’s engineers saw they had traceability gaps. “Catching these gaps would probably have taken hours or days in our old system,” says Langlois. “With Jama, it became obvious in a matter of minutes.”

With Jama Connect’s impact analysis, teams can quickly gain an accurate understanding of the implications of a proposed change. So, in turn, they can make better informed business decisions. “That brings a lot of value when you’re trying to run a review, and you want to know whether you have gaps in your test coverage,” says Langlois. “With Jama, it’s a five-minute question instead of one that takes hours.”

In addition, Össur feels Jama Connect’s test coverage and built-in metrics are making its testing process far more predictable and efficient. “One thing that’s very powerful about Jama Connect is that, after a few test runs, you can actually quantify pretty accurately what sort of effort is required,” Langlois says. “Jama provides all these metrics that allow you to identify where your bottlenecks are, giving you a better understanding of where the time is going and where you’re losing money.”

Leveraging Jama Connect’s Flexibility for a Faster, More Flexible Future

As Össur branches Jama out into other areas of its organization, it plans to allow individual teams to configure Jama Connect in a way that best suits how they work. And Össur is already thinking about ways to integrate with some of the other solutions it’s currently using.

“As a software developer, I think Jama Connect’s integration with Jira is going to be very useful for me,” says Matthías Kristjánsson, Product Lead Designer at Össur. “Today, we actually make duplicates of our requirements into the Jira system. Being able to connect them straight to Jama and remove that step — so they’re directly connected to a requirement or specification — will be valuable.”

Read the full case study to learn more about how Össur is using Jama Connect to grow more agile and efficient and assure compliance with relevant regulatory standards.

SITA improves team collaboration

As globally-distributed teams become the new normal in complex product development, promoting team collaboration and keeping remote staff members on the same page can be challenging. That’s especially true when it comes to ensuring the backbone of product development is correct: requirements.

As a multinational company providing IT and telecom services to the air transport industry, SITA (Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques) identified a need for a modern requirements management solution for its Border Management portfolio to help its distributed teams facilitate better team collaboration around requirements.

Read this brief to learn why Frost & Sullivan likes Jama Connect as a modern solution for risk management.

Ease of Use a Critical Factor for Global Team Collaboration

Founded in 1949 by 11 airlines that combined their communication networks to establish a cost-effective, shared infrastructure, SITA is the world’s leading specialist in air transport communications and information technology. And although the company is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the organization has nearly 5,000 employees across 197 countries.

With an extensive communications network that covers nearly 95% of international destinations, it was crucial that SITA find a requirements management platform that allowed its team to effectively communicate and collaborate across international borders – and to do so, it knew it needed a solution that was easy to use in order to promote high adoption rates. After a lengthy selection process, SITA decided that Jama Connect™ was best requirements management solution available.

Learn how better requirements management helps better facilitate the collaboration process by watching our webinar.

SITA Finds Ongoing Success with Jama Connect

Shortly after onboarding Jama Connect, the team overseeing SITA’s Border Management portfolio found that the platform provided increased opportunities for stakeholder collaboration. They were also delighted to see streamlined review processes for requirements and traceability throughout the development cycle.

After three successful years of using Jama Connect, SITA has found that the robust requirements management platform has given the team:

  • An efficient, easy way for cross-functional teams to review requirements
  • A centralized, accessible repository for all its requirements
  • End-to-end traceability for requirements

In addition to the great success SITA has already found with Jama Connect, the organization continues to find fresh ways of leveraging Jama Software to gain more value.

“With Jama Connect, as we find new areas of either functionality or internal process requirements, we update our requirements process accordingly and train the team and roll out new aspects of it,” said Alistair McBain, Senior Business Consultant at SITA.

Read the full case study to learn more about how SITA leveraged Jama Connect to align its remote teams and facilitating effective team collaboration around requirements.

Grifols Improves Medical Device Development

Spanish multinational pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturer Grifols is the leading producing of blood plasma-based products. With over 21,000 employees in its four divisions—Bioscience, Diagnostic, Hospital, and Bio Supplies— Grifols develops, produces, and markets innovative medical device solutions and services in more than 100 countries.

As a leader in the future of healthcare, Grifols strives to set the standard for continuous innovation, quality, safety, and ethical leadership. On an operational level, it knew that its requirements and risk management processes played a key role in facilitating innovation, and its current solution wasn’t up to the task.

Grifols Sees Opportunities for Process Improvement

When Grifols’ Diagnostic division began a new project in 2018 to improve the management of disease detection in blood bank laboratory operations, the company knew it had an opportunity to improve its requirements and risk management processes. While the company’s legacy solution had served its purpose for many years, the task of reviewing requirements was arduous. The solution was also unable to facilitate the collaboration needed to keep the project’s team — split between Spain and the United States — on the same page.

Read our eBook to learn how to overcome the three biggest challenges in medical device development.

“Our globally dispersed teams need to work on the same projects and using our previous legacy solution was very slow,” said Carmen Pazos, Diagnostic Divisions R&D Instruments Senior Manager at Grifols. “We experienced performance issues. We were looking for a way to expedite the process.”

Legacy Solutions Impede Innovation in Medical Device Development

Not only were the processes tedious and error-prone, but since Grifols’ products are considered medical devices, they must also comply with ISO 14971 — the standard for the application of risk management to medical devices. So, on top of Grifols’ manual process being time consuming, it also made things difficult to document and prove compliance.

It was then that the Diagnostic division was introduced to the solution that Grifols’ Hospital division had been successfully using. “When I saw how Grifols was already using Jama Connect, I thought, ‘I really need that,’” Pazos said.

Learn more about how Jama Connect helps teams improve medical device development.

Grifols Improves Risk Management and Speeds Development

Within two or three months, Grifols began working from a medical device pre-configured template within Jama Connect on a small, low-risk project to test its capabilities. Things went well and Grifols began implementing Jama Connect into more projects.

The immediate benefits the Diagnostic team saw from Jama Connect were how user-friendly and intuitive it is, while also keeping people in different time zones instantly in synch. The ability to comment and facilitate robust discussion within Jama Connect helps remote teams drive clear agreement on project items while also automatically building an audit trail for compliance.

And the results are also worth mentioning. Within months of onboarding Jama Connect, Grifols reported:

  • Savings of 80 hours or more per project
  • Review cycles reduced from three months to fewer than 30 days
  • Requirements linked to risks, tests, and executions for traceability
  • Improved communication and efficiency
  • Reduced rework

Read the full case study to see how Grifols was able to increase efficiency and cut costs by optimizing their requirements and risk management process with Jama Connect.

Based in Minnesota, Elucent Medical is a medical device developer focused on creating precise, wireless surgical navigation tools for tumor identification and excision. Founded in 2014, Elucent is helmed by three veterans of venture-backed biotech companies, CEO Laura King, CTO Dan van der Weide, and Dr. Fred Lee; as well as Dr. Lee Gravatt Wilke, Director of the University of Wisconsin Health Breast Center and chair of the research committee of the American Society of Breast Surgeons.

The team at Elucent has been using Jama Connect™ for about a year to manage requirements, tests, and reviews throughout the product development cycle.

Jason Hiltner, Elucent’s VP of Research and Development, had worked with requirements management solutions like CaliberRM before, and he had seen other product teams depend on IBM Rational DOORS and Microsoft Word and Excel. With those experiences in mind, he knew he needed a more intuitive, centralized platform to support innovation at Elucent.

Jama Connect makes Elucent’s product development process more efficient and more collaborative, while facilitating traceability from requirements through testing in compliance with FDA regulations.

And Elucent is creating some amazing things with the help of Jama Connect. Since it’s difficult to locate precise spots in the body, especially in soft tissue, Elucent has developed the SmartClip™ — a tiny implantable product that marks the location of cancerous tissue so surgeons can identify and excise the cancerous tissue more easily. Patients don’t have to endure repeated excisions because surgeons haven’t located or removed all of the cancerous tissue, and the SmartClip™ eliminates the need for painful and costly radiology localization.

The EnVisio™ Navigation System, which is designed to enable real-time 360° navigation in the surgical sightline and provides distance, depth and direction to the SmartClip(s): guiding a surgeon’s tools to make tissue excision and removal even more exact. The team’s hard work was rewarded when the EnVisio™ Navigation System was granted FDA clearance in 2019.

Elucent’s first market will be surgical excision in breast-conserving surgery, and their technology has wide applicability for localization of cancerous lesions throughout the body. Hiltner says the initial response to the clinical product has been “phenomenal for sure.”

Learn how to move beyond the frustrations of document-based requirement systems, streamline your development and set yourself apart from the competition by watching our webinar, “Balancing Compliance & Innovation in the Medical Device Industry.”

We asked Hiltner and Judson Guericke, Senior Director of Quality at Elucent, to tell us more about how they’re leveraging Jama.

Jama Software: What corporate or industry challenge led to your decision to seek out a solution and ultimately purchase Jama Connect? Was there one particular problem that became a huge pain point?

Jason Hiltner: Obviously, in our industry, we have to have well-documented requirements that start with the customer requirements, go to the product requirements, link to the design descriptions and the software requirements, and lead to verification. If you’re going to do that, you need to start with something that allows you to have traceability. We also needed something with a central database, so we weren’t managing a bunch of different revisions of documents and emailing documents again. The big thing I wanted was a platform I could very easily maintain and not have questions about: I would know where things were and be able to easily do reviews. I also knew we needed something stable, robust and cloud-accessible.

How long have you been using Jama Connect, and what was the adoption process like?

Hiltner: We’ve been using Jama Connect for about a year. We’re a startup, so I talked over the idea [of a requirements management solution] with a small group of people. We’re a very lean and focused organization; we’re at only 11 people. We compared a couple of tools and got recommendations from people who had done a more exhaustive search. We went with Jama Connect in spite of the fact that it was more costly than some other tools. The deployment and implementation process was as smooth as I could have hoped for. We had a bunch of sessions with Zeb Geary, a Jama Professional Services consultant, and we were up and running, creating requirements in less than a week. It’s as flexible as I hoped it would be.

“We were up and running, creating requirements in less than a week.” – Jason Hiltner, VP of Research and Development at Elucent Medical

What was the feature/capability/business aspect of Jama Software that won you over?

Guericke: The collaboration and customer support for implementation. The biggest benefit for us is the efficiency in completing and gaining agreement on requirements and testing procedures.

Hiltner: We wanted something that would be very usable, something that would be maintained and around for a while. Our product has customer requirements that flow down to product requirements, which flow down to software requirements and design descriptions. We also maintain our verification suite within Jama.

Guericke: We needed a solution that would facilitate traceability from requirements through testing to comply with FDA expectations for design control. Jama Connect provided a traceability functionality that worked well for our needs. In addition, the collaboration capability of Jama aided us greatly in the definition of our requirements.

How do you measure success for this project? How are you using Jama Software to get there? 

Hiltner: Now that we have that [FDA] clearance on the EnVisio Navigation System, success will mean surgeons utilizing our product to improve patient care.

Guericke: Confidence in assuring complete coverage from customer requirements to product requirements to software requirements to verification and validation. I really like how intuitive Jama Connect is. It was very easy for me to figure out how to navigate and use. There was some learning curve on the system configuration, but the support provided by the Jama Software team made that much easier.

Interested in learning more about using Jama Connect to build medical devices? Download our brochure, “Jama Software for Medical Device Development.

Under strict timelines and budgets, healthcare innovation companies must develop safe products that are regulatory compliant. With stiff competition and increasing demands from patients and physicians, many organizations find themselves searching for ways to gain a competitive advantage.  

One of the ways software application companies can find that edge is within their product development processes. For instance, exchanging versioned Word and Excel documents during development to manage requirements, track progress and stay compliant isn’t enough to keep up with the growing complexity, risk and speed of today’s competitive marketplace.  

Such was the case for MediSync, which innovates new methods and care models to help large medical groups achieve nation-leading clinical and cost outcomes for physicians across the United States. MediSync’s offerings for improving medical group performance spans support and consulting for group practice operations, solutions for chronic disease management, transition assistance to value-based pay models, and revenue optimization.  

Founded in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1996, the company has grown its product portfolio and customer base to include more than 170 leading medical groups. MediSync’s mission is to innovate, disrupt and transform healthcare. 

Challenges with Growing Complexity  

MediSync-managed medical groups are consistently recognized for best-in-class chronic disease outcomes for their patients including perennial commendations in AMGA’s “Measure Up, Pressure Down” (hypertension) and “Together2Goal” (diabetes) programs as well as CDC’s “Million Hearts” (heart failure) program.

MediSync sought to translate its care methods into software applications to scale deployment, standardize execution, and share its expertise with medical groups across America. MediSync needed to build new capabilities in software development starting with the identification of a top enterprise software executive to lead the initiative.   

Ray Kaiser, Vice President of Technology at MediSync, joined the team with more than two decades’ worth of experience in developing and delivering enterprise level applications and business processes. He began by starting a SaaS division that builds applications that would integrate and leverage client Electronic Health Records (EHR) to enable care providers to better serve their patients and achieve nation-leading clinical outcomes. 

Ray’s new team began by using standard office tools such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel for product development planning. Almost immediately, these tools proved to be outdated and inadequate for the complex needs of an integrated healthcare software application. He saw that the team had difficulties with versioned documents, spent way too much time conducting in-person review cycles and generally struggled to keep everyone on the same page.  

Streamlining Development with Jama Software 

Kaiser examined multiple product development platforms and ultimately decided on Jama Connect™ because it was easy to use, fully configurable and had cloud and integration options that MediSync’s projects required.  

“Jama was so easy to use that our main challenge was going from paper to electronic,” Kaiser says. “Initially, we really weren’t sure how to apply and adapt our processes to Jama. But what we found was that we could just put it all into Jama and modify it as we needed by adding fields and relationships. It was all reconfigurable and flexible.” 

Over the last year, MediSync has leveraged Jama to achieve substantial time and cost savings through better collaboration, the ability to access the platform anywhere and improved security.  

“Even today, after using Jama for well over a year, we’re still finding things that help us to drive continuous improvement and to make us more efficient,” Kaiser says.  

Reduced Time and Effort Among Improvements 

Of all the user experience analysts and business analysts at the company, Michelle Seitz, Senior Business Analyst, uses Jama the most.  

“If I’m not in meetings, I probably spend 75% of my time in Jama creating reference materials using the tech document feature, storing configuration data and making sure we have all that inter-repository,” Seitz says. “But more so, creating requirements for our software project.”  

For her, the most significant benefit of Jama is the reduced time and effort it takes to complete review cycles.  

“My favorite part of Jama right now is when I get a collection of requirements to send out for a review,” Seitz says. “It is so much better with Jama. It’s the first time I’ve had a product that works as seamlessly as Jama does to produce a review and get feedback without having to do all the track changes and stuff that we used to have to do in Microsoft Word.” 

Gaining Value Through Efficiency  

Both Kaiser and Seitz agree that Jama has become the backbone of their product requirements planning process. Kaiser believes that Jama has saved 80% of planning time that previously would have been wasted on meetings, sorting through versioned documents and emails, and consolidating feedback in review cycles.  

“It’s definitely been a big help in facilitating and communicating with everybody,
Seitz says. “The team loves it when they see a review come across their email from me. Then, when I give them only a couple days to do it, they usually hop on it under our tight deadlines.” 

With so much on the line as they prepare to launch their new products, the team agrees that the switch from a paper-based system to a digital one was well worth it.  

Between the saved time and reduced frustrations, MediSync is cleared to focus on creating better outcomes for patients with chronic illness. And MediSync already has several new products on the roadmap to build with Jama. 

As Kaiser put it, “I honestly don’t think anyone on my team could go back to a development process that relies so heavily on using Microsoft Word and Excel. We are far better with Jama Connect.” 

Learn how Jama Connect helps medical device development teams spend less energy on compliance and more time on innovation with our webinar, Accelerate Medical Device Development While Reducing Risk.

Writing requirements, managing change, coordinating teams, gaining approvals — these things aren’t easy under tight deadlines, especially when your process works against you. A Developing Story is a new series spotlighting customers that have improved their process with Jama Software. 

Tektronix has over 60 years of experience designing and developing test, measurement and monitoring solutions in Beaverton, Oregon. The company builds everything from probes to 70GHz oscilloscopes, as well as all the accompanying software.

Mark Smith is a 12-year Tektronix veteran working as a Senior Software Engineering Manager in the company’s Time Division — the core of the oscilloscope group. He manages three teams directly, and the software group has additional remote teams spread across the world, including India.

Smith’s team just launched a new series platform of oscilloscopes which will be rolling out, along with new, additional platforms, over the course of the next two years.

The previous applications Smith and his team used to manage requirements would often break or lead to errors. With the upcoming launch, a single error in the design of an oscilloscope could lead customers to catastrophic failure, and Smith and his team could not afford to take a chance.

That’s just one of the reasons Tektronix switched to Jama Connect for its product development in 2014, and we had the opportunity to talk with him about it.

Mark Smith, Software Developer Manager at Tektronix

Jama Software: What types of requirement management applications was Tektronix using to manage projects prior to Jama Connect?

Mark Smith: Tektronix is well-known for building its own tools. We just had lots of challenges with getting those tools to run smoothly and not having the bandwidth to run them without systems crashing. Updating a requirement would end up breaking an entire document. I don’t know how many hours we spent unnecessarily trying to keep those tools updated.

JS: What were some other problems you were having before you purchased Jama Connect?

MS: Requirement documents ended up sinking into inboxes. A document would get created and be emailed to too many people. Someone would try to collect all the documents to review changes and they would usually drop the ball.

We started looking at where we were unnecessarily wasting time and energy. And we really saw the possibility of having a single source of truth, as well as having the ability to implement a far better review cycle process throughout our organization. Jama has really helped us out with that.

JS: Once you decided to stop using homegrown tools for requirements tracking, what lead you to Jama? 

MS: We considered IBM DOORS, a legacy product, but it was unsuited in our journey to modernize our practices and toolchain. It also didn’t help that support for IBM DOORS was dropped. We also considered Atlassian’s Confluence, but it did not provide an optimal workflow — there was no ability for team reviews, content organization, customization and document layout. We are highly satisfied with the quality of Jama’s user experience.

JS: Now that Tektronix had been a proud Jama customer for four years, what other benefits have you seen?

MS: Jama has brought better collaboration across both cross-functional team members and remote teams. It has also made it much easier to extend participation and inputs from a broader audience including scrum teams, software quality engineering teams, UX and marketing. The resulting quality of the finished documentation has been much higher, and it has reduced the number of requirement mistakes and subsequent rework by the engineering teams.

To learn more about the limitations of a document-based approach and how to get the most out of your requirements management tool, download our eBook.