Tag Archive for: Ask Jama Webinar

What's New in Jama Connect
In this blog, we recap a webinar discussing the most significant new features in Jama Connect™.

Our Ask Jama webinar series was designed to keep you up to date on new product information, best practices, and tips and tricks on how to best use the platform. By popular request, this episode will focus on the latest enhancements to Jama Connect.

In this session, Jama Software product managers will discuss and demonstrate several of the most significant new features that can help you further enhance your product development processes. Areas featured will include:

  • Review Center and Workflow
  • Modeling Tool integrations for MBSE via Smartfacts
  • Administration Tools
  • Risk Management
  • Introducing Categories for improved requirements allocation and variant management

Below is an abbreviated transcript and a recording of our webinar.

What’s New in Jama Connect?

Jeremy Johnson: We’ll actually start things off with an introduction of our entire Jama software product management team, which will also serve as an agenda of today’s topics. I’m going to start with two of the members of our team who are not joining us for this session. First is Debbie Mitchell who owns Jama Connect interchange, our new integration solution powering live traceability across best of breed tools and even Microsoft Excel. Next is Joseph Pitarresi. Joseph leads our Jama Software labs efforts with current focus on natural language processing and machine learning, including the upcoming launch of requirements advisor. And now over to our speakers, starting with Steve Gotsch. Steve is one of the original members of Jama Software. Our organization’s deepest product expert, and provides team leadership as director of the product management team. Today, he’ll be helping highlight the recently launched category set of features.

Visit Jama Software’s Discovery Center to help your organization achieve its goals: CLICK HERE!

Jeremy Johnson: Relatively new to Jama software. Katie Huckett brings over a decade of product management experience in enterprise solutions. Katie is primarily focused on reporting and publishing, but today we’ll highlight some of the team’s recent work around enterprise administration and tooling, specifically new license analysis and user administration capabilities.

Next is Chloe Elliot, who is focused on dashboards and insights along with two of today’s topics, notifications, and MBSE integrations, leveraging OSLC. In addition to Chloe’s depth of product and analytics expertise, she also previously managed the Jama Software user community and continues to act as lead for the community’s product ideation process.

Our test and risk management expert is Ashley Ernst. Ashley leverages her deep product expertise in these areas gained from several years as a solution architect, working directly with customers across numerous industries. Ashley will focus today’s discussion on some of the enhancements to Jama Connect’s risk management capabilities.

And our first speaker today will be Julie Goodner. Julie is one of our longest-tenured members of the product management team, and also brings nearly a decade of product management experience. In addition to baselines, Julie focuses on key areas that will be highlighted today. The categories introduced in our first two topics Review Center and Workflow. Julie, I’ll turn things over to you.

Julie Goodner: Hey, everyone, like Jeremy said, my name’s Julie Goodner. Today, I’m going to be talking through so on Review Center updates with workflow and also being able to remove items in a review. So starting off, we have our new templates. So these templates allow you to use workflow with Review Center. And this is a process that you will take in order to enable them. So first you have your org admin set up the approval template, which correlates with the workflow. So once they have the approval template set up, they can go into workflow settings, enable the workflow section, and then it’s all done. It’s ready for the moderator to start utilizing. The moderator will now see if they have both templates enabled, the choice to choose a peer review or an approval review. With the peer review, it can transition into an approval review. And once that’s finalized and signed off by everybody and finalized with the moderator, it will transition those items over to that finalized state automatically. So let’s get a little bit more into that.

So here’s what the admin’s going to see. When they go into the Review Center section, they’ll have options of enabling a peer or an approval review. Again, these are optional settings. They do not have to enable them. But in order to utilize workflow, they do have to turn on the approval template. This approval template has all the permission set up into it. So we’ve moved all the permission settings that were once only in the Review Center wizard into the admin section. This allows for your moderator and your admin to set up smart defaults. So it helps the moderator along, so there’s no confusion when they do their review. Once they enable that approval review and have their template set up, they go into Workflow. They enable the workflow settings there. So having this approval review, it helps reduce errors and clicks and time needed to go back into those items after the review has been finished and manually transition them.

RELATED READING: Leveraging Peer and Approval Workflows to Optimize your Peer and Approval Process

Julie Goodner: In addition, it also improves Part 11 compliance by allowing organizations to set a locked status to reviewed items that have been finalized. So this is what your org and your moderator now will see. They can choose between the peer or the approval. And if they choose the peer, they can transition it to that approval. But what’s really the difference between a peer and approval review? How Jama Connect sees it is a peer review can be used to collaborate with your team, refine requirements, and get them into a spot that’s really ready for that final approval. Once they’re ready, the moderator can transition that peer to an approval review. They can update the approvers and add any additional stakeholders that need to be approvers or reviewers to it. And once it’s complete and signed off, they can trigger that workflow automatically.

To add on to what we’ve done with the templates, we’ve had customers come to us saying, I need ability to remove items from a review. So let’s just say I’m in that peer state. I’m in a peer review. I have items in here that aren’t quite ready. And so instead of creating a brand new review or going and updating my filter, or remove something from a set and publish a new revision, now we let you just do it inside the review. So a moderator can remove an item

Next, once it’s removed, it shows that it’s tagged for removal. So you still have to publish a remover vision in order to actually remove it. Now, this doesn’t remove the item from your filter. It doesn’t remove the item from your project. It’s not deleting anything. What this is doing is just removing it from the review itself.

So once you hit publish, it’s going to inform you that you are removing a review or an item from a review. And once you publish it, it informs you that that item has been removed in what revision. So this one was removed in revision one. This helps streamline your review. You no longer have to create additional reviews. And if it is removed and finalized, the baseline isn’t updated. So the baseline doesn’t have that item in it any longer. If you’ve approved the review, this item will not get approved. And so you don’t have to worry about your workflow status or any of your project areas being reflected because you’ve removed it. It’s simply removed from site, but if you need it, have it back in your review, you can simply repeat those processes, those steps, and it’ll show that the item has been brought back in. And that’s it for me. I’m going to hand it over to Chloe…

Watch the full webinar to learn more about What’s New in Jama Connect

approval workflows

Reviews play a key role in successful product and systems development, helping to ensure the new project meets stakeholder, market, and compliance requirements. Peer and approval review processes enables organizations to both iterate and innovate quickly, while providing a dedicated process to apply appropriate rigor for final reviews. In addition, integrating item workflow with approval reviews can eliminate manual processes and reduce human error.  

In our most recent Ask Jama webinar, “Leveraging Peer and Approval Workflows to Optimize Your Review and Approval Process,” we talked about how to:  

  • Enable item transitions to be automatically triggered by a finalized review – reducing errors, clicks, and time needed to manually transition review items  
  • Improve Part 11 compliance by allowing organizations to set a locked status to review items that have been finalized  
  • Configure your own smart defaults for reviews by moving all settings to the central organization administration 

Below is a recoding of a webinar and an abbreviated transcript.



Thank you all for joining us today. My name is Julie Goodner, I’m one of the Senior Product Managers here at Jama Software. I’ve been with Jama for roughly two and a half years, and working in many areas of the application, most recently into the Review Center. My drive, really, is to make our product easy and functional for our customers. I am always available to hear your thoughts and ideas, so if you want to reach out to me at any time, please feel free to do so. And today I will be highlighting the work the team has completed in Review Center by adding these new Peer and Approval templates. 

In today’s webinar, we will be discussing how leveraging these new Peer and Approval review templates help connect with your Items Workflow to create efficiency and reduce errors in your project, and how including Workflow with your Approval review will eliminate manual steps and reduce errors. And lastly, we’ll be going through all these settings and features in Jama Connect. I’ll give a full rundown, how to do this, and where to do it. This is the overview of today’s demonstration. 

First, I will be the org admin going into the Review Center settings and showing you the new Peer and Approval templates along with some features that we have added into the Default template, which was the way you’re used to doing it in the past. And then from there, I will take you into Workflow and show you how Workflow and Approval templates merge together to create a cohesive experience for you when you’re finalizing the Approval review. Next, I’ll become a moderator and look at the new settings in Review Center and see the Approval and Peer. And then I’m going to walk you through what it looks like to transition a Peer review into an Approval review, and then see your items finalized at the end. 

RELATED: Check out our upcoming webinars by visiting our events page! 

So in Review Workflow, in Settings, the Approval review with Workflow reduces errors, clicks, and time needed to manually transition reviewed and approved items in your project. How this works is to enable the new Approval review, like I just stated, and we’ll walk through that again, review template and configure the Approval workflow for your items. In addition, this improves Part 11 compliance by allowing organizations to set a lock status to a reviewed item that has been finalized, no longer having to go back manually and locking those items after your review has been approved. And for efficiency, we have moved all the review setups into the admin section. And by doing this, your org admin can now set up smart defaults to eliminate confusion for your moderator when they create that review. 

Once the moderator now sees these new templates, they want to know what the difference is between probably the Peer and Approval review. Well, how we look at it as a Peer review is used to collaborate with your team, refine your requirements, and get them into the spot that they’re really ready for that final approval. Once they’re ready, the moderator then can transition the Peer review to an Approval review. They can invite all the stakeholders and, when completed and signed off, they can finalize that Approval review, which will then automatically trigger the Workflow items. So they don’t again, have to do a batch update or go into each item, transition, put locks on them, et cetera. All this is done automatically for you, now, with this new Approval review with Workflow. When the review is transitioned, it maintains all the previous comments and signatures, again for audit, or if you need to look back in historical facts. Peer review and Approval review transitions are all captured in the activity stream and version history. 

This greatly improves the moderator’s visibility to participants’ progress, and workflow transitions apply to review items when finalizing that review. And I just want to call this out, that the settings no longer change if a review, settings in the admin have been updated when a review is in flight. So if you’re working on a review and your org admin changes something, for whatever reason, your review will maintain its exact settings as they were when you started that review or edit that review. If you do need to take on these new settings, you will have to create a new review. 

RELATED: Introducing Jama Software’s New Hands-On Workshops (H.O.W. with Jama Connect®)

Alright, so let’s get into the demo. I’ve opened my project, I’m now the org admin. I’m going to go into my admin section, and we just got the 862 release, which will give you these new settings. First, I’m going to go into the Review Center. As you’ll notice, we have added the electronic signature settings and the optional settings into this main area. So again, your admin can now create, like I said before, those smart defaults. And these will carry over into your Workflow or your Review wizard when they create that review. But let’s really talk about the Peer and Approval. First, let’s get into Peer. You’ll notice all the settings are the exact same as they are in the Default or Non-template review. We suggest that you let the moderators override, but if you don’t want to, you can simply turn this off. What that means is a moderator can override any of the settings that your org admin has set up. 

You can have electronic signature, but we don’t think you need it for a Peer. But if your company does, you can just simply keep those on. And we always suggest to have the comments show up in the single item view, but again, you can turn those off as well. We have them private, or you can make them public, and so on and so forth. Once I’m done with that one, I’m going to go into my Approval review. Again, the settings are the same. These settings can not be overridden by your moderator. So once they’re set up by your org admin, they will be the settings in your wizard. If you do need to adjust them, you will have to contact your org admin and have them update whatever settings you need, and then you can carry forward with your reviews. 

To learn more about optimizing leveraging peer and approval workflows to optimize your reviews, watch the full webinar here. 

Ask JamaAs part of our ongoing series of Ask Jama webinars, covering customer questions and best practices, our most recent webinar was all about answering your most pressing questions about Jama Connect.

In this webinar, our customer support and professional services team started the session with an overview of Jama Software’s Support and Community resources and then spent the rest of the webinar answering questions from our current and future customers. 

This webinar was well received by our customers, and we wanted to make sure nobody missed out on this great content. Below, you’ll find a recording of the webinar and an abbreviated transcript.

Ask Jama:  Ask us anything – that’s right – anything about Jama Connect! 


Question: How do I improve my team’s quality of requirements authoring? And how do I distinguish system level and sub system level requirements?

Answer: For those that aren’t familiar with Jama Connect, on the right-hand side you’ll see a little relationship diagram, and these boxes are item types. They’re different than documents. They’re really more like data driven, granular specific requirements. So you could have multiple levels of requirements that trace to each other. So that’s essentially how I would differentiate if you had a system requirement, you need to decompose that into multiple sub system requirements. You could utilize this traceability capability.

So, for example, if I’m looking at this manual scheduling system requirement, there’s probably a lot of manual scheduling I could do, I could change the temperature, I could change the schedule of when I’m home or when I’m not home, so I could make that be the sub system requirements that are part of the software, and it’s really just when you have your relationship role set up, you can add sub system requirements that would then be traced to the system requirement. So I think using the multiple item types and the relationship role is a great way to differentiate.

Question: How do I know that a requirement is well written?

Answer: But kind of getting back to the quality, how do I know a requirement is written of a high quality, there’s a lot of different ways that you can tackle that. I have this little text item here called guidance and I find that a lot of our customers do a really good job of putting directly in Jama Connect a link to their work instructions, which has maybe it’s like a process guide, or maybe it’s an actual tactical screen shot by screenshot set of instructions that you, in terms of how you want people to use Jama Connect, and it’s also a great place to put in some requirements offering suggestions.

RELATED:  Five Best Practices for Writing Requirements 

Systems Engineering Requirements Templates

So, for example, I have here a couple different requirement templates. I have one that’s based on system engineering, so you want to have a trigger, pre-condition, actor, action, object. That’s a very good template to start from and then I’ve got a little example here, like an airbag, when a collision is detected, precondition is and the passenger airbag switches on, the actor is the system, action is it shall detonate and the object is the passenger airbag. Now you don’t necessarily have to write it in a table format but having this little template here in the example can be really nice when you’re authoring, and you can actually work with your Jama Connect admins to add these templates directly in Jama Connect.

Question: What’s the difference between requirements and design?

Answer: The way I like to differentiate it is requirements are really meant to describe the need for something, whereas design is like the response of the how, how we’re actually going to implement that requirement.

So, this is a very simple distinguish differentiation between the two, but obviously if you have a complex system, you might have something more complicated where, like in my example I have stakeholder needs that decompose down to system requirements that decompose into subsystem hardware or software requirements. But it is important that you’re differentiating requirements versus design, because you don’t want to over constrain your development team by putting too much design decisions into the requirements themselves. Of course, that’s always a real challenge and I’m guilty of doing that myself too.

Question: How do baselines relate to document versions?

Answer:  For folks that are new to Jama Connect, or haven’t used Jama Connect before, when you have a document, let’s say a word document, I might version it, or I might have it in a SharePoint or a OneDrive system that’s kind of automatically versioning it. When you’re doing that though, especially with requirements specifications, it’s single document version is going to have a lot of unstructured data or unstructured text inside of it, so you might have requirement one, requirement two, requirement three. They’re all contained within document version 3.0, or three different versions of that document. The concept of versioning in Jama Connect is we have different tiers. So when we use the term version we’re actually referring to an individual requirement level.

So I might have requirement one which is on version three, it’s liked to a test A which is on version two, and then I might also have a requirement 2 which is on version five. Each of these items you can actually see if I click on an individual item here. On the right hand side is what we call widgets, and you can see this particular manual scheduling requirement, it’s on version eight. I can click on this version eight and I can see how things have changed. So I made a short little change right before the webinar started here and I want to compare from version seven to version eight, and I can hit the compare button, but that’s going to show me the tracked side by side change, so I can see in red the word monthly was taken away and I replaced it in green with the word weekly. So each of these, that’s the big difference between a document and more of a data driven tool like Jama Connect is that it’s going to be tracking the version at a much more granular level.

RELATED: Defining and Implementing Requirements Baselines

Question: Where do baselines come into play?

Answer:  Baselines is a term and a concept that we use in Jama Connect, it’s kind of more equivalent to what you might previously thought of as the document version. So baseline will take a group of items and you all as the users can scope what items you want to include in the baseline, and it will take a point in time snapshot of all of those items. So the real differences of document versions is really like the version is relevant to the whole document and there’s a lot of unstructured text. A baseline in Jama Connect is meant to have structured requirements, test cases, whatever it is you’re tracking.

Question: How do I create custom exports?

Answer: it took me a while to learn the difference at least with how we use our terms within Jama Connect between templates and reports. So templates in general are structured formats limited to data stored in the UI, just to give a little bit of a definition and understanding to it. So when we are saving information as a template, we are creating another view for the data. A template can be exported either as is, or used in a report. Our reports are used to avoid the UI to structure and export information, whereas templates are more reflective of the information shown in the UI. Our advanced reports are an export with information either being pulled from the database or API culled. Both of which aren’t capable through the UI.

So, you can create an export or office templates if you don’t mind the limitations of how your information is reorganized and presented outside of Jama Connect. I also do want to note that there is a difference between our office templates and our editor templates. Our office templates are going to be what you use to export. Our reports though are a little bit different. If you are a self-hosted customer, or if you have a self-hosted instance, you can create your own reports.

You can also contact your account manager as well and they can help you in creating a custom report built by one of our report specialists.

Watch the full webinar to see the answers to many of the most commonly asked Jama Connect questions. You can also take a moment to go back and watch a few other our other webinars, like this one on release management options in Jama Connect, or this one on moving from a document-based design control and risk management in medical device development.

Watch the full webinar to learn more about the most commonly asked questions about Jama Connect.


As part of our ongoing series of Ask Jama webinars, covering customer questions and best practices, by popular request, the upcoming webinar will focus on getting data in and out of Jama Connect, enabling effective collaboration resulting in reduced rework and minimized risk.

Date: Wednesday, September 30th
Time: 17:00 p.m. CEST | 8:00 a.m. PT

Steve Rush, a Jama Connect expert and a consultant from our Professional Services team, will be discussing options for getting data in and out of Jama Connect to create an ongoing exchange of requirements throughout the product development process.

Register now to learn more about:

  • Importing data into Jama Connect 
    • Import options through Excel and Word 
    • Options for creating data via the API
  • Exporting reports from Jama Connect 
    • Available reports in Jama Connect 
    • Customizing reports using Mail Merge
  • Creating custom Velocity reports
  • Leveraging custom Velocity reports using Jama Connect Professional Services and additional Velocity training 

We’ve also made sure to include plenty of time to answer your questions around these import and export capabilities (or other relevant topics) during the event. Take a moment to go back and watch a few other our other webinars, like this one on release management options in Jama Connect, or this one on moving from a document-based design control and risk management in medical device development.

Presented by:

Steve Rush Senior Consultant, Jama Software

Steve Rush is a business consultant on the professional services team at Jama Software. He works directly with customers to implement Jama Connect, and help navigate requirements management, through best practice guidance.

We hope you’ll join us!