Jama Software’s onboarding process is thorough and comprehensive. You’ll get a great understanding of the platform’s full functionality and how you can leverage it to get the most from your investment. However, because Jama Connect is so customizable and can be used in so many ways, the onboarding process is just a starting point.
We’ve seen great success with organizations that hold monthly user groups. This creates a feedback loop and collects information to pass to Jama and executive sponsors. Relying on feedback from those who are working in the platform on a daily basis is imperative to adjusting and optimizing configuration and processes. Monthly user groups also give Jama Connect users a platform to share best practices, successes and challenges.
We also suggest that those who were assigned roles in the internal rollout plan play an active role in ongoing education and training for end-users. Holding weekly Jama office hours and monthly meetings allows you to continually optimize processes and answer questions and concerns from your team.
Below are a few things to consider and processes to set in place in order to find the most success with Jama Connect.
Joining the Jama Software Support Community
Organizations that set up continual, structured training related to Jama Connect are often the most successful. With that said, even if you decide not to leverage Jama Professional Services, we still have a plethora of resources to help you through implementation and beyond. Jama Support Community is a forum for Jama users to interact and collaborate with other users and with Jama support engineers. It’s full of resources for everyone from novices to masters, including tutorials and webinars, help guides and FAQs, feature requests and announcements and a robust knowledge base.
Creating an Implementation Plan
Having an implementation plan is the best way to keep your program on track. Your implementation plan should identify and document the key business outcomes you plan to achieve by using Jama. It should also outline your desired deployment approach, identify initial projects to start with and establish a high-level timeline.
We often recommend that organizations complete their Jama rollout in phases. If you start with a small group or department, you can spend time teaching them to be experts. That small group then becomes evangelists — a great asset as you complete your rollout to the rest of the organization.
Successful organizations often pair these early adopters with new users to help them get up to speed with the new process. Assigning roles and responsibilities related to the rollout and implementation of Jama reduces the risk of things falling through the cracks. Assigned roles also allow everyone within the organization to know where to direct questions or concerns, and who to reach out to for more training and additional resources.
Assigning Key Implementation Roles
In addition to the executive sponsor that we mentioned earlier, consider assigning the following roles during your implementation of Jama Connect:
The program manager is the primary point of contact for the Jama team and is responsible for the day-to-day management of the overall deployment of Jama Connect within the organization. Responsibilities include: coordinating resources; scheduling and presiding over meetings; communicating and facilitating decisions; and informing the Jama team of issues or concerns.
Core Implementation Team
In addition to the program manager, the core implementation team will work with the Jama team to define how Jama will be used in your organization. The core team should comprise employees who understand the overall processes and goals for implementation. They serve as empowered representatives of the different teams that will use the platform.
The change manager role may be performed either by the sponsor or the implementation lead and is vital to the success of Jama at your organization. This person works alongside the core implementation team to encourage their involvement in the Jama solution and to troubleshoot concerns. The change manager communicates regularly across the organization to build Jama knowledge and works to allay concerns and/or issues inherent in change. Prior to rolling out Jama Connect, the change manager is responsible for identifying and coaching team leaders and champions of Jama within your organization.
The Jama administrator is responsible for learning how to configure your instance of Jama using the administrative functions and also handles ongoing configuration and admin duties. This person will become a power user within the organization who will support other users, understand the impact of modifications to the system configuration, and implement configuration changes as appropriate. The Jama administrator will be heavily involved in the initial implementation and instrumental in governing configuration change management over time. (Note: This person may also be your program manager.)
For organizations installing Jama on their internal networks (i.e., the tool is not hosted in Jama’s cloud), the IT/system administrator(s) are responsible for the initial installation and setup of Jama within your team’s production environment, including database, server and application configuration. Additionally, this person is responsible for ongoing system administration including XML back-ups, indexing, upgrading, permissions, etc. For Jama-hosted customers, this role may be limited to user management. When applicable, the IT/System Administrator(s) are responsible for provisioning and configuring the Integration Hub server.
Engaging Jama Software Professional Services
Jama is powerful and adaptable. The platform can be configured in countless different ways to fit your specific needs. To that end, Jama is not a “set it and forget it” kind of platform; it grows as you do. For Jama to be most successful, you must define exactly how you’ll use the platform and configure it to fit your specific processes.
That’s where Jama Professional Services comes in. They’ve helped thousands of customers figure out the optimal way for Jama Connect to be configured based on specific customer needs. Leveraging Professional Services speeds up the time to launch Jama and gives new customers confidence that their adoption will be successful. In fact, we’ve seen that time to value decreases significantly for customers who engage Professional Services.
The Jama Professional Services team partners with you to adapt Jama to fit your current product development processes and aids in the adoption of Jama within your organization. Professional Services helps you with the three stages that we outlined below – alignment, launch and adoption — each with best practices to align Jama with your business so you can quickly achieve sustainable results now and in the future.
Every organization is different, and your implementation plan should be tailored to the specific needs of your stakeholders. At Jama Software, we typically view the implementation in three key stages:
- Design and Configuration
- End-User Orientation
- Initial Deployment Support
- Post-Launch Refinement
- Best Practice Guidance
- Monthly Working Sessions
The implementation plan is your roadmap to success. This is the time to be thorough, thinking through the full impact of the rollout and considering each step you need to take to ensure success. This example rollout plan was created to give new Jama users an idea of what a successful rollout looks like.
Ongoing Internal Training
For many organizations, Jama is the lifeblood of their product development process. It’s incredibly important that you set up ongoing training and feedback loops within your organization to keep up with best practices, resolve challenges, and optimize your usage of Jama Connect.
This can take shape in many ways, but you can start by identifying how your organization works best:
- Does your team thrive in a classroom setting?
- Does your team prefer online tutorials or self-paced learning?
- Should your training be formal or less formal?
These questions should help you formulate how you’ll conduct ongoing internal training.