Tag Archive for: Digital Transformation

Airborne Systems

Last month we held a webinar with two of our in-house aerospace experts titled, “Transformative Airborne Systems Development.

This webinar was well received by our customers building airborne systems, 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.


David Ewing: When we talk to our friends in the field, customers, peers, subject matter experts, we hear a lot about the increasing complexity required to design new products and systems. Some of the things we tend to hear, we hear about development cycles, they’re increasingly complex. And this is driving need for automation and more modern tools. Cross domain collaboration is not really happening very much, there’s different tools and processes in the different groups, and different domains, and things that they use that they really don’t play nice together. 

The connected products and systems that we’re developing right now, they’re not just complicated, they also inject significant risk into the certification process. Ensuring compliance and safety systems is difficult and time consuming. That is just not changing, and all these different items it’s just piling on there. The regulatory environment is changing, we’re seeing changes coming from things like Urban Air Mobility and other technology drivers that’s driving changes to the regulatory environment. 

And we’re really seeing rapid changes within the market itself. So there’s a number of different drivers that are changing the dynamics of system development. A couple of examples, the push into electric propulsion, it’s very rapid. Right now the improvements in battery technology is really driving down costs, and the idea of commercial hybrid electric flight is very much insight. 

Technology is Driving Change in the Regulatory Environment

Urban Air Mobility, I mentioned that is one of the new things coming out in the last slide. Those vehicles are expected to accelerate over the next decade. However, there’s a lot of challenges that need to be worked out and the regulations need to be established. So back to that idea of the regulatory environment is changing over time. And this is to make sure things are air worthy, and also the use of the airspace itself over our heads. 

So the question is, are you ready to meet these new challenges? Are your requirements tools and processes ready? So, I thought we’d take a look, a little bit of a walk through the idea of Requirements Management Maturity, just to set the table. The most basic approach that we tend to see is a document-based approach. And even if the documents are digital, your typical Microsoft Office formats, Word, PowerPoint, things like that. The utility to the firm is limited. 

RELATED: MBSE Made Easy – Overcoming the Organizational Challenges 

“Documents tend to get stuck in silos.”

Quite often things are just thrown into SharePoint. And this really doesn’t get you where you need to go. The visibility and collaboration across your organization is limited, those that are in the know, those that have the right access. And then we if we’re talking about scalability – well, it’s non-existent. I mean, think about having to bring together all the various domains, while managing the access control, the editing rights, revisions over time. It’s just not achievable. And compliance, it’s herculean. Folks have to throw massive amounts of time trying to pull together all this information from all these different sources, to try to present the package of information that’s necessary to achieve certification. 

Legacy Tools Have a Limited Ability to Support Agile

The next area that we tend to see is the idea of legacy tools, and those using legacy tools tend to be very much straddled with outdated technology. The modern multi-domain system development processes, they’re not supported with legacy tools. And this extends into the world of software. We’re seeing software everywhere, everything has software in it now. Legacy tools have very limited ability to support variants of Agile, like say for or Scrum, depending on the flavor, the variant that your firm might use. 

The Most Mature Process is Data-Centric

A data-centric approach isn’t just a goal– this is available today. Firms that are data centric, they’re able to ensure they have a single source of truth, they don’t have multiple versions of those documents that are floating around an email, or in shared folders, or different SharePoint collections. They’re able to use model based approaches to allow their teams to digitally model and relate information together. 

This gains a lot of benefit from those digital connections of the different artifacts and information. You can extend this into integrations with the other systems in the design cycle, and there’s more than one tool used to design products. And being able to feed those requirements to the mechanical folks that use CAD, feeding it to the simulation folks that are doing high fidelity and low fidelity simulation, and downstream to the folks that are doing testing, this adds more value. 

And this really feeds right into having those integrated and data centric processes. Those firms now have traceability. Now we can look back from the physical product, the finished product that comes off the assembly line with a serial number, we can look back to the individual design features that were determined, that are necessary along the way and back to the individual requirements that drove the decisions to design a product. And collaboration is enhanced, and is supporting real time feedback, knowing what’s going on, having modern capabilities like at-mentions, as you’re able to chat right within your tools, having the ability to review things in a much more robust manner. 

Digital Transformation is the Goal for Most Airborne Systems Firms

If you want to lead the industry, and if you want to transform the airborne industry, digital transformation is a must. How are you going to get there with document-based legacy processes and tools. You’re not. If you want to change the game, you need to bring digital processes and data together. You want to use those to drive your innovation. That’s the definition of digital transformation. 

Watch the full webinar to learn more about transformative airborne systems development. 


Digital Transformation

This post is Part I of our two-part series on digital transformation.

The future of Earth might depend on space. Governments from countries around the world and private space companies funded by billionaires are designing new space technologies that push the envelope of technology and complexity. Systems built to operate in the space environment must also be ready for quite a lot of hazards. Here on Earth, we don’t have to worry about operating in a vacuum; getting hit by space debris and micro-sized meteoroids; radiation from the sun and the universe itself; charged particles; or variances in gravity.  

Gone are the days where you have a decade or more to design and develop a new system. With changing global economies, dramatically evolving political landscapes, and shrinking pools of money, waste needs to be eliminated from development. Digital engineering strategies are aiming to eliminate wasteful stovepipes in information and communication centered around not just the product development lifecycle but even the acquisition lifecycle. For deployed space systems in many cases, you only get one shot at getting it right.  

Digital engineering is an integrated approach that uses authoritative sources of system data and models as a continuum across disciplines to support lifecycle activities from concept through disposal. In the simplest of terms, it is the act of creating, capturing, and integrating data using models and innovative technology in an orchestrated manner in order to unlock greater value and provide positive impacts on cost and schedule. This integrated approach means that the data from the digital models such as CAD models, electrical circuit models, system models, and software models as well as the domain discipline processes are orchestrated tightly. Hardware, systems, and software engineers are now working much more closely to design and develop systems. 

At NASA it is believed that “Digital transformation leads to more informed decisions, increased operational efficiency, and streamlined processes.” Digital transformation is not just converting paper records into digital format. It is not about making Word and PDF documents available to more people. Digital transformation is about transforming how you communicate and collaborate with not only your co-workers but also with your customer and suppliers. It is the reinvention of the way processes themselves are performed; it’s not just a change in IT.  

New digital engineering tool ecosystems must be flexible and agile enough to be used by broad, cross-functional teams as well as be responsive to technology changes. One key ingredient for digital engineering success is to make use of models. In the systems engineering community MBSE is seen as the state-of-the-art technique. Requirements management however, which is a pillar of systems engineering, extends beyond the systems model. Highly abstract requirements such as stakeholder expectations, mission goals, and concepts of operations as well as design requirements at the element, subsystem, and component level benefit from a model-based approach. 

Using Jama Connect for Requirements MBSE 

Jama Connect’s unique user interface allows non-technical stakeholders to visualize a model of the system of interest and interact with the requirements in familiar views like documents and spreadsheets. Using Jama Connect in the application of MBSE to create models is supported by a series of pre-defined views and its underlying relationship ontology which enforces the rigor and consistency demanded by the framework. It can also be used in alongside dedicated SysML tools to act as the dedicated requirements system since data organization in Jama Connect is compatible with SysML tools. This makes it attractive to organizations that do not have enough trained staff or licenses to use dedicated SysML graphical modeling tools. 

The Human Element of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is not just about learning to use new tools and incorporation of models but is also about changing to a new company culture and mindset. It becomes necessary for stakeholders and engineers across all disciplines to develop new skills in both systems thinking and real time collaboration. Jama Connect has built-in technology that facilitates better cooperation and communication. It helps eliminate communication silos and becomes a bridge between the requirements data and common communication systems like email. Emails transform to in-app discussions, @mentions, and actions. Requirements reviews in Jama transform into virtual review of data rather than production of documents with iterative reviews of endless redlines. Reviews streamline the feedback sharing process. This reduces the rounds of revision by letting teams give clear feedback on requirements. They don’t need to spend hours figuring out the changes suggested and what needs to be worked upon. 

Parting Words 

The complexity of space systems and the global race to ensure the future of Earth needs the benefits that transformation to digital engineering brings. Doing this successfully enables you to simplify complex development cycles, bridge collaboration gaps, build quality products, get to space faster, and build safe and successful systems. 

To learn more about how Jama Connect for Airborne Systems helps teams to improve their ability to communicate, track, and test requirements for teams in the aerospace industry, download our solution overview. 


Digital TransformationDigital transformation is an urgent priority for businesses in 2021. Many organizations accelerated their digital transformation efforts during the pandemic and rapidly adopted a variety of tools; but looking to the future, it’s critical that you take a deep dive into what digital transformation can offer your business — and the best tools to achieve your goals. Digital transformation is not just about adopting more tools, it’s about adopting the right tools.

A critical area of opportunity is product development. Processes in this area are often fragmented across a variety of teams, all working in silos. This puts organizations at risk for product delays, defects, cost overruns, failed verifications and validations, recalls, and more. Two major challenges are:

  1. Critical information is fragmented. Product development processes are fragmented and siloed within teams.
  2. Critical data is trapped. The requirements that specify dependencies and outcomes are trapped within static documents.

Many organizations still use document-based requirements management workflows, which creates fragmentation and doesn’t help companies better serve their customers or get products to market faster. Additionally, product development teams don’t have visibility into what they need most, and communication is siloed and disconnected. Adopting end-to-end visibility supports stronger digital transformation and helps you get products to market faster and with greater efficiency.

Why Document-Based Requirements Management Isn’t Designed for the Future

Over half of product launches (55%) don’t happen on time. The root cause is often product development issues, such as missed bugs or “feature creep.” Using document-based requirements complicates challenges because there may be many different versions of the same document floating around an organization. Stakeholders struggle to connect, give feedback and provide timely approvals. Additionally, as a company grows, managing documents in this way is not scalable.

The result is product teams spending a large amount of time on manual tasks, in some cases more time than they would spend developing and managing the actual requirements. Improved collaboration is possible if organizations use solutions that enable real-time interactions, shorter review cycles and a consolidated system of record. This creates a single source of truth that supports more efficient product development and digital transformation.

RELATED POST: What is the Digital Thread?

How creating a single source of truth supports digital transformation

Fragmentation and confusion occur when project activities are spread out across many different communication channels. Teams face difficulties creating a cohesive workflow and getting everyone on the same page. A few potential challenges of not having a single source of truth are:

  • Projects evolve in an “out of sync” environment. Key updates manually circulating in lengthy documents may be lost in inboxes. A disconnected communication process complicates the tracking requirements and can even change them, resulting in different versions of the truth.
  • Stakeholders are confused about which document is the latest version. Lack of cohesive communication may leave confusion about which version of a document is the most up to date. Teams may work in silos and make time-consuming errors due to this issue.
  • A document-based approach creates extra manual work. A document-based approach, such as one using Word or Excel, isn’t designed for managing requirements, leaving additional manual work. For example, teams may need to create their own processes for adhering to industry standards.

A platform that centralizes everything in a single system of record offers a single source of truth that is often missing from many product development processes.

RELATED POST: Requirements Management – Living, Not Static

Centralizing Your Requirements in a Single Platform

Digital transformation is about delivering value through improved understanding of data, alignment of data and the ability to act on that data. Achieving a single source of truth by centralizing your requirements in one platform enables you to secure a competitive edge in the market.

As product development processes become more complicated, traditional document-based requirements management has revealed its age and limitations. To successfully move from a document-based process, you need a solution that can do the following:

  • Supports real-time communication and provides the full context of conversations.
  • Provides a single system of record for requirements, risks and tests.
  • Supports risk analysis throughout the entire development process.
  • Allows for easy exporting of reports to prove compliance and pass audits.
  • Offers end-to-end traceability that enables you to view the impact of a change prior to its being made and ensure product quality with complete coverage.

Jama Connect enables real-time collaboration in one convenient location and replaces fragmented workflows spread across multiple documents and communication channels. Collaborators can easily manage requirements and risks in a single system in real time, which results in a single source of truth. This helps you prevent many of the challenges that arise from emailing collaborators with new changes or requirements, or requesting that comments be left in a Word or Excel document.

RELATED POST: The Importance of Centralizing Your Requirements in One Platform

Moving Into the Future

True digital transformation requires organizations to evaluate how technology can support the right strategy, generate accurate insights and foster informed decision-making. When looking at strategies to integrate digital transformation into your organization, consider leveraging a competitive advantage in the area of product development.

Doing this successfully enables you to simplify complex development cycles, bridge collaboration gaps, build quality products, get to market faster and reduce risk around compliance.

Download our eBook to learn how optimize product development with strategic team collaboration.


Digital Transformation

Digital transformation helps companies secure a competitive advantage through improved productivity, greater customer loyalty, happier employees and a larger bottom line. It’s the foundation on which companies build more value for their customers. In the past, digital transformation may have been considered an IT project, but the reality is that it ripples throughout every part of the business.

Digital transformation has become more critical during the pandemic as companies are challenged with working remotely and delivering on customer expectations without missing a beat. One study found that over half of IT decision makers (59%) reported plans for accelerating digital transformation efforts when previously, only 15% of companies were prioritizing digital transformation.

As companies move forward, they need tools that support the delivery of what their customers expect, whether it’s faster, more connected experiences or getting the products they need delivered at record speed.

Why is digital transformation important?

Digital transformation helps your company secure a competitive edge that delights your customers and streamlines back-end operations. For example, you may need greater traceability across a product’s life cycle, the ability for employees to collaborate in real time or greater visibility into risk management. It’s the strategy that underpins your decision about what tools are essential. A few benefits include:

Improves the customer experience.

Even if you’re using the tools to develop better products, a digital-first culture has a direct effect on the customer experience. And improving the customer experience is key, since 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. During 2020, the customer experience overtook product and price as the key brand differentiator.

Builds a stronger employee experience.

Most companies know that employees are their greatest asset, and by providing your people with the tools they need to do a better job, you create a more engaged and efficient workplace, which translates to happier customers.

Optimizes processes.

Digital transformation helps you optimize existing processes and make them more efficient. You can streamline workflows, improve digital processes, automate time-consuming tasks and overall make your workplace more efficient.

Creates greater profitability.

Research shows that 80% of organizations that completed digital transformation reported improving profits, and 85% reported improvements in market share. On average, leaders forecast 23% higher revenue than that of their competitors.

Improves agility and productivity.

During 2020 companies learned that agility wasn’t important; it was essential. Tools that support digital transformation help your company innovate faster, streamline workflows and improve productivity.

RELATED POST: The Importance of Centralizing Your Requirements to One Platform

How can companies embrace digital transformation and achieve better results?

Developing a digital transformation strategy, or revisiting an existing strategy, is a good place to start in creating more agility and success in your plans. What tools will help you meet digitizing requirements or, if you’re developing products, meet complex product requirements? Consider doing the following.

Define what it means to your company.

What is your desired outcome once your digital transformation strategy is deployed? It’s all about the end game, so define your goals well upfront. Consider examining the people, processes, data and technology that you use now, and then align those elements with your goals. Where are the gaps? Are you struggling with efficient collaboration? Is product development inefficient? Identify the areas that matter most.

Foster a digital culture.

Digital adoption comes from the top down. Share your strategy with employees, and get buy-in. How will their jobs improve due to the changes, and how will they be able to serve customers better? Share these details to get everyone on board.

Define value.

A key goal for any digital transformation strategy should be to provide value. How does the strategy serve your overall business vision? Do you need to streamline processes, drive greater revenue or develop larger customer value? You need a baseline and the ability to successfully measure those changes while staying agile.

Support agility.

It’s critical to stay fluid enough to adjust to fast-changing market conditions and respond quickly. Rigid KPIs need to give way to more flexible and agile requirements that have room for iteration. Adaptive design allows you to pursue more frequent changes to transformation strategies and thereby generate the best results.

RELATED POST: Why You Should Swap Documents-Based Requirements Management for Real-Time Collaboration

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

As you define your strategy, it also helps to be aware of a few potential pitfalls so that you can avoid them. For example, more technology isn’t always the answer. Success lies in adopting the right technology. Consider these common pitfalls:

Failure to define a digital transformation strategy.

Digital transformation must start with a vision, and adoption of technologies and tools must directly stem from that vision. How can the technology support the goals and objectives?

Not asking the right questions.

Asking the right questions can help you shape your digital transformation strategy. For example, what do you truly need to better meet customer demands? Do you need to streamline complex product development through improved collaboration? Do you need real-time collaboration to improve workflows? Look at overarching goals and narrow down the tools that make accomplishing those goals easier.

Lack of leadership support.

Digital transformation isn’t a “one and done” project but instead a living, breathing process of iteration. It requires leadership support in continuously revisiting the strategy and making changes as needed to improve the strategy.

Creating strategy in a silo.

The IT department may have largely been responsible for digital transformation in the past, but that is no longer the case. It’s a cross-functional project that affects leaders, as well as employees, from all parts of the business.

Moving Into the Future with Greater Success

Digital transformation is a critical element on the path to the future. Few businesses will stand the test of time without a strong plan to adopt beneficial technologies, such as those needed to digitize requirements management and complex product development. For example, as product development processes become more complex, traditional document-based requirements management has shown its age and limitations. This alone is a powerful opportunity in digital transformation strategy.

However, many organizations haven’t upgraded their requirements and risk management processes to keep pace with innovation, putting them at risk for slow development cycles, costly changes and regulatory recalls. Identifying opportunities such as this will help your company adopt digital transformation with great strength and success into the future.

Check out Part II of this blog series, “How Jama Connect Can Help with Digital Transformation.

Download our eBook to learn how optimize product development with strategic team collaboration.



No organization can thrive for nearly 70 years without evolving its processes, and Finnish Red Cross Blood Service (FRCBS) is no exception. The FRCBS’s Vein-to-Vein project is a prime example of how the organization has evolved to meet the digital age in order to provide the best care possible for those in need.

In 2016, FRCBS began to build the Vein-to-Vein system, a new information system for blood supply chain that covers blood donation and blood product manufacture, storage, and delivery to hospitals nationwide. Blood test results are also integrated into the information system. For the Vein-to-Vein information system project to be successful, data on blood products must work together seamlessly and the chain of data must remain unbroken, making the need for end-to-end traceability an incredibly important component.

This was one of many reasons the FRCBS began their search for a requirements and test management solution that could help them manage the complexity of the project. Their current test management solution, a pieced together system of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word documents, could not link risks and requirements to testing. Traceability was lacking, and the team knew the project’s success hinged on a solution that could clearly trace stakeholder requirements through testing, verification, and validation.

Like most organizations in 2020, FRCBS are working remotely throughout the country. Communication and collaboration were top priorities for the team. They knew that version control and review cycles would be compromised if they continued to use Excel and Word for their requirements and test management.

With the Vein-to-Vein information system, we are building the foundation for the digital future of the blood supply chain. It was abundantly clear to us that Word and Excel could not handle the amount of test cases and plans this project required.”

Susanna Pöhö Development Manager, Digital Services at FRCBS

Finnish Red Cross Blood Services Sees Improved Traceability, Communication, and Collaboration

In June of 2018 FRCBS began onboarding Jama Connect and with the help of CGI Finland — and Jama Software’s easy-to-use platform — they were up and running in 6 months. The FRCBS now uses Jama Connect for testing and risk management.

FRCBS estimates that the testing team has improved their communication and collaboration by 50%, and with the improved communication, the team estimates that their review cycles have been shortened by 80%.

“With Jama Connect, we can link high-level system requirements and risks and test cases. Jama Connect makes it possible to ensure the test cases cover the entire information system, and nothing is being overlooked.”

Susanna Majuri, System Specialist at FRCBS

Jama Connect has enabled improved end-to-end traceability and test management and allowed the teams to put more efficient processes in place. Because of Jama Connect, FRCBS estimates that the testing team has improved their communication and collaboration by 50%, and with the improved communication, the team estimates that their review cycles have been shortened by 80%.

RELATED: Your Guide to Selecting a Medical Device Development Platform

Audit Preparation Simplified and Shortened

While the system is not technically a CE-marked medical device, the Vein-to-Vein system must meet high quality standards, including GxP quality guidelines and other key regulations. Jama Connect has allowed them to easily demonstrate compliance in a digital format. The FRCBS team estimates that Jama Connect has helped reduce audit preparation time by more than 50%.

“Jama Connect plays a central role in our audit process. We’re able to easily show executed tests, and the whole hierarchy of high-level system requirements, risks, test cases, and scenarios,” said Pöhö.

Finnish Red Cross’ Digital Future with Jama Connect

As the Finnish Red Cross organization continues its efforts to digitize development projects, FRCBS sets a great example with their implementation of Jama Connect.

“We implemented Jama Connect in the middle of large-scale information system project. Our only regret is that we didn’t implement it sooner in the project so we could leverage Jama Connect’s full capabilities,” said Pöhö. “In the future, it will be easier once we widen the range of usage across the organization.” “We’d like to broaden our use of Jama Connect across the company, especially for testing and validation. It’s a new, modern way of working that’s improved our processes immensely,” said Pöhö.

To see more information about the importance of traceability in complex product development, we’ve compiled a handy list of valuable resources for you!


product development

It’s a given that the only constant is change — and in product development, change is vital. In fact, in some sense, product development depends on change through creative destruction. Without a focus on innovation and continuous improvement, products stagnate and companies go out of business.

But one change that is not always beneficial to the product development process is movement of human resources. In a volatile and uncertain business environment, human resources change constantly, which means that knowledge moves from team to team, company to company. In addition, as the workforce ages, many companies experience a loss both formal and informal knowledge that is hard to quantify. How can companies safeguard both formal and informal knowledge as talent moves around and workers retire?

The Human Factor

Every day, approximately 10,000 people in the US turn 65 — the “standard” age of retirement. While not everyone who turns 65 retires immediately, thousands of experienced employees leave the workforce every year, taking a wealth of knowledge with them into retirement. Though these workers may willingly pass on their knowledge, a lack of systems or processes for gathering that knowledge — especially informal knowledge — means that much of it is lost forever.

One complicating factor in passing down knowledge is that the next generation poised for leadership — Generation X — is significantly smaller than the Baby Boomer generation. While knowledge has historically been passed organically between generations as a younger generation rises up to gradually take the place of the older one, the small size of GenX means an inevitable gap between Boomers and GenX.

Finally, both GenX and Millennials, who comprise about 35% of the US workforce, value workplace flexibility over stability. Those younger employees may capture the knowledge of one Baby Boomer predecessor, but that knowledge could end up fragmented across many different companies or teams.

It’s difficult to know exactly what knowledge any single employee will possess until that employee is gone. This isn’t to say that employees want to hide or obfuscate information — they simply have informal knowledge that isn’t easily captured by existing processes. Leaders have historically tried a variety of ways to capture knowledge, but in the digital era, training and transition reports aren’t enough. Companies need technology tools that will help capture knowledge and make it easily accessible for future use.

RELATED POST: 6 Things Organizations Overlook About Digital Transformation

Knowledge Capture in the Age of Digital Transformation

As part of the digital transformation in product development, leaders need to use appropriate technologies that help teams and organizations adapt and thrive in an environment of constant change. To that end, software solutions that capture the formal and informal knowledge of every employee can be key to future-proofing the product development process.

In order to effectively capture knowledge across the product development lifecycle from all team members, any digital solution should:

Enable comprehensive collaboration: Anyone can create an Excel or Word file and put it on a shared drive. The problem is that such documents can get overridden or forgotten, and the information they contain may not be comprehensive or robust enough to pass knowledge to the entire team. A genuinely comprehensive solution will give employees a single source to track decisions, questions, and problems.

Improve efficiency: With a single source for information, teams can reduce design inconsistencies and discrepancies. In this way, teams capture knowledge without even realizing it as team members can offer input, solutions, and answers in a way that codifies knowledge in a single place.

Integrate with other digital tools: Product development does not rely on a single digital tool. For real digital transformation of product development, tools should be integrated across the process and lifecycle. By integrating the tools that help trace and track development with other digital solutions, team knowledge is captured at multiple levels and in multiple places, streamlining future projects.

Merging Talent and Technology

Ultimately, the most important part of digital transformation in product development is talent, not technology. Fostering an environment that encourages learning, curiosity, and teamwork will offer the greatest benefits in knowledge preservation. But in a digital age, companies need to merge talent with technology to capture both formal and informal knowledge before key people retire or move on to other endeavors. Digital tools are a key ingredient in future-proofing product development.

Jama Connect can help you capture the knowledge of your best and brightest product development professionals.

Have confidence that you’re selecting the right requirements management solution by downloading our checklist for essential features and functionality.


Benefits of Collaboration

The Benefits of Collaboration for Government and Defense Teams

Tomorrow’s defense and government systems must be built at a lower cost with shorter timelines often using new Agile acquisition strategies. Since government and defense program teams are largely comprised of civilians and contractors working in distributed locations, efficient and streamlined collaboration is crucial.

In 2018 the US Secretary of Defense encouraged everyone to adopt new practices in order to modernize delivered systems and prioritize the speed of delivery. This encouragement was backed by a Digital Engineering Strategy with aims to allow the DoD and industry partners to work more collaborative at the engineering level. They defined digital engineering “as an integrated digital approach that uses authoritative sources of system data and models as a continuum across disciplines to support lifecycle activities from concept through disposal.”

Expected benefits of digital engineering include: 

  • Better informed decision making
  • Enhanced communication
  • Increased understand of and confidence in the system design
  • A more efficient engineering process

Jama Connect’s digital mission engineering platform has been specifically designed to assist in reaping these benefits. The platform’s core functionalities – including requirements version control, change management, baseline management, traceability, verification and validation, and risk analysis – are enhanced with a streamlined collaboration capability that establishes alignment across teams working within complex government programs.

Jama Connect lets government programs leverage lean, information-driven lifecycle techniques for managing strategic objectives, requirements, Agile user stories, features, risks and more.

Two qualities that set Jama Connect apart from the competition include:

  1. Ease of use without lengthy training
  2. Ease of adoption by broader types of user roles

RELATED: How to Realign Engineering Teams for Remote Work with Minimal Disruption

Aligning Distributed Government and Defense Teams

Distributed government and defense teams must consider ease of adoption and usability when researching requirements management (RM) solutions. Our customers confirm that if engineers and stakeholders don’t find a system intuitive and accessible, acquisition and implementation can be a costly miscalculation. Jama Connect is built and maintained with high-fidelity usability as the guiding principle.

Many requirements management tools require users to achieve unrealistic levels of expertise or otherwise hire expensive experts who fit the criteria. Consequently, most teams end up working outside the system using documents and spreadsheets. The result: A requirements and traceability ordeal that slows the development cycle, introduces unnecessary amounts of risk, and defeats the purpose of having a dedicated RM tool.

RELATED: A Path to MBSE with Jama Connect

The Benefits of Collaboration in a Modern Requirements Management Platform

Requirements management in Jama Connect eliminates reliance on documents and supports rapid delivery of complex, workable systems by bridging all the teams and work in real-time. The result is the connection of a multitude of interacting subsystems with a robust digital thread.

Jama Connect provides a modern solution that transforms system development into a transparent, measurable, and controlled systems engineering discipline. With industry-leading competence in an enterprise-class platform that is rapidly adaptable to the unique needs of each organization, Jama Connect is an analyst-recognized leader in the requirements management market, delivering unmatched value in each of the following areas:

  • Requirements Engineering: Our web-based application provides the ability to intuitively author requirements, maintain versions, control change, baseline, and collaboratively review and approve.
  • End-to-End Traceability: Link and decompose program-level capability requirements and operational requirements to derived system requirements, and then down to lower-level software and hardware requirements.
  • Change Management: With fine-grain impact analysis providing instant data insights, you can make informed decisions as requirements evolve during long development cycles or shift in mission, cost, or technology.
  • Fast Reviews & Approvals: Share and gain consensus on acceptance criteria by leveraging higher levels of stakeholder collaboration among government, suppliers, and subcontractors.
  • Virtualized Control Boards: Built-in collaboration technology lets teams capture all communication in a central system alongside system data. Items linked to related conversations, questions, and reasoning can be reviewed throughout development and archived after.
  • Quicker, Clearer Decisions: Request decisions on changes within the context of the items and projects. Transparent decision-making gives you immediate clarity and saves time.
  • Risk Management: The pressure to develop systems with lower costs, shorter timelines, and agile acquisition never stops. Jama Connect provides a voice across acquisition, development, and integration teams to collaboratively define, validate, and verify risks and ensure that they are accounted for and mitigated in the earliest stages of development.
  • Verification & Validation: Seamlessly manage traceability between requirements and test cases used for verification & validation and provide evidence to comply with regulations and standards.

To learn more about how Jama Connect supports digital engineering and collaboration for Government and Defense teams, download our whitepaper.



The Digital Engineering Transformation

In today’s age of digital transformation, most product development teams are experiencing an issue of burgeoning software content causing immense effort and complexity to understand, write, design and validate, and produce. Digital engineering (DE) is a broader movement that takes shape in many industry segments such as medical device development, automotive, defense, consumer electronics, and aerospace to reduce the pains of developing new products, systems, and software. But, differences in maturity and methods sometimes make understanding the true state of DE difficult.

DE is an integrated approach that uses authoritative sources of system data and models (instead of documents) as a continuum across disciplines to support lifecycle activities — from concept through disposal. In the simplest of terms, it is the act of creating, capturing, and integrating data using models and innovative technology in an orchestrated manner in order to unlock greater value and provide positive impacts on cost and schedule. It is the system model for which MBSE is useful.

When developing avionics weapons systems, a document-based systems engineering process is inefficient and lacks an authoritative source of truth. Meeting the demands of modern development allows more teams to be connected to the design and engineering process. This allows everyone to have a clear understanding of the big picture and leads to better informed decision making, enhanced communication, increased understanding of and confidence in the system design, and a more efficient engineering process.

RELATED: How to Realign Engineering Teams for Remote Work with Minimal Disruption

Meeting Market Challenges and Managing Complexities with MBSE

Model-based systems engineering (MBSE) has been a popular topic in the systems engineering community for over a decade, but the level of movement or path towards implementation has not always been clear. Market forces are increasing the demand and urgency for organizations to implement the MBSE discipline across the enterprise.

Across industries including aerospace, transportation, industrial manufacturing, and healthcare, customer demand for new, complex, and interconnected products, systems, and software is ever-increasing — and these systems must now be smarter, safer, and more environmentally friendly — all while remaining affordable.

For teams using a cumbersome, and often disparate document-driven approach, facilitating a common understanding of complex systems across diverse stakeholders can often be problematic. To stay competitive, companies building these complex systems require a solution that reduces time and effort by providing an MBSE approach where the combination of collaboration, modeling, tools, and methods streamlines the end-to-end systems engineering process.

A good MBSE practice will prevent rework due to poorly developed requirements or lack of communication across engineering teams. It will help to eliminate risks by providing an architectural roadmap that makes it easier to visualize and provide validation checks.

Customers will be happy with the system delivered and report fewer complaints because the application of MBSE has enabled the teams to more easily perform requirements analysis and validation to ensure that what is being designed and built is solving the correct problems that the customer has.

To manage increasing complexity, engineers and stakeholders must use tools (like Jama Connect™) and techniques whose data is both human-readable and has the capability to integrate across the ecosystem. The challenge is having the ability to efficiently design and build as well as effectively collaborate across stakeholders with vastly different engineering disciplines (e.g., software, mechanical, materials, electrical, chemical, environmental). Each subsystem needs to interoperate with the others to achieve the expected system function, adhere to safety and/ or government regulations, and ultimately meet the customer’s requirements.

Download our new whitepaper, A Path to Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) with Jama Connect, to learn more about digital engineering & MBSE benefits, obstacles, and success factors.


Digital transformation is one of the hottest trends in business. Companies want to be seen as sleek, modern enterprises designed to thrive in the extremely fast-paced demands of today’s market. Especially when the alternative is losing out to more nimble competitors.

With the rush to transform, however, many organizations discover some unexpected hurdles when forging ahead with a digital transformation. And to prove it’s not all steep climbs, we’ve also included a few upsides that companies often don’t anticipate.

Here are three challenges and three benefits that might not be on the radar screen when organizations set out to revamp themselves by deploying new technologies such as upgraded solutions, cloud services, apps, analytics and beyond.


Lack of complete buy-in of various teams

It doesn’t matter whether you’re developing consumer-focused software or designing complex aerospace systems, most team members are resistant to change of any kind. And digital transformation levels up changes in a big way. Getting widespread buy-in for these efforts might be a challenge that IT leaders, for instance, weren’t anticipating or prepared for.

The adoption of various technologies can change the way processes are conducted and how employees interact and collaborate with each other and customers. It can create a need for new skills and introduce fears about loss of jobs. And this change and uncertainty effects virtually every facet of the organization.

With that in mind, it’s understandable not everyone is going to quickly buy into the idea of digital transformation, including the finance people who oversee IT spending. It’s up to IT leadership to make the case for why transformation is well worth the effort. After all, what good is the investment of a new technology if it doesn’t get used correctly (or at all)?

Scope creep

The sheer magnitude and breadth of transformation projects makes them a natural for cost overruns and delays in completion. It’s easy to see how endeavors could go well past original scope. And it’s not like a company can just grind its production to a halt so its teams can adjust and absorb all the nuances of a transformation.

Even as companies are adopting technologies such as data analytics platforms, for example, new innovations might be introduced that set things in a different direction.

Such adjustments can end up resulting in projects that take a lot longer to complete and at greater cost. And based on recent research, transformation is gobbling up a lot of dollars. A late 2017 report from International Data Corp. (IDC) estimated that worldwide spending on digital transformation technologies was expected to be nearly $1.3 trillion in 2018, an increase of 17% over the $1.1 trillion spent in 2017.

Among the ways to avoid scope creep is to have a good understanding of the long-term goals of the organization and which technologies can help meet those marks within cost constraints. For example, if you’re switching to a new product development platform that’ll save you rework and shave time to market, don’t lose sight of the expected ROI so everyone understands the value of the endgame. It’s also smart to be prepared for changing market conditions and have a strong grasp on who’s running central control of transformation efforts.

Deployment and adoption issues

A digital transformation strategy might involve the deployment of multiple cloud services (including public and private clouds), analytics platforms, mobile operating environments and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Integrating the various systems, particularly within a large, global organization, can be a huge undertaking. So can ensuring that the necessary skill sets are available to operate and maintain digital systems. At least initially, companies might need to turn to outside expertise for help with implementation, integration, training and consulting.


More satisfied team members

Yes, digital transformation can be stressful for employees and management alike. It can also present a number of advantages that increase end-user satisfaction, which is part of the reason so many organizations pursue it in the first place.

One of the biggest payoffs is that teams will no longer be relying on seemingly endless, manual, tedious processes. Whether it’s escaping the drain of chains of status meetings or tracking and updating versioned documents, teams unbound from manual processes of the past can use that new time and energy to pursue more productive and innovative endeavors.

Better recruiting efforts

A big part of the drive to move to digital transformation comes from not wanting your business to wither in this rapidly advancing landscape. And the value of the evolution cuts to the future of your company, and those who inhabit it.

Organizations are already in a fierce battle to find and hire those with the sharpest technology skills in areas such as engineering, data science and information security. But demand for these talents far exceeds the supply of professionals.

Companies that are using modernized processes as a result of their digital transformation efforts might have a better likelihood of landing their top picks. Younger workers, in particular, could be more open to working for organizations that are adopting the latest technologies.

Breaking down organizational silos

Technology executives often bemoan the existence of organizational walls that make it difficult to leverage systems and data within an enterprise. Lines of business or various departments are not always open to sharing, which commonly leads to misalignment.

Digital transformation can help change that culture and break down the barriers, by consolidating some services, promoting greater information sharing and creating new technology standards wherever it makes sense. Companies can not only restructure as they’re transforming, but they can also create a new, unified mindset that emphasizes teams rather than hierarchies.

If you’re exploring new solutions to upgrade your development process, check out our guide to selecting the right product development platform.

Author Bob Violino is a freelance writer who covers a variety of technology and business topics

IT and business leaders are doing more than just talking about digital transformation. Many are making huge investments in related technologies this year, according to a new report from International Data Corp. (IDC).

The research firm predicts that worldwide spending on the technologies and services that enable the digital transformation of business practices, products and organizations will total more than $1.1 trillion in 2018, an increase of 17% over the $958 billion spent in 2017. The report analyzes current and future spending levels for more than 130 transformation use cases across 19 industries in eight geographic regions.

Digital transformation involves revamping business strategies, models, operations and processes. Increasingly, this is being done by adopting digital technologies such as cloud services, mobile devices and apps, big data/analytics, artificial intelligence, social media, enterprise applications, the Internet of Things (IoT) and other digital tools.

Among the key goals of transformation are to increase agility, efficiency and scalability — all of which can make companies much more competitive. By moving toward more digital operations, companies can more easily interact with their supply chain partners that are undergoing similar shifts.

Of the various industries IDC examined, discrete and process manufacturing lead the way in digital transformation spending. Companies in these sectors are forecasted to spend $333 billion combined on related products and services in 2018, accounting for nearly 30% of all digital transformation spending worldwide this year. These businesses will also set the agenda for many transformation priorities, programs and use cases, the firm says.

In terms of specific types of technology solutions, the biggest categories of spending will be applications, connectivity services and IT services. It’s somewhat surprising that among the strategic priority areas with lower levels of spending this year are building cognitive capabilities, data-driven services and benefits, operationalizing data and digital trust and stewardship.

These are all areas that have garnered lots of attention among IT leaders, who are looking to leverage the latest data management and predictive analytics tools to help their organizations gain a competitive edge. IDC says the findings suggest that many organizations are still in the early stages of their digital transformation journey.

As they move into more mature stages of development, IDC expects to see these priorities and spending, shift toward the use of digital information to further improve operations and to create new products and services.

To achieve its digital transformation strategic priorities, every organization will develop programs that represent a long-term plan of action toward these goals, the report says. The transformation programs that will receive the most funding in 2018 are digital supply chain and logistics automation ($93 billion) and smart asset management ($91 billion), followed by predictive grid and manufacturing operations (each more than $40 billion).

Each strategic priority includes a number of programs that are comprised of use cases, IDC says, and these are discretely funded efforts that support a program objective and the overall strategic goals of an organization. Use cases can be thought of as specific projects that use line-of-business and IT resources, including hardware, software and IT services.

The use cases that will receive the most funding this year include freight management, robotic manufacturing, asset instrumentation and autonomic operations.

Other recent research indicates that digital transformation is a top priority for organizations. Gartner Inc.’s 2018 CIO Agenda Industry Insights report released earlier this year shows that all industries in the study rank digital business as one of their top 10 business objectives.

The Gartner report is based on survey of 3,160 CIOs from 98 countries and 15 main industries. In 11 of the 15 industries participating, CIOs ranked digital business/digital transformation among the top three business priorities for 2018.

Author Bob Violino is a freelance writer who covers a variety of technology and business topics