Tag Archive for: jama

I can’t believe Jama turns nine this summer! I started the company to solve a problem that frustrated me personally — the amount of time and money wasted when product teams built features nobody used. It seemed simple: connect stakeholders with engineers and get everyone on the same page. Problem solved!

While we’ve made tremendous progress and built a great team at Jama, we’re just getting started. Today’s products are driven by software, connected to the Internet and evolving rapidly. Complexity is increasing, development cycles are shrinking and the pressure is on to get it right the first time. To solve today’s product development challenges, we’ve got a lot more work to do.

Thinking back, I didn’t expect Jama would help our customers resupply the international space station, create breakthrough medical devices, build autonomous cars or ensure billions of dollars flow to the right accounts.  I wanted to help connect teams so they made fewer mistakes and find ways to scale product management best practices. But these customer stories make me the proudest of what we’ve accomplished.

So, here we are about to close our fiscal year 2016 and start a new year on May 1 (yes, we have an odd fiscal calendar, but that’s another story).  As we finish out the year, I wanted to share my thoughts on Jama’s growth and evolution.

This year was our first as a fully recurring revenue company with 100% year-over-year GAAP subscription revenue growth. The conversion from perpetual to subscription took two years and tons of hard work across the company — but it was worth it. The SaaS/subscription business model aligns us to our customers’ needs and requires that we deliver value for them every year. When they succeed, we succeed; it’s that simple. This is a strong foundation for building a company that delivers long-term value to the people that rely on its products and services.

We added over 100 new customers including NASA, United Technologies, Zoll, Eaton, John Deere, Samsung, NVIDIA and Estes. It’s exciting to see the products our customers are building. They truly are building the impossible products of the future, and that’s what our vision is all about. Working with our customers is what inspires me, and I love hearing the stories of these amazing projects that are changing the world.

This year, we doubled down on companies building connected products. Today’s complex systems are software-driven, with more options and new regulatory compliance challenges. These companies need new tools to help manage the complexity inherent in connected products, product variants and component reuse, and to achieve compliance — all while accelerating development cycles.

Jama has been preparing for this for some time. We committed a multi-million dollar investment in R&D to deliver on new capabilities to help customers innovate more efficiently. We are delivering a new Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) multi-tier, horizontally scalable platform built on REST APIs. Translated into English, this means that Jama can scale to meet the performance needs of the world’s most complex global product development initiatives, from medical devices to spacecraft, to intricate enterprise software systems.

We also know that many of our customers require the security of an on-premises solution. We will soon be launching the next generation of Jama On-Premises. Jama’s enterprise private cloud bundles our multi-tier cloud platform, packages it for delivery behind the firewall and automatically replicates our scalable platform and auto-provisions the platform in our customers’ data centers. This is specially designed for companies that require top-secret product development protocols and an on-premises option, but includes the scalability benefits of the cloud.

Our product development team is also delivering on our feature roadmap and releasing new capabilities, including actionable traceability, which simplifies real-time requirements decomposition. And, these traceability updates will launch this Spring!growth

Jama launched solutions for the medical, semiconductor, aerospace and automotive industries, as well as Scaled Agile (SAFe™). Software drives rapid innovation in these industries, and companies must accelerate development cycles in order to compete. To be successful, it’s critical that companies manage the complexity of concurrent software and hardware development, all while achieving regulatory approval.

As we look to the future and continued growth, I am excited to share that after nine years leading Jama from startup to scale up, I have hired Scott Roth to lead Jama’s next phase of growth.

I’m excited for Scott to join Jama for several reasons. He brings fifteen years of SaaS experience including executive roles in product, marketing, sales and service. Most recently, Scott was EVP and General Manager of Return Path’s global 250-person email optimization division. Prior to Return Path, Scott spent six years in executive leadership for ExactTarget prior to and after their $2.5B acquisition by Salesforce.

Scott’s industry experience and business acumen, combined with his passion for growth, made him my ideal candidate to lead Jama.

But beyond the resume, I’ve gotten to know Scott personally. He’s warm, caring, wicked smart and brings a bias toward action. Most importantly, we share views on the importance of culture and people-first leadership that have made Jama a unique and rewarding place to work.

Hiring Scott enables me to transition into a new role as Chief Strategy Officer and Chairman, a position that will allow me to dive deeply into the company strategy, engage directly with customers and partners, and evangelize the benefits of collaboration within product development.

This is an energizing and exciting time for all of us at Jama, and I look forward to doing big things together as we execute on our vision to make possible the impossible products of the future.

At Jama, we enjoy opening our doors to different groups and organizations. We feel it’s important to give back to our community, encourage networking with peers and supporting local organizations within technology.  Most recently, we hosted the Computer Science Class from St. Mary’s Academy.  St. Mary’s Academy is a private girls school in downtown Portland focused on educating and inspiring the next generation of leaders in our community and the world.

St Marys 1

Mike Bedney, Jr. is on the faculty at the school and championed a tour of local Software Companies in downtown Portland for his Computer Science students. The intent of the tour was to showcase women in technology positions within software, their roles within our company, what they enjoy most about working in technology and provide guidance for the students that may help them in their pursuit of a technical career path.

St Marys 2

The students were able to meet 5 of our staff from all across our organization. One of our Graphic Designers, Customer Support Community Manager, Solution Architect, Quality Assurance Engineer and Talent Partner. They all have a unique story to tell about their journey into technology and excellent advice for those interested in pursing a career in this field.  Opportunities are abundant in hi tech and continue to grow exponentially as new technology continues to be developed.  We need to encourage and educate the younger generations of the diverse technical opportunities that are waiting for them.St marys Thank You

As all fast-growing software companies know, recruiting talent can be a big challenge. You’ve probably hired some of the best and brightest nation-wide and paid their moving costs, and are ready to sponsor working visas, all to keep your business innovative and moving forward.

At Jama our recruiting efforts were eased this year when we found a great source of wonderfully bright and talented software engineers in our own backyard!

In July 2015, we began participating in the PSU/PDX Cooperative Education Program (PCEP) in which PSU Computer Science students work at our office (or another local partner company’s office) in a series of defined, practical internship roles, while completing their degree. The two-year program offers a major jump-start for a CS student’s career–a phenomenal opportunity to gain exposure to practical business operations and an opportunity to grow a professional network locally and beyond. Only the most accomplished students gain acceptance to the PCEP program among a highly competitive candidate pool.

For us at Jama we appreciate working with fresh-minded, highly enthusiastic software engineers, eager and efficient, open and ready to soak in as much product knowledge as possible. We also strongly value the reoccurring semi-annual pool of candidates who continually refuel our team. PCEP interns widen our point of view as a business, add to our efficiency, and bring  a sharp eye to the status-quo-questioning team we are known for in the market.

Khaosanga, Souriya

Souriya Khaosanga started at Jama as a software engineering intern through the PSU/PDX Cooperative Education Program

Meet Souriya Khaosanga, a PCEP Intern, who completed the QA, DevOps, and Developer tracks at three different software companies in Portland over the last two years.

Souriya is enthusiastic about the intern program, and appreciates the real-world experience. “You get to work for some of the best software companies in Portland,” he said. “This is the best place you can get the essential experience you need to be successful in any software company.  In addition, participants are mentored throughout their internship. It’s like having a private tutor walk you through the inner workings of a software company. These are concepts that school will not give you and you can only gain through work experience.”

The exposure to many different methods and software languages has been invaluable, Souriya said. “Because I was changing technologies so frequently, I always found myself learning new tools, languages, etc.  I pretty much learned that in software, I’ll always need to be exploring and learning new tools.”

The biggest surprise to Souriya was the fact that he was actually contributing to each business: solving real problems, learning new concepts and checking off big ticket items during his internship.

The best part for us? Once the PCEP interns are finished with their two-year mutli-company rotation, after they graduate local companies present offers to these exceptional–and now experienced–software developers.

We were honored when Souriya joined our team. He says he was attracted to Jama because of the cutting-edge tools and methodologies we employ. “But I’d say the biggest reason for coming to Jama is the people.  Everyone I meet at Jama is the type of person I wanted to work with.  I am learning a lot from these people and it has been great for my career.”

There you have it! A total win-win for Souriya and Jama. We couldn’t be more excited to continue our partnership with the PCEP program. We found software developers in Portland and so can you!

“Engineers are relatively good at logical decisions. The problem is with the assumptions. Testing the assumptions is the most important trait of a good systems engineer. Keep the critical-to-customer requirements always in mind; everything else supports these. Must not strangle the project with many meetings. System Level cannot be the only verification approach—Need to do things right the first time (at lowest level). There are thousands of ways to fail; most have not been explored.

Dr. Steve Jolly, Systems Engineering Director for Lockheed Martin Space Systems. Assembled from material presented at the 2011 NASA PI Forum.

Leave it to the Systems Engineer responsible for overseeing NASA’s early warning alert spacecraft to sum up the worries that keep Systems Engineers up at night.

Here at Jama, we work regularly with Systems Engineers and know how comprehensive their skills and responsibilities are. Many of our customers serve as trusted advisers to Project Managers, and assist in decision making. Most must also be skilled leaders, listeners, negotiators and diplomats. As Jama Solutions Architect Cary Bryczek explains, “To be a successful systems engineer, you should be a natural problem solver and excellent communicator. You need to be able to consider multiple factors and figure out ways for all of these factors to come together and form a whole process.”

Suffice it to say that for Systems Engineers, achieving the desired state of harmonious integration is no easy undertaking:

Tall tasks:

  • Delivering on requirements while dealing with multiple interests, competing agendas and numerous constraints.

Pressure points:

  • Missing out on critical customer feedback during early development stages.
  • Optimizing systems design for integration and balance, with no system or sub-system sacrificed or favored at another’s expense.
  • Being able to accurately assess relationships among the parts of a complex system to understand where compromises in development can be made safely and efficiently without harming functionality.
  • Guaranteeing that different components produced by specialty engineers will work as a cohesive and efficient system or product.

Burning desires:

  • To be able to assess and address, in one single platform, design compatibility, requirements definition, management of projects, cost analysis, scheduling, maintenance needs, ease of operations and future systems upgrades, and to communicate with engineers, managers, suppliers and customers regarding system operations.

With Jama, Systems Engineers can turn foreboding “Twilight Zone” episodes into fearless “Quantum Leap” epics.

How so? You’re able to…

  • Identify possible errors early in the project so they can be remedied before they impact quality.
  • Gain visibility upstream to understand the business requirements being worked on and receive prompt notification of requirements changes that impact tasks.
  • Understand (and help others understand) how complex systems and products integrate and operate, how well they meet overall goals and objectives, and how they can be improved.
  • Communicate easily with the entire project team to get clarification and decisions made, regardless of location.

Read 2 Brains, 1 Product: The Builder’s Dilemma to find out how Systems Engineers can use Jama to balance disciplines and create high-performing systems and products that meet goals and objectives.

Check out other ways Jama helps business and engineering teams get and stay aligned:

How Jama Helps VPs of Sales

How Jama Helps VPs of Product

How Jama Helps QA Leads

How Jama Helps Project Managers

How Jama Helps Business Analysts

How Jama Helps Product Managers

An unfair truth: Project Managers are expected to be janitors.

When there’s a mess, the PM must finagle and finesse the problematic actions, unexpected errors and sidetracked key players back into one clean and streamlined product-building machine. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: No other team member has as much of an across-the-board influence on a project’s outcome.

Maintaining orderly processes through each iteration, spec and requirements change is often a messy process of sprint, slow down, stall and re-start. And that’s a frustrating diversion of resources when your work entails the following:

Tall tasks:

  • Negotiating and setting (and re-setting) expectations among stakeholders and team members, regulating processes, tracking decisions and enforcing accountability as projects evolve.

Pressure points:

  • Gathering status information from team members.
  • Summarizing information for team and program leaders, VPs of Product, VPs of Sales.
  • Identifying schedule, scope and functionality problems before they become critical.
  • Feeling confident that teams will deliver to expectations.
  • Spending too much time resolving conflict and performance issues.

Burning desires:

  • To know, to the minute, how the project and the people involved are tracking to the plan. To see potential snags in scope or time so that you can resolve them, or send up flares right away. To answer the questions, “What’s everyone doing now?” and “What should they be doing next?”

With Jama, Project Managers can turn agonizing “$64,000 Question” episodes into undaunted “Six Million Dollar Man” epics.

How so? You’re able to:

  • Capture and view all information related to projects in one location.
  • Monitor changes to requirements, track changes across different teams and notify everyone who is impacted.
  • Understand who is working on what and when it’s due to be completed.
  • Communicate easily with all involved teams to solicit clarification, approvals, feedback and decisions, regardless of location or time zone.
  • Communicate easily with the entire project team to get clarification and decisions made, regardless of location.

Read Remove Barriers, Decide Faster & Increase ROI and learn how Jama helps you keep collaborators, stakeholders, resources, time, scope and expectations all in alignment, and always in check.

Check out other ways Jama helps business and engineering teams get and stay aligned:

How Jama Helps VPs of Sales

How Jama Helps VPs of Product

How Jama Helps Systems Engineers

How Jama Helps QA Leads

How Jama Helps Business Analysts

How Jama Helps Product Managers


Jama co-founders Eric, Derwyn and Sean collaborate with the dev team in one of our earlier offices

In the early days, there were three of us: Eric Winquist, Sean Tong and me. We were setting out to do something that we knew was needed in our industry, to build a truly collaborative tool that people would use to build really complex things. We had big ideas and a not so big office. As we moved into our first space, we were faced with a question of distribution: two rooms, three people.

One would have been ok, three would have been ok, but two rooms posed a problem. Making it worse was the fact that the smaller room was also the room with large bright windows looking out to some moderately good office park landscaping. Ultimately it was warm and inviting while the other room felt more like a glorified entryway. So the question loomed before us as we stood there awkwardly, each with a used laptop in hand. Who would get the small room with the windows?

It was too early in the start-up to make a decision based on hierarchy – that didn’t yet exist. We were peers embarking on a grand journey that was built on trust and respect. As the company evolved, that would happen naturally, but we weren’t there yet.

In the end, we did what any sensible start-up would do. We figured out how to cram three desks into the small room. The desks barely fit and getting in and out was awkward but it worked. The close quarters brought us closer together and enabled us to collaborate on the fly. Also, we now had a big empty room to fill with grand ideas – to stand up and talk things through when we hit roadblocks.

Since that first office, Jama has been in 8 different spaces. In each instance the first thing we’ve done is set about making it feel like home. Whiteboards are always a must, couches, computers (chosen by the user), and open spaces to think and explore.  We’ve never considered cubed walls and offices only recently have been used (with glass walls).

Instead of two rooms we now have two offices, and a lot more than 3 people. The tone struck in the early days of our inception has remained resonant through our growth. Open and collaborative remain the key tenets fostered in that early decision to focus on being a team before anything else.


Derwyn during a visit to an early Jama customer in Germany

Today, we are excited to announce a round of funding led by investors Trinity Ventures, with participation from Madrona Ventures Group. These firms are excellent, both in reputation and in their approach. Over the past six years, we have often considered the option of institutional investment, and until now, have opted to fund our growth organically, through customer revenue. Given the product delivery market opportunity, it’s the right time for the company to ignite the gas and fuel the next phase of our growth and we’ve found two partners who share our vision and who believe in the Jama plan.

Both Karan Mehandru, General Partner at Trinity Ventures, and Tim Porter, Managing Director at Madrona, have extensive experience advising Saas-based enterprise software companies. The Jama team extends a warm welcome to these new partners.

I could not be more excited about the opportunity in front of us. Jama’s strategy of addressing product-delivery challenges with an enterprisewide platform that knits together the business and development side of the process is resonating strongly with the market. Our core requirements-management, collaboration and testing solution over the past six years has proven our business model with a rapidly growing number of Jama customers – 600+ and counting – and a broader ecosystem of partners that have chosen to work closely with us on this journey to introduce a modern product delivery platform.

This journey will continue as we accelerate development of our core product and continue to take a leadership position in the market. The innovation we are delivering with social collaboration, requirements management and testing will further cement Jama as a core component of product-development strategies in the new age of highly complex, smart products, software and embedded systems.

With this funding we will focus on further investing in our own product and engineering teams, scaling our footprint geographically and raising our profile. It will enable us to increase the rate of innovation across all of the Jama projects. Those investments will continue to fulfill enterprise requirements and expand adoption with our customers in the coming months.

I am excited about the opportunity ahead. We have an amazing team here at Jama and I am thrilled to welcome these two amazing investors to our team.

At Jama, we work with the world’s most innovative companies and government agencies to manage the entire lifecycle of product delivery. They think differently, challenge the status quo, and are constantly looking for new ways to improve product delivery to gain that competitive edge. Unfortunately many find it really challenging to work with a legacy tool that no longer meets their needs. What is the risk to the business? What is the cost to move all the old data to a new solution?

We have built a world-class solution to help you move active data from IBM DOORS to Jama, a lower cost, cutting-edge product delivery platform. Jama’s import capabilities for IBM DOORS include the ability to bring along the requirements, test cases and other information you care about.

Don’t work the old way. Now is the time to move off IBM DOORS. We can help. Bring what you need into Jama, when you need it. The Jama DOORS migration solution will maintain all relationships, so you can easily configure or change any elements.

How does it works

Learn more! Contact us to see how it works.

Looking for Jama Contour? It’s still here as the solution for collaborative requirements management software, we just dropped the “Contour” and added a “Connect.” Meet Jama Connect! We’re excited to begin the next chapter of our story: redefining product delivery.

Product delivery involves the entire company. It doesn’t start with Product Managers defining requirements and end with Engineering and QA teams delivering a finished product. Successful product delivery requires connecting the right people in a company to take strategies and concepts all the way to market and ultimately translate them into business value.

Jama Connect builds on Contour’s proven requirements and test management success. It extends the current collaboration capabilities amongst the team, allowing them to capture ad-hoc conversations and decisions within the context of their projects and items. Most importantly, it provides product teams the ability to engage stakeholders outside the team into the right discussions to make timely decisions that will be part of the project’s system of record.


How can I add items to a review after it started?

There will come a time when you forget to add an item to a review. Rather than start over it would be great to be able to add items to a review that is already in progress. While there are some inherent risks to adding items to a review in progress, we also understand that it is necessary.

The key to adding items to a review already in progress starts with how you initiate the review. For example, if you start a review by clicking on a container like Project, Component, Set, or Folder, you will be able to add additional items to that review. However, if you start a review based on a selection of individual items you will not be able to add items to that review once it is in progress.

Invest two minutes and watch this short video as we break down the steps required to add items to a review already in progress. If you have any follow up questions, either post a comment below or access support via support.jamasoftware.com.