In this blog post, experts from OpsHub and Jama Software talk about leveraging Jama Connect in a multi-tool environment.
The siloes created by teams utilizing best-of-breed tools negatively impact transparency, traceability, and collaboration across software development organizations. This challenge has been compounded with remote working across cities, countries and regions and the increasingly fast-paced changing of requirements, customer needs and release cycles. All these factors make it difficult to have effective governance and compliance.
In this webinar we walked through high-fidelity integration drives effective governance and compliance while allowing teams to leverage the most effective tool for their work. This delivers more value, reduces risk, and increases real-time collaboration resulting in better visibility across product value streams.
We also demonstrated how integrating Jama Connect with tools like Jira, Azure DevOps, and Microfocus ALM can help your organization:
- Deliver more value
- Reduce risk
- Increase real-time collaboration
- Improve visibility across product value streams
Below is an abbreviated transcript and a recording of our webinar.
Integration: Leveraging Jama Connect in a Multi-Tool Environment
Paul Culling: Jama and OpsHub work really closely from a product management sales and customer support perspective. So for the agenda, today’s webinar will focus on the integration of multi-tool environments, we’ll touch on modern best of breed tool chains that are so common throughout software development organizations.
We’ll speak about the challenges of manual integration and how manual or multiple point to point integrations really aren’t that viable as a long-term solution. We’ll talk about the value of utilizing the integration platform to provide a scalable and extendable integration solution that can adapt to change in tool environment or even how those tools are used within your organization.
We’ll then speak about some things you should think about when designing your integration strategy and how you can use that integration strategy to optimize your value stream from ideation through the delivery of value to your end customers. We’ll finish off the webinar with a demo of Jama Connect integrated with multiple tools, including JIRA, Azure, DevOps and Micro Focus ALM. Jeremy?
Jeremy Johnson: Thanks, Paul. So I’m going to start with a little bit of a view here of today’s multi-tool IT landscape and what that typically is comprised of in the product development sphere. Typically, what we see today are multiple best of breed tools. A lot of organizations have specific teams with a very specific objective, might be dedicated and very specific, very bespoke testing solutions for different teams, different risk management solutions, and things that really need to be tailored to make sure that the organization is unlocking value.
And so we see this a lot in most organizations, that they’re really looking at best of breed tools, not a broad suite that’s comprised in a huge monolith to make sure that the organizations tend to be fairly agile and fairly quick to respond based on the specific role the value stream. What that does tend to lead to though is data, can get locked in silos across those tools.
Organizations are trying to be as agile as possible
Jeremy Johnson: When you have teams working in these bespoke and very specific best of breed tools, that data can be siloed, it can be difficult to share that information, and so you get fragmented value streams, these different roles across the organization that are adding value to the product development efforts. Those roles and those functions and those work streams can become highly fragmented.
What we also see is a tendency for organizations more and more to shrink release cycles. Organizations are trying to be as agile as possible, trying to move quickly, trying to get product to market, trying to innovate as quickly as possible. And so we tend to see that shrinking release cycles shrinking the development process to try to get products to market as quickly as possible, and we’ll talk about some of the ramifications of that here in a moment.
Jeremy Johnson: What we’re also seeing, of course, is a continued reliance on remote or distributed teams across geographies. The product development world, the world in its entirety has really gone through a transformation over the last 15, 18 months here. And even though we’re seeing more organizations start to pull their folks back into an office setting, at least in part, we still have organizations, of course, that have global teams have teams that are performing different functions, different parts of the value stream. And so keeping those folks connected is continuing to be extremely important, and of course, we foresee that to be an ongoing concern in the future.
So when we think about this accelerated delivery cadence, it really demands a very dynamic and responsive ecosystem. When you have lack of visibility, when you have data that’s potentially locked up in these different silos across the organization, you have a lack of broad visibility, you have a challenge with collaboration, you’re not getting the best input, you’re not getting the best insight from all of the teams, from all of the data that you have and in your team.
And when you have to actively source that information, when you have to actively put energy into collaboration, rather than putting it in as part of the core system that you work within, it really, really does impact productivity significantly. The next impact of course, is poor traceability. So when you have this disparate data, you’re trying to move quickly, you may have gaps in traceability.
You may have gaps in connecting requirements to task risk information, your costs for managing governance, managing compliance goes up if you’re having to fill that information, maybe on the back end of the process, rather than maintaining that connectivity, making sure that the verification and validation process is sound throughout the development life cycle. And that also introduce quite a bit of risk.
Challenge: Mitigating Risk
Jeremy Johnson: If you’re doing a lot of that work at the back end, that’s a tremendous amount of risk of things being missed, things going too far down the development cycle before they can be corrected, and that definitely leads to a lot of risk. And what that can lead to is these information gaps, quality issues, potentially product delays, rework, things like that. And so when you have this accelerated delivery cadence, filling in those gaps at the back end becomes much, much more challenging than they might’ve been in a more methodical, deliberate cadence.
You also have this gap in decision-making where you don’t have that real time information, you don’t have those points of data connected, you’re not able to really get accurate real-time assessment of where things are at in your product development life cycle, you’re maybe making decisions on data that’s not timely, that’s not accurate, and it increases the risk of course, of making poor decisions based on incorrect or outdated data.
Jeremy Johnson: The last thing that tends to come into play here is manual methods. This is something that has been in play for many organizations. For most organizations, that probably still have some level of play. Trying to get data between systems, sharing things via email, and shared document management systems and things like that, tends to increase the chances of error, the chances of gaps and certainly is another area which causes a great deal of additional time and additional effort to maintain.
And so when we think about the manual piece a little bit deeper, if you’re trying to maintain the state of connection between different best of breed tools in the ecosystem, it’s tremendously expensive on the organization, and that’s from a direct cost and also from an indirect cost standpoint. So it’s certainly a huge drain on human capital on the workforce to try to pull all of those pieces together.
When you look at the potential impact from a risk standpoint, and some of those indirect costs, that expense on direct management can really go up exponentially. Again, it’s inaccurate and typically error prone. Whenever you’re relying on a human intervention as a regular part of your process, regardless of the accuracy, regardless of the processes you put in place, there’s still an opportunity, there’s still a potential for human error.
And so you always have that risk if you’re overly reliant on manual information sharing between groups in your product development life cycle. The last thing is, it really impacts velocity and responsiveness. If the ultimate goal is to accelerate a highly quality centric, product development life cycle, accelerate time to market, having to fill this information in manually is very much headwind on the organization.
To learn more, watch the full webinar, “Leveraging Jama Connect in a Multi-Tool Environment“