Tag Archive for: remote collaboration

This post is part of a series written by Alan Demers, founder of InsurTech Consulting and author of Insurance Thought Leadership. Stay tuned in the coming months for more.  

The Top Challenges of Property & Casualty Insurance Product Development   

Today’s P&C Insurance landscape is both vibrant and facing major disruptive change.  With the top 10 carriers commanding well over 70% of the personal lines, auto and home insurance market and hundreds of additional carriers making up the balance, things were already highly competitive.  Growth in digital channels has altered insurance shopping and buying behaviors adding to the commoditization trend of insurance products, making it easier than ever to switch carriers, especially for auto insurance. Telematics for auto, IoT, and smart home technologies are engaging consumers differently and offer the benefit of avoiding and mitigating losses as the industry shifts towards risk prevention from traditional sole protection and indemnification models. These are just a few noteworthy trends among a host of automation efforts, new insurance models and products – all happening throughout the recent insurtech movement. 

Commercial lines continue to become more vertically specialized, particularly in small business lines. New insurtech entrants tend to focus on disrupting select product lines where larger, multiline established carriers may underserve certain business owners and markets. 

The P&C industry is moving through a broad range of innovation with over $15 billion during 2021 in venture capital investment and scores of outside influences converging on this 100+ year industry like never before. Meanwhile, established carriers are pushing through multi-year legacy system transformations, heavily investing in innovation while striving to modernize core processes which have historically been manual and people centric. 

Each of these variables are pressuring insurers to lower operating costs while automating and launching new products to differentiate and compete in protecting market share with only a handful of carriers capable of gaining share. New products and revisions to existing insurance products demand calls for rapid speed to market vs. traditional launch times that typically span up to a year or longer. The insurance product development process is highly dependent on effective requirements management and constant cross-functional team collaboration, which is vital to avoid costly delays, defects, and premium refunding due to undetected errors. 

RELATED POST: A Guide to Requirements Elicitation for Product Teams

Challenging Remote Workforce Barriers

Insurers are highly people driven organizations and are well-known for having siloed organizations given the pervasive scale and specialized work teams. When it comes to developing and launching a new insurance product – it truly takes a village. Stakeholders and contributors span from several highly specialized areas, including actuarial, pricing, underwriting, legal, claims, marketing and distribution to name a few. Thus, collaboration does not always come naturally nor easily.  Associate engagement and company culture are top priorities and having the right tools and technology can make a big difference given that much of insurance product development relies on, legal research, specialized rate making expertise, approvals and decisions often made through emails and organized via spreadsheet tracking.  Some use collaboration platforms and shared drives, which can be helpful but lack versioning, baselining, uniformity and most importantly change and impact analysis due to ineffective live traceability.   

While carriers are adopting automation, much of the attention is on gaining new customers, services, distribution, and overall efficiency gain. Digitization, self-services, and artificial intelligence for predictive analytics are a few examples. New data sources, such as geospatial and personalized data and image analytics are being leveraged from underwriting to claims management. Automation of internal processes such as pricing (ratemaking) and product development have seen lesser insurtech funding and focus and tend to be less obvious or viewed as more complicated areas to solve in comparison. Leading insurance companies have recognized these processes must receive greater attention to drive competitiveness and increased speed to market.

Speed to market and quickness to revise and modify products have many obvious benefits in today’s highly competitive P&C insurance marketplace.  Most would agree that the typical insurance policy itself is quite complicated. A look behind the scenes at the process of pricing, rate making and filings with respective state departments of insurance along with attendant policy administration and IT programming is where the real complications begin.  After all, insurance premiums are priced on an individualized basis by design. In other words, each consumer, or segment of customers more realistically, have differing risk profiles and thus different price points which can number in the thousands of different rates for a single product.  

RELATED POST: The Real Intent of Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) – Keeping Up with Complexity

Industry Regulations

The US insurance industry is regulated on an individual state level through each respective department of insurance, responsible for approving products and regulating rates among other consumer protection focal areas. Additionally, each state has a bevy of insurance regulations, statutes and common laws and each insurer has differing marketing, regional considerations and so much more to balance when it comes to launching new products. With all of this in mind, it is easy to see how errors can be made or interpretations might differ, only to be discovered at a later time, which adds cost and increases regulatory scrutiny.  

 There is a lot to be said about doing things right the first time by being able to test, trace and apply impact analysis early and often. The consequences of product defects are most visible during so-called market conduct studies performed by departments of insurance which can result in penalties, fines, and premium refunds. Or, a carrier may self-discover a defect and proactively take measures. Either way, the amount of resources and efforts to identify root causes and deploy remediation measures are extremely costly and often harmful to the brand itself. Less visible scenarios can occur during product development cycles and simply result in time delays, re-work and fixes which account for the extra time to launch or altogether delay and avoid making revisions to existing products.  The stakes are high in terms of costs and missed opportunities. Insurers investing in tools and technologies to build insurance products better and more efficiently can enjoy a competitive advantage. 


Remote Work

As of early 2020, half of all workers had never worked from home. And it’s likely that workers won’t return to the office for quite some time. For some, maybe never at all.

Remote work may be beneficial — or even essential — for employees and organizations, but it comes with its own set of challenges. As telework becomes more common, it will be essential to ensure that engineering teams can effectively collaborate — in real time — from anywhere, using a modern product development platform offering detailed feedback and context, plus visibility into the development process for informed decision-making. 

“In the long distance between California and Spain, I feel like I’m connected to the team.”

– Carmen Pazos, Diagnostic Divisions R&D Instruments Senior Manager, Grifols
Read the whole story

Check out our new infographic, Realigning Engineering Teams for Remote Work, to learn more about:

  • The top challenges engineers face while working remotely
  • A blueprint for successful remote product development
  • How Jama Connect can help enable better remote collaboration

Learn how to align your teams for remote engineering in order to ensure efficiency and effective collaboration in this infographic.

Editor’s Note:  In a time where remote collaboration and distributed teams are quickly becoming the norm rather than the exception, we’re proud to share this post on the value of effective collaboration around medical device design and product development. This article was originally published here on May 5th, 2020 by MedTech Intelligence and written by Jama‘s VP of Customer Success, Clay Moore.

Medical device

How Effective Collaboration Can Expedite Medical Device Design

Medical device companies are committing significant resources to the fight against Covid-19. Collaboration tools can help expedite product design while supporting evolving compliance standards.

Weeks after the COVID-19 lockdown, medical device companies continue to face challenges as they manage remote engineering teams working rapidly to keep up with a changing environment. Now that the initial shock has passed, companies are becoming more well-versed in their new workplaces and identifying how to keep remote engineering teams working successfully.

Teams are under pressure to meet quality and compliance standards while staying on pace to hit delivery dates, and optimizing the efficiency of remote engineering teams as they develop complex devices can be difficult. Normally, products can undergo multi-month-long review cycles, which tie up valuable resources. Technology, when properly leveraged, can reduce that review cycle by as much as 75%—a vast improvement.1

Effectively streamlining collaboration is key to expedite design reviews and medical device product launches. The following is how companies can use collaborative technology to maximize output while meeting critical health standards.

Reduce Dependency on Documents

Medical device companies have been forced to come to terms with their current processes to see if they work for remote engineers. Most know that helpful technology exists, but platforms that promise to streamline lengthy processes can be intimidating. Companies that delayed digital adoption are especially disadvantaged.

The document-based requirements management approach often used by medical device companies limits visibility into the design process across teams. This makes it difficult to scale across multiple product lines and versions, especially with teams working remotely, and it increases expenses.

Collaborative requirements management software can help engineers easily communicate and smoothly define, review and validate information digitally to ensure projects are tracking and a clear path to compliance and launch is visible. Effective software reduces manual processes that limit innovation and add time to development.

Medical device companies should seek collaboration tools that help their engineers clearly communicate the path to launch, tasks and ownership, and current status and action items needed. Remote work on complex processes requires seamless communication and understanding where work is being bottlenecked so teams know how to direct their attention.

Stay On Top of Compliance

In the medical device industry, understanding current product regulations is key to shape the product development process. In recent weeks, the FDA has issued changes to its 510(k) program, and the European Parliament voted to delay the EU Medical Device Regulation.2,3 Companies who have a centralized approach and real-time access to requirements and design can minimize the added overhead of regulatory requirements, streamline development, and minimize risk.

When companies lack resources to efficiently locate regulatory standards and swiftly communicate them to engineers, they’re wasting time and limiting the ability to mitigate risk. Using traditional collaboration tools or Word documents to manage the product development process isn’t effective, leading to teams spending days or weeks to pull together documentation in preparation for an audit. Ensuring compliance requires context and visibility throughout the design process, and innovative tools that structure collaboration and put compliance and regulation at the forefront can provide both.

Good requirements management software uses a lifecycle approach to make sure compliance is integrated into the design process. Team members are held accountable, and workstreams keep track of when signoffs occurred.

Getting compliance right can be a challenge with engineers working remotely—but it is too important and too costly to get wrong. It can cost $600 million to recall a product.4

Remote Collaboration Sets Medical Device Companies Up for Success

Companies forced to embark on their digital transformation journey during this pandemic can save valuable time and money on product launches by embracing requirements management software to help streamline communication, structure collaboration, and ensure compliance.

This level of collaboration is more prevalent than ever, especially considering the state of work may change as we know it. In fact, a Gartner, Inc. survey revealed that 74% of CFOs and finance leaders will move at least five percent of their previously on-site workforce to permanently remote positions post-pandemic.5 Engineering teams need to make remote collaboration an effective part of their normal operating routines, starting now.

By embracing the right technologies, medical device companies are not only investing in supporting their teams at this crucial time but also they are investing in the success of taking products to market, as the world conducts more and more business online.

  1. Case Study: Healthcare Leader Grifols Uses Jama Connect to Cut Costs and Speed Development”. (June 2019). Jama Software.
  2. FDA Relaxes Rules on Ventilators for COVID-19”. (April 2020). The Regulation Review.
  3. EU MDR: Parliament Overwhelmingly Backs One-Year Delay”. Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society.
  4. The Business Case for Medical Device Quality”. (October 2013). McKinsey & Company.
  5. Gartner CFO Survey Reveals 74% Intend to Shift Some Employees to Remote Work Permanently” Gartner, April 2020

Take a look at some of our other resources around collaboration that we’ve compiled for easy review here:


Cities may be opening up, but many engineering teams continue to work remotely on product development as companies slowly reopen.

Has your team found its rhythm? If your organization hadn’t planned for a distributed team, staying aligned without jeopardizing quality, efficiency, or timelines could still feel challenging. Jama Software helps the distributed engineering teams of global companies like Grifols, SITA, and Einride work seamlessly and successfully, and has for years.

Here’s what they say works best to keep the product development process on track.

1. Intuitive technology

Intuitive technology is user-friendly by design. It improves efficiency and momentum on a distributed team. Technology like this helps onboard team members, keep them aligned to projects, and connected to team members and their work.

Jama Software customer insight: Grifols

Healthcare leader Grifols adopted Jama Connect™ to help manage the product development process between teams in different countries. They cite the user-friendly, intuitive platform as a key reason they can bring everybody up the speed on changes so quickly. Right away, teams feel comfortable and encouraged to participate, comment, and engage in robust discussions.

“In the long distance between California and Spain, I feel like I’m connected to the team.”

– Carmen Pazos, Diagnostic Divisions R&D Instruments Senior Manager, Grifols
Read the whole story

2. Centralized change management

Scattered engineering teams still face evolving regulations and requirements for increasingly complex products. When teams can manage change like reviews and requirements from a single, central location the risk of rework or miscommunication goes down. Relevant stakeholders that collaborate, iterate, and issue approvals in a visible area never lack context.

Jama Software customer: SITA

Multinational company SITA wanted to align remote teams and facilitate effective collaboration around requirements. They chose Jama Connect to get an efficient, easy way for cross-functional teams to review requirements and a centralized, accessible repository for all the company’s requirements.

“Jama Connect has allowed us to get more people from our other offices involved in the collaboration process … People can come into the system at a time that suits them and review things. And we know their comments will be seen by everybody else.”

– Alistair McBain, Sr. Business Consultant, SITA
Read the whole story

3. Real-time data sharing

The product development process requires teams that work with structured, live data, even when remote. They need to be able to define, review, and validate it at any time. Critical functionality of the product they’re working on could depend on it. Communication among teams and stakeholders needs to go beyond the basics of collaboration. It’s about more than just a conversation or a simple text edit.

Jama Software customer: Einride

Einride’s feature-based development process uses the Jama Connect platform to identify which feature should receive the highest priority for development. The collaborative elements of the Comment Stream feature helps distributed engineering teams communicate critical changes to each other as part of their daily operations. For example: Einride develops features at a fast pace, often enhancing the functionalities of their electric freight vehicles after they’re deployed. Teams need to react fast and change tracks if necessary — and collaborate with each other early in the process.

“This is the biggest challenge   to know what feature has the highest priority to be improved and/or developed…as we don’t have hundreds of developers, it’s crucial for us to know this as soon as possible.”

– Sabina Söderstjerna, Team Lead, Einride
Read the whole story


Learn more about how Jama Software can help you improve collaboration in your product development process.


Explore Resources


We’ve posted the recording from our 
popular webinar How to Realign Engineering Teams for Remote Work with Minimal Disruption, hosted by Jama Software’s VP of Customer Success Clay Moore and Principal Solutions Architect Aaron Perillat.

Hear stories about how the shift to remote work impacts product development priorities and learn what best practices work effectivelyBy the end of the 50minute webinar, you’ll see a path forward. You can support collaboration and innovation throughout your product development processwithout jeopardizing quality, efficiency, or timelines.

 how collaborative requirements tools in the Jama Connect platform help teams work remotely.


Jama Software has 10+ years’ experience helping distributed engineering teams stay aligned throughout the product development process. Clay and Aaron apply that experience as they guide you through your new remote work reality.  During the webinar, Aaron logs in to our requirements management platform Jama Connect and demonstrate how its capabilities help you: 

  • Conduct entirely remote reviews. 
  • Drive collaboration across distributed teams. 
  • Manage change remotely. 

You’ll see how Jama Connect can help you on a day-to-day basisThe demonstration also touches on how integration with your systems can facilitate change management overallhelpful benefit even after we all return to a regular work mode. 

Watch the webinar How to Realign Engineering Teams for Remote Work with Minimal Disruption.


Remote collaboration is here to stay. Your remote engineering teams can adapt to the new reality without jeopardizing quality, efficiency, or product development timelines if they plan ahead. But first, they have to know what to look for.

Anticipate new challenges in remote collaboration.

Face-to-face, quickly assembled meetings and hallway chats aren’t options anymore. That matters when it’s time to make critical decisions. Suddenly, speed and consensus seem impossible, even though they’re crucial to your product development process.

Tools like Zoom, Slack, and shared docs can only help to a certain extent. They remain important communication tools for remote workers. But they can’t keep up with the communication demands for your virtual engineering teams building complex products.

Maintain alignment in team communication and collaboration.

Successful communication among remote engineering teams requires alignment.  Teams need to be able to define, review, and validate requirements in real-time to ensure the right team has the right information at the right time. Critical functionality of the product they’re working on could depend on it. 

Successful collaboration goes beyond a conversation or a simple text edit. It has to be structured, to:  

  • Focus on the product being built.
  • Include context to inform the conversations and decisions being made. 
  • Provide broad visibility into the development process to manage change. 

Four best practices to help engineering teams adapt to remote work.

All this is easier said than done, especially when remote collaboration wasn’t expected and hadn’t been part of a business’ regular product development process.  But Jama Connect customers who already support remote teams in their daily business shared their insights with us. We’ve collected them here to help you.

1. Establish a common definition of success.
Teams need alignment on what they’re building so they don’t waste time. Clarify expectations up front. What do the terms “define,” “build,” and “test” mean, for instance? What does success look like based on feedback loops such as customer interviews and design reviews?

2. Empower better decision making.
Ensure the whole team clearly understands the “why” at the beginning of a project. You’ll equip everyone with what they need to make better decisions. Good decisions require situational awareness, comprehension of impact, and a way to gather input from others – and these all start with the “why.” Clearly defined responsibilities empower those involved to initiate and resolve follow-up questions and issues.

3. Tighten up your traceability.
Certain industries need to demonstrate compliance with regulations. Traceability analysis proves your system holds up under regulatory demands and meets contractual terms. Coverage analysis tightens this process, and helps teams find gaps and understand positive and negative progress. Extend traceability beyond engineering processes to link development and test activities back to the business rationale. 

4. Collaborate with purpose.
Connect everyone on the team to relevant data that’s tied to the work. Don’t make decisions outside the process, such as in documents or emails. This can help speed the decision process, reduce costly rework, provide proof of critical decisions for compliance and ensure teams hit development timelines. 

Want more best practices and tips? Watch a recording of our webinar, “Ask Jama: Best Practices for Remote Collaboration with Jama Connect.