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What is Joint Application Development (JAD)?

Posted by Adrian M.

Article Rating // 36818 Views // 6 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Requirements Analysis (BABOK KA), Analytical and Problem Solving Skills, SDLC, Process, and Methodologies


JAD stands for Joint Application Development. JAD is a requirements-definition and software system design methodology in which stakeholders, subject matter experts (SME), end-users, business analysts, software architects and developers attend collaborative workshops (called JAD sessions) to work out a system's details.

The JAD approach, in comparison with more traditional practices, is thought to lead to faster development times and greater client satisfaction, because the client is involved throughout the development process

The focal point of the JAD process is the series of JAD sessions that are attended by stakeholders, executives, SME’s, end-users, business analysts, software architects and developers. It is essential that the roles, responsibilities, and rules for the JAD sessions are well defined and communicated in advance to all participants.

Some typical roles found in a Joint Application Development (JAD) session include: 

  • Facilitator – 1 (only one) - usually a Senior Business Analyst - facilitates discussions, enforces rules,
  • Scribe – 1 or 2 – sometimes more junior BAs – take meeting notes and clearly document all decisions,
  • End users – 3 to 5, attend all sessions,
  • Technical Experts – 1 or 2, question for clarity and give feedback on technical constraints,
  • Tie Breaker – Senior manager (executive) - breaks end user ties, usually doesn’t attend,
  • SMEs - Subject Matter Experts, 
  • Observers – 2 or 3 - junior BAs, testers, etc. - do not speak. 



srikanth posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 10:43 AM
Joint Application Development (JAD) is a popular fact-finding technique that brings users into the development process as active participants.

Mathangi posted on Thursday, November 19, 2009 11:15 AM
Very Informative!!

dkumar posted on Saturday, March 13, 2010 9:22 AM
How often are JAD Sessions typically held?
garima posted on Thursday, May 6, 2010 1:57 AM
It surely will help.
But with this practice, much time is invested in designing a solution, will the management agree to such a tactic?
Wont it put a question to the business analyst skills and stake in a project? If the client and developer can come to a conclusion, why is a BA required?
How can such questions be dealt with?
Vitor posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011 5:17 AM
BA = sanity check
Adrian M. posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 2:35 PM
@vitor I like your "Business Analyst = Sanity Check" line! It sums up pretty well the reasons why BAs are critical to projects.
Adrian M.
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