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What is a JAD Session and what is the Business Analyst's role in one?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 91520 Views // 0 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Requirements Analysis (BABOK KA), Roles and Responsibilities


A JAD is a Joint Application Development (or Design) session. It is an opportunity for stakeholders with different points of view to come together to understand business requirements and brainstorm what the best technical approach might be for meeting the customer's needs.

A JAD is a challenging environment because it is a meeting or workshop that brings together people from a number of different disciplines. They could include business or product owners, systems analysts, enterprise architects, solution architects, software developers, and managerial staff. Each will come with their own points of view and may at times resort to lingo specific to their focus area.

The Business Analyst (BA) frequently stands front and center as the facilitator of a JAD and as the presenter of what the business needs, objectives, and requirements are. The BA may also further elicit requirements as needed.

As facilitator, the BA's job is to ensure the meeting keeps running smoothly. That requires setting the agenda, making sure the agenda items are being met, help brainstorm when discussions become snagged, and bring order when discussion gets heated or defensive. The BA should come prepared with copies of the agenda and business requirements documents.

If asked to serve as the representative of the business, the BA must be fully informed of what the business needs are and be prepared to discuss and explain them. That may mean responding to questions from the technical staff with regards to how the business would like to see something implemented.

If other business stakeholders are present, the discussion between them and the other JAD members may cause them to realize that additional business requirements need to be captured. The BA would elicit and capture those requirements. If technical requirements come to light, the BA may capture those if they have the necessary expertise, or else rely on a systems analyst to do so at the meeting.

A JAD is successful, and therefore the Business Analyst is successful, when there is a "meeting of the minds" among all of the individuals present with agreement on what kind of solution needs to be developed to fully address business needs, with all requirements put in writing to facilitate development.


Joe Barrios, Career Coach
Your Business Analyst career, from resume to job offer



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