The “Joint Application Development” Methodology Approach (JAD)

What is Joint Application Development (JAD)?

Joint Development Application (JAD) is a structured methodology that brings together developers, users and other stakeholders to discuss the software requirements, specifications and other elements of the software development life cycle. 

It has as a purpose the inclusion of the customer in the development process to deliver a satisfying end-product that will fulfill their needs more effectively

JAD enables clients to have complete autonomy and engage in the production of their applications through a series of workshops (called JAD sessions).

Use of a JAD Session

JAD sessions are highly organized, facilitated seminars that gather customer decision-makers and IT workers to achieve high-quality deliverables in a limited period of time. Simply put, the JAD sessions can:

  • Simplify − Combine months of conferences and phone calls into a formal workshop.
  • Identify – Problems and Participants
  • Quantify − Data and processing needs
  • Clarify − Crystallize and specify all criteria decided at the session.
  • Unify − Output from one stage of production is input to the next.
  • Satisfy – Consumers identify the method; thus it is their system. Shared engagement leads to the outcome; they are devoted to the performance of the processes.

When to use it?

  • Types of Projects: JAD can be implemented to a wide variety of projects, such as the following: New systems, Enhancements to existing systems, System conversions, and Purchase of a system.
  • Project Characteristics: However not all projects are successful nominees for JAD. The relevant project has at least some of the below characteristics: 
    • Involve a variety of user groups whose duties cross traditional department or divisional boundaries
    • Considered vital to the potential sustainability of the company
    • Include eager consumers
    • This is the first initiative for the company
    • Has a troubled project history or partnership between systems and user organizations;

JAD Participants

  • Facilitator – facilitates discussion and compliance with the rules 
  • End users – (3-5 people) attend all sessions
  • Developers – (2 or 3) to clarify the issue and give feedback on technical constraints
  • Tie Breaker – Senior Manager. Breaks end user’s ties, usually doesn’t attend 
  • Observers – (2 or 3) do not take part in the debate
  • Subject Matter Experts – a limited number to understand business and technology

Phases of JAD

  • Define Specific Objectives: The facilitator, in collaboration with stakeholders, sets out all the goals and a detailed list which is then circulated to other developers and partners for understanding and analysis. This goal includes elements such as the nature of this projected framework, its possible outcome, the technical requirements needed, etc.
  • Session Preparation: The facilitator is primarily charged for this preparation, where all related data are gathered and forwarded to other participants in advance. Research is carried out to better understand the system requirements and to gather all the required data for development.
  • Session Conduct: The facilitator is responsible for determining the problems that need to be resolved in making the system error-free. In this case, the facilitator will act as a delegate, but will have no say on any facts.
  • Documentation: Once the product has been created, records and process reports are sent to the meeting so that stakeholders and customers can endorse it via the meeting.

Pros and Cons of JAD


  • JAD makes it easier for you to overcome problems and create stronger, error-free applications.
  • Joint cooperation between the business and the clients eliminates all risks.
  • JAD decreases the costs and time required for the implementation of projects
  • Well-defined criteria to enhance system quality
  • Progress is faster due to close contact
  • JAD helps the team to drive each other to work harder and to deliver on time.


  • Different viewpoints within the team make it challenging to coordinate the priorities and sustain the emphasis.
  • Depending on the scale of the project, a substantial time commitment will be expected by JAD.
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