Joint Application Design (JAD)

3 Feb

Joint Application Design (JAD)
 is a methodology that involves the client or end-user in the design and development of an application, through a succession of collaborative workshops called JAD sessions. Chuck Morris and Tony Crawford, both of IBM, developed JAD in the late 1970s and began teaching the approach through workshops in 1980. The JAD approach, in comparison with the more traditional practice, is thought to lead to faster development times and greater client satisfaction, because the client is involved throughout the development process.

In comparison with the traditional approach to systems development, the developer investigates the system requirements and develops an application, with client input consisting of a series of interviews. A variation on JAD, rapid application development (RAD) creates an application more quickly through such strategies as using fewer formal methodologies and reusing software components. When done properly JAD saves time and money.


JAD can be successfully applied to a wide range of projects, including the following:

  •  New systems
  •  Enhancements to existing systems
  •  System conversions
  •  Purchase of a system
  •  Project Characteristics

Not all projects, however, are good candidates for JAD. An appropriate project exhibits at least some of the following characteristics:

  •  Involves many groups of users whose responsibilities cross traditional department or division boundaries
  •  Is considered critical to the future success of the organization
  •  Involves willing users
  •  Is a first-time project for the organization
  •  Has a troubled project history or relationship between the systems and user organizations.

Benefits of JAD

The JAD approach provides the following benefits:

  •  Accelerates design
  •  Enhances quality
  •  Promotes teamwork with the customer
  •  Creates a design from the customer’s perspective
  •  Lowers development and maintenance costs

JAD achieves these benefits because of the following factors:

  •  The decision-makers are all present
  •  The facilitator keeps the group focused on the goals
  •  Differing views are handled immediately
  •  Most errors are caught in the Analysis and Design stages
  •  The system design reflects the user’s desires
  •  Issues are resolved quickly
  •  Assumptions are documented and understood
  •  The process tends to gain momentum, not lose it



One Response to “Joint Application Design (JAD)”

  1. sad112759089 February 4, 2013 at 1:16 am #

    Nicely layout blog. I like that you Included the history of the JAD and the benefits of it!

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