My post here is going to discuss what Joint Application Design (JAD) is and how it can be used in decision making by a firm.
JAD is a methodology where all the by all the key people in the firm come together collectively in a workshop environment to discuss system details, review the current system and perhaps brain storm to design a new system. By doing so this helps to bring a structure to the requirement determination process while also reducing the amount of time needed to gather requirements, which shortens the overall development cycle.
These JAD sessions bring together key people from all areas of the firm such as, company stakeholders, IS staff, management, end-users and software architects and developers. This collaborative approach to decision making means that the solutions which are decided on will be more universally accepted by all the members involved as they had the opportunity to participate in the decision making process. In many cases projects are often put in limbo because of conflicting objectives or hidden agendas. By bringing all the decision makers together to design the system, JAD brings these issues to light early in the project, when they can still be addressed effectively and before they’ve had time to do much damage.
O End Users: Participate by explain their needs for the system and how they would use it
O Management: Discuss motivation for system and explain the organisations motivation
O Clients and Partners Fund the workshops and do not participate much, usually attend at the end to see to finished result.
O Professional/IS Staff/Systems Analysis: May propose ideas but should mostly listen and learn from the discussion
O Other: This includes the scribe who is there to document the meeting and the session leader who’s role is to manage the group and lead the group discussion and processes.
For JAD to work successfully it requires open participation and that everyone involved regards each other as equals regardless of job type. Often this does not occur though as some staff are unwilling to challenge the opinion of management where as some people such as technical staff are not given much opportunity to share their opinions. Apart from these minor difficulties JAD is widely seen as one of the leading methods for decision making within an information system.