Full form: Joint Application Development
Category: Computing

Meaning of Joint Application Development.

Joint application design (JAD) is a process used in the life cycle area of the dynamic systems development method (DSDM) to collect business requirements while developing new information systems for a company. "The JAD process also includes approaches for enhancing user participation, expediting development, and improving the quality of specifications." It consists of a workshop where "knowledge workers and IT specialists meet, sometimes for several days, to define and review the business requirements for the system." The attendees include high level management officials who will ensure the product provides the needed reports and information at the end. This acts as "a management process which allows Corporate Information Services (IS) departments to work more effectively with users in a shorter time frame".

Through JAD workshops the knowledge workers and IT specialists are able to resolve any difficulties or differences between the two parties regarding the new information system. The workshop follows a detailed agenda in order to guarantee that all uncertainties between parties are covered and to help prevent any miscommunications. Miscommunications can carry far more serious repercussions if not addressed until later on in the process. (See below for Key Participants and Key Steps to an Effective JAD). In the end, this process will result in a new information system that is feasible and appealing to both the designers and end users.

"Although the JAD design is widely acclaimed, little is actually known about its effectiveness in practice." According to the Journal of Systems and Software, a field study was done at three organizations using JAD practices to determine how JAD influenced system development outcomes. The results of the study suggest that organizations realized modest improvement in systems development outcomes by using the JAD method. JAD use was most effective in small, clearly focused projects and less effective in large complex projects. Since 2010, the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) has measured the significance of facilitated workshops, a la JAD, and found significant value.