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JAD Sessions Part 2 – Roles

JAD Session Part 1 is here.

JAD Sessions have clearly defined participant roles. Each person has a critical part to play to make the session successful. Because of the short timeline (3-5 days) participants must be absolutely clear on how the JAD session will work and what their roles and responsibilities are. We recommend creating a training session tailored to your group detailing hour by hour what will be covered in the session and going over the rules. Below are the standard JAD session roles and responsibilities.

Executive Sponsor: The executive sponsor has the ultimate authority to make decisions about the project. The executive sponsor provides credibility to the process and ensures that all participants understand the importance of the process. They should attend the opening and closing of the JAD sessions to communicate the importance of the project.

Project Lead/Manager: The project manager provides information about the project regarding scope, time, coordination issues and resources.

User: Users are a majority of the group. They represent business areas that are directly or indirectly being affected by this project. They are experts in their area and can make decisions about their work. They are the primary source of the input to the requirements and during the JAD sessions.

IT Representative: IT representatives provide technical information when it is required, help develop architectural models and specifications, and determine what is feasible.

Facilitator: Prepares a draft of the requirements and organizes the JAD sessions. During each session, the facilitator controls the meeting and keeps the group on the agenda. The facilitator is responsible for classifying issues into those that can be solved as part of the meeting and those which need to be assigned for follow-up. The facilitator does not contribute content to the meeting and simply drives the conversation. Following the JAD sessions, the facilitator will create the final version of the requirements documentation.

Scribe: The scribe participates in JAD sessions by capturing the discussion and ensuring that there is clarity around decisions. Following the JAD sessions, the scribe will create the final version of the requirements documentation.

These roles and responsibilities come from Joint Application Development by Jane Wood and Denise Silver.

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