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11014 - Joint Application Development (JAD)

by - Joe Francis

Article appears courtesy of Danny Engelman’s Gems and Jewels of the AWARE list

Who uses the term Joint Application Development (JAD)?
Know what it means?

Long Ago ("long" being a Relative Term), there was a land where the I/S Wizards (who lived in their Domain) and the Business Partners (who lived in their Realm) existed .

The Business Partners went to the gates of the I/S Wizards Domain, and asked the I/S Wizards, "Please, can you create for us a Program to do these things?" This I/S Wizards, after much Entrail Reading, and loud complaining of the Development Time, said, "Yes. Give us all your Documentation, and we will see what we can do." Then, the I/S Wizards disappeared into their Domain, sometimes for months or even years at a time, where, some whispered, much Spell Casting and Playing of Solitaire occurred.

Finally, the I/S Wizards emerged from their Domain, shouting, "Here it is, your completed Program!" The Business Partners, after reviewing the Program, cried, "But it doesn't do any of the things the Documentation asked for!" The I/S Wizards, realizing they hadn't even glanced at the documentation, cast a Spell on the Business Partners to make them believe the Program did some of the things they requested, albiet in a Strange Manner, and that the I/S Wizards would periodically issue Updates To The Program, under the auspices of Program Enhancements.

The Business Partners returned to their Realm, where they interacted with the Program in a Strange Manner, and periodically received from the I/S Wizards, Updates To The Program, under the auspices of Program Enhancements.


Nowadays, the folks in I/S and the Business Partners meet in teams to discuss the Program, and lay out EVERYTHING for all to agree on, before any code is written. This is JAD (Joint Application Development). A good example of JAD on the MultiMedia side is embraced by Allen Communications "Designer's Edge." This program automatically forces everyone to consider issues such as the audience profiles, their needs, course maps, design strategies, script-storyboards, etc. It enhances a group-centric Program design philosophy by making relevant data easily accessible to the team members.

"Rapid Prototyping," embraced by many developers could also be considered a subset of JAD. This involves the team discussing a component of the program, the developer going off and quickly putting it together, and then showing it to the team. The main concern is the functionality of the component, not the look. The more rapidly the component is assembled, the easier it is to discard if the team decides it isn't what they are after. If it IS what they are after, the programmer, now with graphic designer and interface designer in tow, can take the component to the next level, again returning it for review.


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