A Guide to Optimizing Engineering Team Collaboration

Jama Software

Team Collaboration

In an environment where modern systems are getting “smarter” and more complex every day, the product development process required to build them is also growing increasingly complicated. 

Today’s engineers face new challenges such as: 

  • Tight operational margins 
  • Accelerating rate of innovation 
  • Increasingly complicated end-user demands 
  • Heightened focus on getting to market faster 
  • Increased and changing regulations

RELATED: A Project Manager’s Guide to Negotiating Stakeholder Priorities like a Pro

For early-phase documentation and for coordinating small, simple projects, Word and Excel remain effective tools. But as product development grows more complex, teams need solutions that provide purposeful, structured team collaboration; connect globally-distributed team members; and accurately capture and facilitate feedback, decision making, and context for requirements under review. 

Increasingly, teams are augmented with many different types of players through contract manufactures or acquisitions or even strategic alliances. The benefits of team collaboration are rarely lost on industry leaders. Bringing together innovators to create a new way of doing things can revolutionize a sector, but without the correct support and infrastructure, collaborations often fail. 

Support Structured Collaboration with Modern Requirements Management   

Research conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Jama Software identified five obstacles to optimized product development: 

  • Unclear or changing requirements coupled with lack of timely feedback for solutions 
  • Lack of focus caused by conflicting stakeholder priorities, assumptions, and unclear objectives 
  • Difficulty collaborating across globally distributed teams 
  • Unnecessary handoffs and delayed decisions 
  • Increased collaboration across diverse roles, including executives, operations, marketing, and quality assurance 

Companies with teams spread across the world, increasingly complex products, and expanding product lines require a centralized system to manage requirements. These teams must be able to trace requirements from concept through design and implementation. Plus, given the disparate locations for teams, ease of use around a shared solution is a critical factor. 

When it needed a collaborative software solution for managing requirements within its Border Management portfolio, SITA (Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques), a multinational company providing IT and telecom services to the air transport industry, selected Jama Connect™ because their expanding portfolio of products brought added complexity.  

SITA makes a suite of products, and while individual releases can work on their own, they also must effortlessly integrate together. This, in turn, makes SITA’s products more complicated, and they grow even more so as customers request new customizations to fit their individual needs. “Keeping track of what customizations every customer uses on an already expanding portfolio was proving extremely complex,” says Alistair McBain, Sr. Business Consultant, SITA.  

[Jama Connect] has allowed us to get more people from our other offices involved in the collaboration process because we’re not all having to sit on a conference call at awkward times. People can come into the system at a time that suits them and review things. And we know their comments will be seen by everybody else.” 
Alistair McBain, Sr. Business Consultant, SITA 

Jama Connect provides SITA’s Border Management portfolio team with a centralized, accessible repository for all its requirements. As the team’s single source of truth, Jama Connect ensures everyone from business analysts to developers and testers — no matter where they are located in the world — are all working off the same set of current requirements.  

In an environment that introduces so much complexity into the product development process, a more strategic approach to team collaboration offers one of the best ways to address the challenges and obstacles of the modern product development landscape. 

Download the full eBook to learn how optimize team collaboration to streamline product development processes.


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