How to Get Executive Buy-in When Investing in Modern Product Development Platform

product development platform

We’ve seen numerous organizations adopt Jama Connect™ to help manage the complexity of modern product development. And from this, we’ve gained incredible insight into what makes organizations successful before – and after – adopting Jama Connect. One thing we’ve learned is that getting executive buy-in for the adoption of a modern product development platform can make the difference between success and failure.

While Jama Connect is a powerful product development platform, organizations who deploy our solution in conjunction with the following processes see the most tangible success.

With the proper implementation, communication, and support networks in place, Jama Connect can help you:

  • Build higher-quality products with fewer defects and less risk and rework
  • Bring your products to market faster and more efficiently
  • Decrease time spent in meetings so that more time can be spent innovating

Gaining Executive Sponsorship and What it Means for Your Product Development Platform Rollout

Transforming your product development process involves much more than just purchasing a platform – it demands involvement and commitment from many parts of an organization. Perhaps most importantly, it requires executive buy-in and support.

Gaining the support of an executive sponsor is critical to the success of Jama Connect within your organization. The sponsor’s primary role is to ensure that the implementation and deployment of Jama Connect aligns with the organization’s strategic goals and business objectives while also communicating Jama Connect’s business value across the organization.

In fact, if you take one lesson from this blog, it’s this:

Having an executive sponsor (or more than one) helps ensure that:

  • Leadership supports the initiative
  • The value of the product development platform is adequately communicated to all parties
  • Proper resources are assigned
  • Adoption is prioritized
  • Any roadblocks that may arise during the rollout are cleared
  • Issues are elevated to the right people in order to continue as planned

Executive sponsors are also accountable for the success of the product development platform within the organization and have the authority to implement recommended process changes that may arise during the project rollout.

Communication Before, During, and After Implementing Your Rollout

A product development platform is an investment. If you want your team and executive leadership to understand the value of it, you must identify your key business objectives, the corresponding challenges, and demonstrate how the solution can help (for instance, speeding time to market, cutting costs, mitigating risk).

Once you’ve identified the key business objectives that can be directly tied to Jama Connect, communicate this to end-users and anyone else who is impacted by the implementation. Expect to be asked “Why Jama?,” and have a clear answer for which business objectives Jama Connect helps solve.

Some organizations make the mistake of believing that adopting Jama Connect only affects product development teams. The truth is, implementing a new platform and process is far-reaching, and needs to be communicated across the organization. In fact, for the sake of transparency and clarity, you’ll want to have a good answer for “What’s in it for me?” for each impacted stakeholder.

You’ll especially want to consider the needs and objectives of the following people:

  • Managers and executives
  • Requirements management owners (product managers, BAs, system engineers)
  • Engineering / Development teams (HW/SW Engineers)
  • Test teams
  • Quality/Compliance teams

Change is Difficult – Make it Worth the Effort

Of course, the most important teams to communicate with are ones that will use Jama Connect on a daily basis. The primary impacted stakeholders will be more receptive to a major change if they are participating in the process, rather than being told that they must adopt a new tool.

Change is difficult, and without a full understanding of the benefits of using a new product development platform, teams may feel frustrated or resistant. One way to preemptively combat resistance is by identifying long- and short-term goals for each team involved.

Make sure to give teams context into why this is important, along with what changes to expect and when. Be prepared to explain the benefits of Jama – how it will improve workflows and how it will support corporate objectives.

PRO TIP: Ask your executive sponsor to continue the communication across the organization with a monthly update that keeps the teams informed about what Jama is, why it exists and how it’s empowering your organization to meet its goals. For internal communication, this content could easily be incorporated into any existing recurring communication channel your leadership uses.


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