[Webinar Recap] Write Better Requirements with Jama Connect Advisor™

January 10, 2023 Decoteau Wilkerson

Write Better Requirements

In this blog, we recap the “Write Better Requirements with Jama Connect Advisor™” webinar.

Successful product delivery starts with having the right user needs and requirements. Efficient, precise, and professionally written requirements form the foundation of the product development process so that various teams (design, software, and hardware systems) can all work together with a shared and clear understanding of the project goals.

Jama Connect Advisor™ is a state-of-the-art requirements authoring guide and optimizer powered by natural language processing for engineering that helps a system engineer or a product developer write effective, well-organized requirement specifications based on industry-accepted INCOSE (International Council on Systems Engineering) rules and the EARS (Easy Approach to Requirements Syntax) notation.

Learn more about leveraging Jama Connect Advisor to:

  • Improve the quality and usability of your requirements
  • Save time authoring, reviewing, and updating requirement statements
  • Continuously enhance team requirement authoring skills with regular use
  • Deliver programs and projects on time and on budget with long-term success
  • Plus, hear from Rockwell Automation on their experience with Jama Connect Advisor

Below is an abbreviated transcript and a recording of our webinar.

Write Better Requirements with Jama Connect Advisor™

Jeremy Johnson: Great, thank you so much Juliet, and thank you so much to everybody that’s joining us today. This is a pretty special time for us, to be able to take a new capability to market from a product management and product development standpoint is just, it’s an extremely exciting time for us, so again, appreciate everybody’s time in joining us here today.

Before we transition into the main portion of the session here, I did want to provide a short introduction and short overview of our agenda. We’ll talk a little bit, for those that aren’t familiar with us, a little bit about Jama Software. We’ll talk a little bit about the trends in product development, some of the challenges that we see in requirements authoring. We’ll also, of course, introduce you to Jama Connect Advisor, who it’s for, how it works, we’ll get into a demonstration. We’ll also talk a little bit about our customer success program, specifically our customer success authoring workshop, and how we are now including and embedding the technology and the capabilities around Jama Connect Advisor into that consulting offering.

And then, as Juliet mentioned, our special guest, Sheila King, will go into the requirements quality focus that she’s helping implement at Rockwell Automation, and we’re super excited and happy to have her. And then we should have some time at the end of the session for some questions as well. But again, starting with and moving into Jama Software’s role in the product development ecosystem, our vision and our purpose, as an organization, is to ensure that innovators succeed. And as you’ll see from today’s discussion and demonstration, that’s really at the core of what drove our introduction of Jama Connect Advisor.

From a broader solution standpoint, Jama’s the number one requirements management provider in the marketplace, we help teams with requirement management and product development through Live Traceability that also spans not only requirements, but the verification and validation components on the test side, risk management, and other key data that drives those processes forward.

The value that we hope these innovative organizations our customers derive is really focused around things like cycle time reduction, helping speed time to market, enabling through Live Traceability the ability to gain visibility and control over the organization’s product development processes and really drive streamlining, really drive a tremendous amount of value, and ultimately ensure compliance and manage risk.

As far as organizations that we work with, we span medical device, automotive, industrial machinery, software, and this is just a sampling of the customers that we have the pleasure to partner with. We have over 800 customers globally, these organizations span from smaller startup organizations to large global enterprises. So with that very short intro to Jama Software, I now would like to bring in Joseph Pitarresi to review some of the complexity and challenges that we see today in product development, and of course to introduce you to Jama Connect Advisor. Joseph?

Related: Jama Connect Advisor™ Datasheet

Joseph Pitarresi: I’m really excited to talk about Jama Connect Advisor today, and some of the things that are happening in the environment that led us to the development of this solution is that today’s systems have become much more complex, and the emergence of the Systems of Systems architecture has become the dominant approach for devices in all sectors, whether it’s aerospace, automotive, medical, and even consumer products now.

The Systems of Systems is obviously a collection of independent subsystems that are integrated into larger systems and deliver the unique capabilities required by users. The challenge is that it’s difficult to produce accurate predictive models of all emergent behaviors, so global Systems of Systems performance is difficult to design. And that leads to testing and verification, verifying upgrades to existing Systems of Systems is difficult and expensive as well, so it’s hard to scale. So these are some of the factors that have led us to think about how can we help.

Another question we ask ourselves is why is requirements authoring so hard? So if we look at the industry approaches for requirements authoring, we looked at the International Council on Systems Engineering and their guide for requirements, there’s the need to exercise a core subset of over 40 rules in the INCOSE rules for writing requirements, and in addition to that, assess 49 requirement attributes. So just following INCOSE alone requires a substantial amount of training and understanding and then applying it, and that can take a lot of time.

And in addition, we’ve also found that the EARS, the Easy Approach to Requirements Syntax, is being adopted by many organizations developing complex Systems of Systems. That includes Airbus, Bosch, Dyson, Honeywell, Intel, NASA, Siemens, and others, and what EARS does is gently constrains the textual requirements, the EARS patterns provide guidance while you’re writing a requirements sentence, and it provides syntax structure with an underlying rule set. Now, as I said, even these industry preferred approaches are challenging to apply, so we’re looking at how we might address that.

Related: How the EARS Notation Supports Effective Requirements Management and Live Traceability™ 

Joseph Pitarresi: So today, just as a brief example, product requirements quality drive fidelity and efficiency in the product development cycle, and if you just look at this automotive example, there’s many systems, it’s a complex System of Systems that are dependent on each other, and any of these systems can either lead to confusing the operator, or systems not operating optimally. And if you look at the traditional V model of approaching systems engineering, the requirements are fundamental at the very early phase. So immediately after your needs analysis you need to have really clear, crisp, accurate requirements definitions.

Now the negative outcomes of poorly written requirements have been well documented. It often leads to delayed time to market, late stage errors in the product, inaccurate translation of stakeholder needs into product attributes, and the lack of development team synergy, as teams are very organic today and the requirements need to be documented clearly and in an understandable way so that the team can execute with high performance. And then ultimately failure to verification and validation can happen without the high quality requirements.

A secondary challenge is the training and reinforcement of requirements offering skills. The lack of proper requirements can lead to product issues, and it’s a significant challenge in today’s environment. So 30% of engineering degree holders are nearing retirement, that’s globally, and in the US 79% of American workers agree that to retain or increase their future employability they need to continue their learning and development. So computer scientists, 47.5% participate in work related training to maintain and extend their skills, and engineers, almost 60% participate in work related training. So onboarding, retraining, and training system engineers remains a significant challenge.

So with those items as a background I’d like to introduce Jama Connect Advisor. Jama Connect Advisor is an add-on for Jama Connect Cloud. It’s an intelligent natural language advisor that improves the quality of requirements. It allows you to author intricate product requirements quickly, easily, and with precision. It’s powered by engineering-based natural language processing, so this is not a general purpose aid, it’s engineering language-based, and the advice is based on the recommended practice, as I mentioned before, the INCOSE rules and the EARS notation. It has a very significant side benefit that while you use it, it augments skills and reinforces organizational preferences while authoring. So not only is it doing the pragmatic work of improving requirements quality, you learn how to do that more quickly and efficiently over time with its use.
So when we look at Jama Connect Advisor’s capabilities, its features are the analysis from industry leading practices, as we’d mentioned in INCOSE, the International Council on Systems Engineering, the EARS notation, and also the unique thing is that the application is designed to work, it’s crafted to use INCOSE rules and EARS notation together to increase the quality and accuracy, and the efficacy of requirement statements, and that’s really its unique value, it’s very quick and efficient, and combines both those attributes. And we’ll talk about that more in a minute. The guidance is provided seamlessly while you’re editing in Jama Connect single item view, and we’ll demonstrate that.

The above has been a preview of this transcript. To watch the full webinar, visit: Write Better Requirements with Jama Connect Advisor™


Previous Article
The Most Important Requirements Rule For Better Products
The Most Important Requirements Rule For Better Products

There are many theories on how to write better requirements. Some suggest using or excluding certain words ...

Next Flipbook
Five Best Practices for Writing Requirements
Five Best Practices for Writing Requirements

Learn best practices for writing better requirements that lead to clearer, more effective communication, gr...