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Content last updated 1998
analysis workshops & JAD for RAD
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Many companies are adopting, or have already adopted, RAD (Rapid Application Development) as a development approach for in house developments. To make RAD work, you need frequent input from users. Ideally some are seconded to the development project.

There are various versions of RAD. The best known is DSDM, which is supported by the non profit DSDM organisation www.dsdm.org. DSDM now has hundreds of member companies: users, product suppliers and software consultancies.

Rapid Application Development
One of the key techniques is to run JAD sessions, where users and developers sit together to define and prioritise the requirements at an off site location. In practice a JAD session can be thought of a highly structured design and analysis workshop.

A typical JAD workshop can last more than 1 day (sometimes even several days), so you must have a high degree of commitment from users who will attend the workshop. You may need to run several workshops over a period of time, for example the ultimate output of one JAD session might be a prototype, which then needs to be evaluated, tweaked and then re-evaluated.

A JAD session normally includes a Facilitator to run the workshop sessions, and a Scribe to record the proceedings (and hence the decisions), and to write up the report. Scribes often work for IT departments.

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For product companies it is not usually practical to get customers to attend day long workshops, so shorter meetings must be used. A typical Focus Group meeting is similar in spirit to a JAD session, but it only takes between 1 and 1.5 hours. By using 3 or 4 focus group meetings with different sets of customers, a large quantity of information can be gathered. Alternatives that save time (and money)
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Copyright Khodes Consulting. Content as created 1998, site only 'maintained' in memory of David Singleton.