4 Best Jama Software Alternatives – Pros & Cons
Product complexity has increased exponentially over the years, and the complexity of product development has increased along with it. Today, multidisciplinary teams develop multifaceted products that must adhere to rigorous safety standards and regulations, as well as growing customer expectations. This is especially true in industries such as aerospace and defense, automotive, and healthcare, where economic pressures meet challenges to maintaining quality.
But even though 90% of design and engineering teams agree that products have become more complex, according to a report from Engineering.com, many teams still rely on Word and Excel to manage requirements, missing out on extremely useful real-time collaboration features, deep integration with other software applications, and end-to-end traceability, just to give a few examples.
Jama Software is one of the software companies that would like to change the current situation and help product development groups deliver products at greater speed and quality, with transparency that is required in complex or highly regulated industries.
Jama Software is a software company founded in 2007 by Eric Winquist, who currently works as Expedition Leader at Global Explorers Club and is a Talkoot and Bigleft Networks board member.
The impulse to found Jama Software came when Winquist witnessed first-hand the common frustrations faced by companies in delivering complex, systems-driven products to market. Wanting to do something about it, he decided to create a collaborative requirements management platform to help companies develop complex products and systems.
Jama software serves hundreds of customers in many different industries, including aerospace and defense, automotive, and healthcare. “Today, Jama has more than 600 customers, including 24 of the Fortune 100 companies on their client list, in addition to 17 or the top 25 government contractors. Customers include Deloitte, SpaceX, Boeing, Comcast, Philips, Time Warner, GE, Merck, and Citrix, to name a few,” said Winquist.
What Does Jama Software Do?
Jama Software aims to transform and modernize product delivery at the world’s most innovative companies by bridging the gap between complex systems architecture and design and meaningful collaboration with its solution, called Jama Connect, which brings teams together in a way where they can structure their data to gain meaningful insights around what they are building and why.
From concept to launch and beyond, Jama Connect helps organizations bring complex products to the market by providing s a structured collaboration environment and involving every person invested in the organization’s success.
Jama Connect has found a strong fit with industries that are either highly regulated, life-, safety-, or economy-critical, such as aerospace and defense, automotive, and healthcare. It also aligns well with the needs of industries that are developing highly complex systems like consumer or industrial technologies.
Jama Software Main Features
Through Jama Connect, Jama Software offers a whole host of innovative features intended to empower teams and give them the freedom to innovate and the tools they need to do their best work.
- Live Traceability – Jama Connect has a feature called Trace View, which enables live traceability across all requirements, test cases, and items, making it easier to understand the impact of change, navigate upstream and downstream relationships, and filter and export product-specific views. Jama Connect can even automatically mark downstream items from a modified item as suspect so they can be easily evaluated for impact later.
- Test Management – Jama Connect has full manual testing capabilities tied right into the product-development process, which enables teams to evaluate every stage from concept to test. Having tests organized and visible in one location allows for faster time to market and reduced risk. Integrations with other tools like Jenkins further allow users to pull automated test results into Jama, making it possible to evaluate a wide range of testing, coming from both within and outside of the platform.
- Review Center – By capturing feedback from stakeholders and making it possible to share product requirements among multiple teams, Review Center simplifies the review and approval process and makes it easier to iterate on specifications and confirm agreed-upon requirements. Reviewers can either simply mark items “Approved” or “Needs More Work” to complete the review or write a detailed response and make it clear exactly what needs to change and why.
- Real-Time Collaboration – Early and often collaboration is essential when working on complex products. Jama Connect makes real-time collaboration effortless by allowing users to see not only who is directly connected but also who is indirectly connected through related items. A discussion can be started with a simple click, and new users and stakeholders can be seamlessly invited into current conversations.
- Jama REST API – Since Jama 8, users can take advantage of the Jama REST API and leverage it to customize Jama to their company and industry needs. For example, the Jama REST API can be used to create integrations that pull attachments from specified requirements managed in Jama for use in engineering tools, extract data from Jama for custom publishing into Word to support industry-specific documentation, or quickly create Jama items via email using a small application developed in Python.
Jama Software Limitations
The solutions provided by Jama Software have many strong points, but they certainly aren’t without limitations.
- Customization: One of the limitations is the lack of customization using the tool. All of Jama’s features are well designed but if you decide to go off the track with advanced filtering options, scripting, or advanced reporting, you will rapidly face strong limitations.
- Scalability: Another limitation of the tool is related to the performance itself. Jama’s software allows a limited number of requirements in its database (Jama recommends having less than 25 000 items). While this limit won’t be a major issue for most of the projects, in some other cases it will be.
- Reporting: Even though Jama is great for managing requirements and traceability, it has just several out-of-the-box capabilities, and they are geared primarily toward Microsoft Office users. If you’re looking for robust reporting, Jama might not be best suited for you.
- Expensive for Small Projects: Jama’s licenses come with a hefty price tag and the addition of the associated consulting/ training services brings the entry cost. While this cost could be justified for projects that have more than 5 to 10 users, Price may be another issue for some customers because there are many Jama Software alternatives with a bigger ROI.
|Market Addressed => Jama has a high entry price which makes them unsuitable for small projects (less than 5 users)|
Top 4 Jama Software Alternatives – Pros and Cons:
- Visure Requirements ALM Platform – Visure is one of the most trusted modern ALM platforms that specialize in requirements management for organizations of all sizes across the globe. It’s a must-have tool for teams building complex products, systems, and software, which require end-to-end traceability from conception to testing and deployment, all the way to source code, along with standard certification compliance.
- Standards – Visure offers pre-built templates for you as a starting point based on various important standards. This saves a lot of time for our customers when they want to start fresh and have to comply with some standards. These templates are customizable and can be changed according to one’s requirements.
- Traceability – Visure also helps you in maintaining full traceability between your system and all the software requirements, risks, tests, and other artifacts. Furthermore, Visure assists you in generating full traceability reports as well.
- Better Collaboration – Visure offers customizable user interfaces on the basis of the project you are working on. All the information is properly organized on these interfaces allowing all the individuals to work together while remaining on the same page.
- Integration – Visure supports XML-based standards, like ReqIF and XRI, that help us in exchanging requirements between various different customers and suppliers.
- Security – Visure ensures proper security of information and requirements. We do this through our rigorous access policy where only certain people can access the artifacts even at the elementary level.
- Quality Analysis – Visure’s Quality Analyzer allows you to perform a semantic analysis of the requirements to identify the quality of the requirements. Therefore, it becomes easier to prevent the requirements from moving to the next phase in the development cycle.
- Data Models – Visure supports many development processes like Agile, V-model, etc. At Visure, we ensure to analyze the specific problems that are inherent in business models and provide a solutional data model for each specific need. These data models are customizable to relate to the client’s internal processes and can be enforced as required.
- Free Trial – Visure offers a free 30-day trial that can be downloaded from the website itself. Other details about pricing and demo can be found on Visure’s website.
- If you’re currently working on a very short-term project with no cross-project impact, they you might be better off getting a lightweight tool like Jira.
- If you are currently working on an IT project with no criticality, perhaps this is not the tool you will be looking for.
- IBM Doors – IBM DOORS is one of the oldest requirements management tools in today’s market. The best thing IBM offers is great compatibility with other tools in the field. IBM offers flexible solutions suitable for large-scale enterprises along with high-level granularity and configurability.
- Compliance – IBM helps manage full traceability across the entire product development lifecycle in accordance with various compliant standards.
- Easy Operations – IBM allows you to easily create baselines, track versioning when detailed requirements are involved, and interlink the change requests directly to the initial documents.
- Collaboration – IBM works to provide solutions for better collaboration, automation, and reporting in accordance with the needs of various standards.
- The interface is quite outdated and dull.
- Importing images, pdfs, and text files can be a pain sometimes.
- Does not offer integration outside the IBM technology ecosystem making it difficult to adapt to other tools.
- Too expensive for small or medium organizations.
- Helix ALM – Helix is a known requirement management tool in the aerospace market. Helix helps in developing quality airborne systems while ensuring complete safety and compliance with the standards.
- Test Management – Helix helps you create various test cases based on your requirements. You can also generate test runs based on the test cases.
- Fits Everywhere – Helix is a flexible tool that fits in all kinds of small as well as complex processes making it easy to use.
- Reports and Bugs – Helix captures all the test reports and bug reports in one place and also provides a time-to-time update for keeping the application up to date.
- Importing and exporting items from MS Excel or Word can be a bit clumsy.
- Test Run system is not quite adaptable for mechanical testing.
- Report creation is poor.
- Helix does not support Scrum methodology either.
- Siemens Polarion – Polarion is a well-known RM tool in the aerospace and defense industry. Polarion is highly admired for saving time and effort, improving quality, and ensuring safety for complex systems.
- End-To-End Traceability – Polarion guarantees end-to-end traceability between all the requirements and test cases ensuring the requirements and test cases are mapped to each other properly.
- Easy Import/Export – Polarion’s traditional features like versioning, dashboards, and an open API are what make it stand out in the crowd. The import-export of information on Polarion is pretty easy and intuitive.
- Real-time Reporting – Polarion allows you to generate real-time reports and export them in different formats like PDFs. These reports are sharable via various different mediums.
- People criticize Polarion for using an unfitting interface design and icons.
- Also, Polarion does not offer any free trial or free version to try out the product before actually paying for it.