Why Integrate Jama and Jira?

Software organizations and product-centric businesses frequently face challenges finding the right equilibrium between efficiency and quality. In highly regulated sectors, maintaining compliance and traceability can pose obstacles to accelerating delivery without compromising safety and customer value.

Integrate Jama and Jira Using Planview Hub

Integration makes status updates, default and custom fields, comments, attachments, and relationships visible in both tools instantly.

Watch the product demo • Integrate Jama and Jira Using Planview Hub

The higher the number of tools involved in your product delivery value stream, the more challenges you’ll face concerning quality, speed, and traceability. When requirements and traceability are managed in a formal requirements management system, for example, Jama Connect (Jama), and development work happens in Atlassian Jira (Jira), a mechanism for robust cross-tool traceability, easy communication, and visibility for leadership is a must-have.

You need high-quality, scalable software integrations to make a heterogeneous toolchain work as seamlessly as a single platform. Software integrations allow you to increase your development capacity and de-risk your product development by synchronizing work items, enabling easy cross-tool report creation, and providing single-click cross-tool navigation. With automation, you can drastically reduce administrative overhead and manual errors, enabling faster, higher-quality delivery.

This article will discuss:

  • The challenges and benefits of integrating Jira and Jama
  • Use cases for a Jama integration with Jira
  • The pros and cons of building vs. buying an integration solution
  • How to use Planview Hub to integrate your software delivery value stream

What Are Jama and Jira, and Why Are They Widely Used?

Jama is a requirements management platform with added capabilities for test planning, test execution, risk analysis, and reporting. Jama’s traceability features help organizations manage and prove compliance in regulated industries like healthcare, government, finance, and automotive.

Jira is a work-tracking platform that helps teams plan, track, and deliver software tasks and defects. It’s a favorite tool for many product managers and development teams because of its customizability, Agile focus, and robust roadmapping capabilities.

Both Jama and Jira have unique advantages and specialized features, so many organizations find it beneficial to use both.

What Are the Common Challenges When Using Jama and Jira?

Several frustrating problems arise when organizations use Jama and Jira without a good integration solution.

Poor collaboration and manual errors

Most delivery value streams involve several tools because every team has different needs. The tool that works best for a manager isn’t necessarily the best tool for developers, testers, or other specialties.

When work is planned in Jama and executed in Jira, workers must communicate promptly and update information in both tools. Unfortunately, manual copy-pasting and emailing are very unreliable and error-prone methods of communication. Reliance on manual processes usually leads to misalignment, duplication, inconsistency, and low morale.

Lack of visibility

Managers need to see how development is progressing. This visibility helps them understand the development team’s capacity and set realistic expectations for completion. When developers and leaders can’t effectively share information between their tools, silos arise, leading to missed deadlines, poor planning, and customer dissatisfaction.

Lack of visibility is also a problem for developers, who can feel blindsided and frustrated when they find out too late that requirements have changed. To avoid wasted work, they need to know about changes as soon as possible.

Impaired focus and productivity due to context switching

A 2021 Workgeist Report found that the average worker spends 20% of their day “scouring messaging channels, navigating project management boards, and digging through cloud storage systems” to find information. The more tools you use, the more difficult it becomes for workers to find the necessary information.

When you move from one task to the next, you incur a context-switching cost. Research published in the Trends in Cognitive Science journal found that participants’ responses are substantially slower and, usually more error-prone immediately after switching tasks. It takes time to recalibrate and regain focus after switching tasks.

When workers flip between Jira and Jama to manually transfer data and stop work to send status updates, they incur a context-switching cost. Consequently, they are less productive and more mentally exhausted.

Lack of traceability

Traceability is a must-have, especially in regulated industries. For every piece of code, you need to know the intended functionality, who did it, when they did it, and why.

You also need traceability features to inform managers and other stakeholders of defects that could affect delivery times and cause compliance risks. For example, when a defect is found during testing, you need to know where it originated in the code and trace it back to the relevant test case, feature, and requirement. Traceability creates accountability and can help limit scope creep.

Jama does a great job tracking changes and communications related to specific requirements, but its information will only be complete if you do all your work in Jama. Jama will miss important information if product teams use Jira for planning, development, and defect tracking.

What Are the Use Cases for a Jama Integration With Jira?

The most popular integration between Jama and Jira involves synchronizing requirements and user stories. When new requirements are created, or existing ones change, people working in Jira are informed immediately. When work progresses in Jira, engineers upstream in Jama can monitor it and incorporate data from Jira into reports.

The benefits of this integration pattern are twofold. First, Jira users get visibility on how their work fits into the broader development process. This boosts engagement by showing developers how their daily tasks are meaningful to the organization’s goals. Second, the stakeholders and requirements engineers who work in Jama get instant progress updates, obviating the need for status meetings or investigations. When leaders have complete, up-to-date information, they can make better decisions and more effectively manage customer expectations.

Another popular integration pattern addresses defect synchronization. This integration gives Jama users visibility into Jira Bugs and helps create traceability between bugs, test cases, and the requirements they flow from.

Should You Build a Jama Integration With Jira or Buy a Commercially Available Integration Platform?

There are several approaches to creating tool-to-tool integrations, including building your own (DIY), using a point-to-point integration tool, or buying a no-code model-based integration solution.

Here, we explain the pros and cons of each approach.

DIY integrations using APIs

An application programming interface, or API, is a set of protocols to enable communication and data transfer between software applications. Many best-of-breed software development applications have available APIs that developers can use to integrate their toolchain.

Building your own integrations is challenging. It may take months for a senior developer to build a basic Jira-Jama connector. Initial releases likely won’t provide adequate traceability or security features, especially if you need to integrate with a partner or supplier’s Jira. Because homegrown code is expensive to modify and scale, you’ll be limited to specific, simple use cases and small-scale adoption.

Additionally, if near real-time data synchronization is a requirement, without proper design and testing, the risk of negatively affecting your endpoint systems performance is very real. Frequent calls to an application may compromise its performance. DIY integrations tend to be taxing on the end tools that they integrate.

A perceived positive with DIY integrations, and the reason many leaders gravitate towards this option, is that they have a low upfront cost. However, APIs change, new tool versions are released, and your workflow patterns will shift and grow. Given these constant disruptions, maintaining a bi-directional Jama integration with Jira will take hundreds of hours annually.

Point-to-point integration tools

Point-to-point tools provide a central location where you can set up and configure integrations for your whole toolchain, not just Jima and Jama. Point-to-point tools connect two endpoints at a time. To integrate more than two tools, you’ll need to map fields between each of them, creating a complex web of integrations. As the number of endpoint tools increases linearly, the number of connections to create and maintain grows exponentially.

Six tools Connector Count: 15
Point-to-point integration mapping

Though easier to set up and modify than DIY integrations, point-to-point integrations are less scalable and flexible than they may first seem. For each point-to-point integration, you must configure mappings for every artifact type in every project you want to synchronize.

It’s also worth noting that many point-to-point tools often require custom coding to accommodate unique or complex workflows. This can extend the set-up time by months and make maintenance extremely arduous.

Model-based integration solutions

Model-based solutions have a more robust architecture compared to point-to-point solutions, enabling more scalable and flexible integrations.

Model-based integration mapping
Model-based integration mapping

Model-based solutions use a common data model as a universal translator. These universal translators have knowledge of each software artifact type (such as requirements, epics, stories, defects, and test cases), which they use to gather and normalize relevant information from each connected tool. In practice, this means you only map fields once for each artifact type in each tool. Then, with a few simple mouse clicks, data flows from any connected tool into any other tool.

While these solutions may come with an initial higher price tag, they are the only reliable, scalable, long-term viable solution. A model-based integration solution is the foundation of effective value stream management.

How Does Planview® Hub Enable Seamless Jama and Jira Integration?

Planview® Hub is a model-based integration solution that provides seamless bi-directional integration between Jira, Jama, and over 60 other best-of-breed tools. Hub’s no-code connectors enable fast and easy set-up so you can start reaping the benefits of integration right away.

User interface of Planview Hub
User interface of Planview Hub

Set-up and configuration are easy with Planview Hub. A point-and-click UI helps you map fields, apply filters, control rule-based integration, and manage conflict-resolution mechanisms. You can apply these configurations to as many projects as you want without having to redo mappings. Additionally, Hub’s interactive landscape view lets you click into each integration to manage it more easily.

Planview Hub automates traceability by flowing URLs and work item IDs between Jama and Jira. You can trace Jira bugs back through failed tests, test cases, and test sets, all the way up to the overarching requirement in Jama. This visibility supports better compliance practices and keeps everyone on the same page.

Planview Hub dashboard
Planview Hub dashboard

Planview Hub provides dashboards, reports, logs, alerts, and analytics for your Jama Jira integration. Usage and ROI metrics help you justify continued investment in software integration, telling you how many work items Hub has synchronized and how many workers are benefiting from integrations. This data also helps you encourage adoption, troubleshoot issues, and optimize outcomes.

Even when integrations involve hundreds of projects across many tools, Planview Hub will not slow down your applications. Each connector is developed by experts with deep knowledge of the applications involved. As a result, the connectors extract the right information from your applications, providing high-fidelity integration without causing strain and compromising their performance.

Watch a demo of Planview Hub’s Jama and Jira integration

What Are the Benefits of Using Planview Hub for Jama Jira Integration?

Planview Hub is a powerful solution that enables seamless Jama integration with Jira and other tools across the product development lifecycle. With Planview Hub, every worker gets the information they need, when they need it, in their tool of choice.

When you integrate Jama Connect and Jira with Planview, you will:

  • Never worry about outages. Planview proactively updates connectors whenever APIs change, or tool versions are updated. Hub runs 500,000 tests per day to ensure integrations remain up and running.
  • Enjoy fast customer support. Planview’s customer support team is available 24/7 to resolve issues and assist you with implementation.
  • Easily scale integrations. When your organization grows and changes, or when you expand integrations to streamline your end-to-end toolchain, Hub grows with you. A single admin can manage integrations for hundreds of projects.
  • Be audit-ready. Planview supports compliance work by automating cross-tool traceability and taking the stress off of workers.
  • Foster an efficient work environment. Workers are happiest and most productive when they get to focus on engaging, high-value work rather than manual data entry.
  • Get near real-time visibility into requirement updates and development progress. Developers, testers, and leaders will benefit from up-to-date information without tedious status meetings.

Over half the Fortune 100 rely on Hub’s integrations to support secure, stable software delivery. One of Planview’s customers is Frequentis, which supplies information systems for control centers with safety-critical tasks, such as air traffic control and public transportation. With Hub, Frequentis achieved 98% faster handovers from requirements to development.

Other customers, including BMW, the Bank of New Zealand, Accenture, and Telus Health, have benefited from Planview Hub’s secure, traceable, flexible integrations. Many customers also integrate with suppliers and customers’ development tools to collaborate securely across organizational boundaries.

“Our clients are thrilled because as soon as we know something, they know it too. Both parties are benefiting from better communication during critical phases, improved data accuracy, and faster turnaround times… Our partnership with [Planview, formerly Tasktop] ensures Accenture clients benefit from the highest levels of professionalism, responsiveness, and service.”
– Cheryl Kellman, Senior Manager at Accenture Life Insurance & Annuity Platform (ALIP)

Watch the Demo: Jama and Jira Integration with Planview Hub