Jama Connect User Guide

Item-based product development

Jama Connect is a database-driven, item-based product development platform.

Why do we use items instead of documents? Several reasons:

  • Version control — Track changes and feedback at an individual item level, whether the item is a requirement, a risk, a test, or even project documentation.

  • Data integrity — Quickly search, filter, and create dashboards to view progress based on item attributes. Documents don’t allow for this and often have data integrity issues.

  • Time savings — Save time by not having to manually maintain IDs and trace links in a document. In Jama Connect, traceability is a by-product of the way you work.

  • Review efficiency — Focus on smaller, more iterative item reviews. Users no longer have to wait for entire documents to be submitted before they can provide feedback. Get to market quicker!

  • Auditing quality — With a few clicks, identify items that are missing coverage throughout the product development process.

The shift from a document-based approach to an item-based approach is key to enabling the value of Jama Connect. Your team's methodology directly influences how you set up and configure your Jama Connect environment with different item types.

The diagram below illustrates how to shift from a document-based approach to an item-based approach using Jama Connect.  

  • Identify the documents and content that need to live in Jama Connect.

  • Determine the item types that exist in those documents. For example, item types could be System Requirements, Use Cases, or Test Cases. Item types must have defined relationships in Jama Connect, which you can specify using a relationship rule.

  • Configure a project structure, then import your existing documentation or start authoring in Jama Connect.

With an item-based and data driven workflow, you can configure a project structure, then begin authoring in Jama Connect. You can either import existing content or author directly in the application. You only need to export documents as needed.


The following diagram* is a typical relationship model in Jama Connect that adheres to a Systems Engineering Methodology (SEM).

* Box = single item type. Lines = relationships


Your team's development methodology comes into play here, for example classic vs. agile methodology. While some teams use only one method, many teams use a combination.

Each method might use different terms. For example:

Classical Systems Engineering

System Requirement

System Architecture

High-Level Requirement

Low-Level Requirement


Strategic Themes


User Stories