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the jStart process

the jStart process: start small, grow fast

How do we decide which emerging technologies to explore? By listening to the market and understanding our client needs.

By: Chris "Spence" Spencer

jStart Emerging Technology Adoption Process

Many of our clients require timely solutions to very specific business needs that current products just can not deliver. This is where the IBM jStart group found its niche; providing value to both IBM and its clients through their engagements. But jStart provides more than just fast, customized solutions--the team implements and validates emerging software technologies through the team's engagements. This provides clients with an attractive value proposition while allowing IBM to capitalize upon emerging business opportunities through the technologies leveraged by jStart. The jStart client engagement process has evolved to where each phase provides value to IBM's range of technologies--anywhere from fuzzy concepts to mainstream IBM product offerings.

The Emerging Technology development process starts once business needs are identified through client research and collaboration. This is where jStart's thought leadership becomes critical in translating business needs into realized solutions. The technology is then produced--or incubated--beyond a conceptual level into functional code by IBM developers. But that technology needs a huge boost--or a "jump start"--before it can be adopted into the real world. Value for both IBM and jStart clients is then co-created by validating the technology together, paving the way for larger scale adoption into IBM product offerings.

Our "Start Small, Grow Fast" Approach

Closely aligned with the Emerging Technology development process, the jStart engagement approach applies to specific client business needs. It is here that the conceptual roots for IBM product offerings, such as IBM Mashup Center, run through jStart engagements. When these technologies are barely more than disparate concepts, jStart engages clients to refine and validate them. Once jStart proves concept validity, they take are adopted by larger entities (such as the Lotus group) to become IBM products.

The jStart process begins with:

  1. Exploratory Workshops at client sites to assess potential value and early adopter advantages. A key element of these workshops is starting with a small, well defined scope so that risk is carefully managed. Next, jStart works with clients through
  2. Project Definition Workshops to define the requirements of proposed solutions.
  3. Project Proposals are then drawn up before action towards
  4. Implementation is taken. Successful execution of the prototype -or-
  5. Final Deliverable wraps up typically in 30-60 days, and Proof-of-Concept is developed to assess value to business. The process has proven reliable through over 250 engagements spanning 12 years of very satisfied clients.

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