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Joint Team

What is a "Joint Team?" The joint team is charged with the responsibility for achieving definition of and agreement on all requirements throughout the entire development effort, including changes to requirements. It is a small group of people possessing knowledge of the customer requirements or requirements engineering with the authority to make decisions concerning requirements on behalf of the project. The joint team serves as a mechanism to:

  • Enable and empower both the buyer and the supplier to take shared commitment for the requirements
  • Recognize that it's not possible to know all of the requirements at the beginning of an effort
  • Provide the ability for an increasingly specific definition of the real requirements and the ability to control and adjust costs and schedule in a coordinated manner
  • Recognize that some of the stated requirements are not "good" requirements or "real" requirements
  • Recognize that requirements change during the development process
  • Recognize that there are cost and schedule implications that need to be dealt with.

The joint team is an integrated product team (IPT). An IPT is a group that includes customers and developers that blends perspectives into a functioning or united whole. In this case, the focus is on requirements to achieve system objectives. You might choose to call the joint team the "requirements IPT." A partnership relationship is established at the beginning of the project. The joint team addresses all requirements-related activities throughout the system life cycle. The joint team members commit to one another and to project success. The joint team is a vital mechanism to achieve project success. The members commit to translate customer needs and expectations into a verifiable set of requirements.

The composition of the joint team may change over the course of the system development effort as different levels of the system are defined and addressed. The joint team helps implement the commitment achieved in the partnership workshop to establish and maintain a partnership relationship throughout the system development process. Because there are schedule and cost implications of these decisions, members of the joint team must have decision authority for changes in cost and schedule. Impacts of the decisions are communicated to other members of both the customer and supplier organizations by one of their own employees, who understands and supports the rationale for the decisions.