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Author's profile photo Jean-Christophe PAZZAGLIA

Using JAM to manage Collaborative Research Projects – Using JAM Widgets (2/2)

In the first part of this blog, we introduced our use case – the H2020 project – and how JAM can be setup to manage a collaborative project, in this second part we will show how JAM widgets can be used for managing daily project task.

Organizing the life of consortium that can reach upto 40 partners and more than100 individuals can become quickly painful especially if this involves dealing with a multitude of tools. Sharing documents, organizing events, gathering feebacks or taking decisions are daily concerns that can quickly become a full time job by using standard communication means such as mail or phone. JAM provides a large set of smart widgets than can be used to handle these recurrent tasks smoothly.

In the following sections we showed in-situ examples of the usage of some JAM’s widgets.

Capturing Decisions during Project Management Board (eg. the Polling and Decision widgets)

Being able to find the right  time slot for a WP or board meeting in an asynchronous way or to capture votes during project management board call may leverage the polling widget features. They can be configured so pools can be public or anonymous, they may have deadlines or enable users to add new options. Complementary, the decision widget will enable to capture the decision the board’s decision after vote completion enabling the members of the project management board to sign-off these decisions.

Return On Experience : JAM at the Smart Data Innovation Lab

The Smart Data Innovation Lab is a consortium of partners from science and industry. It offers a unique access to a large variety of leading Big Data and In-memory technologies, to enable big data researchers to experiment the best technology with real datasets. As one of the cofounder of SDIL, SAP implemented JAM to animate the different communities and the SDIL strategy board. Private Jam communities have been created for each.

“JAM is used like an intranet across partners, for storing meeting minutes, eventually electronic voting process, and  mainly for exchanging documents and ideas (forums). While some JAM communities features may be perceived as limitation (eg. our setup enables only SAP member to invite new members, SAP or external), their functionalities are broader and better than  other ‘free’ tools or cloud solutions, and all accessible in one tool (1 place for all vs surveymonkey for voting, other storage tool for documents, etc).  On top of that, for mission critical use cases (e.g. the board) the argument of data tracking/security and sustainability is difficult to match.” Laure Le Bars, SAP and SDIL Deputy Coordinator


Planning and Organizing Project Meetings  (eg. the Calendar/Event widgets)

Planning meeting and events across multiple work packages including different set of people may quickly be perceived as spam if all individuals are addressed, or offending if a critical resource is left aside. Moreover monitoring people attendance or building agenda collaboratively usually requires handling different documents. The built-in calendar features of JAM enable to organize meeting per group but also enable speakers to define collaboratively the agenda or assigned related task to their project’s peers.


Choosing the venue for a Summer School (eg. Pro/Cons widget)

Deciding the best place to organize a specific event like a summer school, or the best architectural choice may benefit to list the rationales behind the decision to take an informed decision. Pro/Cons table are built for this very specific purpose, all group members can contribute to the decision process.


Managing Platform Features (eg. Idea forum)

JAM forums enables not only to discuss about different topics but also brings the capability to type the different entries as questions or ideas. Depending on the nature of the entries their behavior is different, for example Ideas forum enable voting (up/down) and to associate a status to the idea. Specific forum can therefore being  easily setup to capture ideas such as platform features using their status to keep track of their adoption (or not) by the consortium.


Sharing and commenting document

Storing/Sharing/Versioning and commenting document is at the core of the daily project work. JAM proposes a simple way to manage documents keeping track of the different versions but also providing a preview capabilities for standard file formats and a way to comment the document globally or by highlighting a specific sections to ask a question. It will also be possible to know the number of people who viewed a document while the document owner will on top be able to know the number of people who accessed it together with the version number. It is also possible to feature a document that will be therefore be highlighted in the group landing page.


Reviewing Deliverables (eg. task and decision widget)

Technical boards are often requested to review deliverables before final delivery to the commission. With JAM it is possible to assign tasks to specific project member but also to associate documents, forms or decision tools within the task.  The technical board can then monitor in real time this work and trigger correction to the deliverable as soon as the first reviewer emits concerns about a document.


Mail Addict and Search Alert

For some consortium members or for urgent communication, mail can still be a must have. JAM enables to receive email updates on a regular basis for a specific group but also to communicate with the group via mail for example to archive important communication to a WP. The Search engine can also be used to trigger alerts for specific queries (eg. every time someone mention your organization name within a post).




In this blog, we showed how specific features of JAM can be used to facilitate the interaction between project’s  members.

Obviously you will be able to find other usages for these widgets. Moreover, we did not review all features such as well-known wiki for collaborative document editing or tagging capabilities that are also available in JAM. A mobile app available (as shown on the right) for both Android and AppleOS enable to access JAM on-the-go.

Other aspects worth to mention that we did not dig into are the extension capabilities of JAM: JAM provide a complete API to automate some processes or push data from other components such as SAP PPM, GM or FI.  While we believe this is also a promising avenue to further enhance the collaboration between the project’partners by using live data to monitor the budget and people consumption but also to connect with ad-hoc reporting tools, all features described in this blog will be available in JAM out of the box.

Disclaimer: the content of the H2020 project is used for illustration purpose only and the names/examples are not related to current research activity

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