JAD - FAST | Gary Rush Facilitation PDF Print E-mail

March 1999


gary rush facilitation

JAD - FAST | Gary Rush Facilitation


I frequently get questions asking if I train "JAD". I also see posts on the facilitator news group by facilitators asking for information on "JAD". As a result, I thought that I'd clear up some misconceptions about "JAD", FAST, and other brands of facilitation.



JAD is an acronym for "Joint Application Design". Chuck Morris and Tony Crawford of IBM developed JAD. They developed JAD from 1977 through 1980. JAD was originally used to design computer systems - screens, reports, etc. Later, Tony Crawford added a process called "JAD Plan" to help develop the scope of work. JAD is an IBM branded technique for facilitation.



FAST is my technique. I developed FAST in 1985. It grew out of my experience conducting JAD workshops (I was trained by Chuck Morris). FAST originally was an acronym for "Facilitated Application Specification Technique". Quite a mouthful, so I dropped the acronym and it is now just a name (although I play acronym games on the first page of this newsletter each month). FAST originally focused on workshops to develop computer systems, like JAD, but quickly expanded to include planning, problem-solving, re-engineering, and many others.


Now for the Misconceptions

The misconceptions about "JAD" are based on its becoming a brand name used to describe a class of product - such as "Kleenex" or "Xerox". The most common incorrect uses that I hear are:


  • There is a meeting and someone is up front calling the meeting a "JAD" session.
  • "JAD" is related only to developing computer systems - i.e., Information Technology related.
  • Many of the facilitators who I have trained call the process - "JAD", even though they learned FAST.


All of these are incorrect. The first is because, unless the meeting is properly facilitated, it is just another meeting. The second is based on the origin of JAD and missing the fact that IBM has used its facilitators for more than computer design. The third misuse is simply because "JAD" has become the "Keenex" of the industry. What amazes me is that JAD, FAST, and most others are based on similar facilitation principles. All can be used in many types of workshops. The workshop agenda and participants change. What differentiates each brand is:


  • who teaches
  • how comprehensive the class is
  • which workshop agendas are taught and how they are used
  • how complete the preparation is
  • who owns the brand


I Really Want to Know JAD

I teach the original JAD agenda that was developed in 1977 (it is now public domain) - plus a lot more. To learn how to facilitate workshops related to developing systems, learn FAST - you will also learn how to facilitate planning, problem solving, re-engineering, and much more.



So, to be correct, instead of calling a workshop "JAD", call it a facilitated workshop. If the workshop is related to computers, say so, but don't call it "JAD" - unless IBM is running the workshop. Using the names properly increases understanding with our clients and amongst ourselves.logo