The Job Analysis Meeting (JAM Session)
What does JAM stand for?
No fruit preserves or jazz quartets. JAM is an acronym for "Job Analysis Meeting."
Who will be invited to a JAM Session?
A JAM Session is a special kind of focus group of people who have broad and deep experience and knowledge about particular IT job functions. Each group consists of employees and supervisors from a variety of campus departments.
What happens in a JAM Session?
The Session facilitator guides the group in a detailed discussion to define the jobs' duties, levels and qualifications. There is an open, and often lively, discussion of the work. Participants share their ideas, observations, and perspectives. A recorder documents the consensus decisions throughout the Session. By the end of the Session, preliminary drafts of partial job description(s) are prepared for the participants' signatures.
What should I be prepared to do if I am invited to a JAM Session?
Showing up on time is a GREAT start! Bring your experience and knowledge of the work you perform, the work your unit performs and the work of other units with which you might be familiar. Be articulate and respectful of others' contributions. To help the facilitator and the recorder document the work you and your colleagues perform, think about explaining technical concepts to non-technical people.
How will JAM Session participants be selected?
JAM Session participants will be selected based on recommendations from supervisors. The ideal participant regularly performs the studied function with effectiveness and reliability, is enthusiastic about the work, understands how different IT functions interface on campus, and has strong communication skills.
Why use a focus group to collect job content information?
There are several ways to collect job information. The most traditional way is for each employee to complete a position-specific job description questionnaire which Human Resources collects and analyzes. This method takes a lot of time, and many employees are more effective doing their job than writing about their job. The JAM Sessions provide an opportunity for a variety of knowledgeable people to contribute ideas in a real-time setting, and the facilitator can clarify information on the spot.