Whirlwind Tour of the Business Agility Manifesto

Ronald G.  Ross
Ronald G. Ross Co-Founder & Principal, Business Rule Solutions, LLC , Executive Editor, Business Rules Journal and Co-Chair, Building Business Capability (BBC) Read Author Bio       || Read All Articles by Ronald G. Ross

The Business Agility Manifesto[1] was officially released at the 2017 Building Business Capability (BBC) conference in Orlando, FL.  Let me give you a whirlwind tour of key points it makes.

Article 1 establishes that an appropriate infrastructure for retention of business knowledge and corporate memory is essential for managing perpetual change.  If an agile approach isn't addressing that root-cause problem, things won't improve over time no matter how clever or initially invigorating the approach.

Article 2 focuses on inclusion and delivery of business knowledge into business solutions.  Business knowledge can be most readily understood in terms of business vocabulary and business rules.  Those are things everybody should be applying in their projects.

Article 3 indicates that projects must be justified directly on the basis of value creation for end-customers and business strategy, not software features.  The point should be self-evident.

Article 4 introduces value chain models, which provide a basis to explore, analyze, and explain opportunities for integration.  They also provide a framework to challenge priorities and to rationalize project scope.  They can bring sanity to what often seems like a chaotic and irrational world.

Article 5 essentially says you should be doing business vocabulary and business rules in your projects — and those are not the same thing as software development.

Article 6 is a blockbuster.   It says that business knowledge should be expressed in an explicit form accessible to all business audiences — not just software code for software developers.

Article 7 talks about how to treat business knowledge so that it is retainable and reusable.

Article 8 introduces the idea of a single source of truth for business knowledge.  It's not talking about data or meta-data.  Single-sourcing, by the way, should start at the project level.

Article 9 emphasizes the importance of correct results, not just getting results fast.  This point should also be obvious, but unfortunately projects often lose sight of it.

Article 10 highlights the persistence of business knowledge, even as channels, technologies, organizational schemes, and individual workers come and go.  Business knowledge is actually the most fundamental asset a company owns.

I've simplified some, but that's the basic message of the Manifesto's ten articles.  The Manifesto message, however, doesn't stop there.  Important supplemental materials are included on the Manifesto website.

One of the Supplements was specifically written for IT Project Professionals.[2]  I'd highly recommend having a look at that set of insights to sharpen your understanding of today's debates over agile and why a knowledge-orientation is essential.  Off the record, that's where the really controversial stuff is.  (And yes, that is meant as a teaser.)


[1]  The Business Agility Manifesto:  Building for Change, by Roger T. Burlton,  Ronald G. Ross, and John A. Zachman, 2017, https://busagilitymanifesto.org/return to article

[2]  https://busagilitymanifesto.org/accompaniments/supplements/sidebar-for-it-project-professionals return to article

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Standard citation for this article:

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Ronald G. Ross, "Whirlwind Tour of the Business Agility Manifesto" Business Rules Journal, Vol. 19, No. 3, (Mar. 2018)
URL: http://www.brcommunity.com/a2018/b945.html

About our Contributor:

Ronald  G. Ross
Ronald G. Ross Co-Founder & Principal, Business Rule Solutions, LLC , Executive Editor, Business Rules Journal and Co-Chair, Building Business Capability (BBC)

Ronald G. Ross is Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rule Solutions, LLC, where he actively develops and applies the BRS Methodology including RuleSpeak®, DecisionSpeak and TableSpeak.

Ron is recognized internationally as the "father of business rules." He is the author of ten professional books including the groundbreaking first book on business rules The Business Rule Book in 1994. His newest are:

Ron serves as Executive Editor of BRCommunity.com and its flagship publication, Business Rules Journal. He is a sought-after speaker at conferences world-wide. More than 50,000 people have heard him speak; many more have attended his seminars and read his books.

Ron has served as Chair of the annual International Business Rules & Decisions Forum conference since 1997, now part of the Building Business Capability (BBC) conference where he serves as Co-Chair. He was a charter member of the Business Rules Group (BRG) in the 1980s, and an editor of its Business Motivation Model (BMM) standard and the Business Rules Manifesto. He is active in OMG standards development, with core involvement in SBVR.

Ron holds a BA from Rice University and an MS in information science from Illinois Institute of Technology. Find Ron's blog on http://www.brsolutions.com/category/blog/. For more information about Ron visit www.RonRoss.info. Tweets: @Ronald_G_Ross

Read All Articles by Ronald G. Ross

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