Agility Alliance

Connecting technology gurus and business masterminds to make things better

Business is in trouble. Technology can help. It’s time to talk

IT and business are pretty complex. There are lots of moving parts, they are getting more complicated, and everything keeps changing faster. How can we possibly keep up with everything?

The idea for the Agility Alliance network began as a network for business rules experts, knowledge engineers, and rulebase/knowledgebase gurus - - not just experts, but the inventors and developers of this advanced technology that is already revolutionizing business.

At the first annual October Rules Fest, a tipping point occurred when the group of rules and knowledge gurus proposed creating a network of experts to share ideas, best practices, lessons learned, and discoveries throughout the year, not just once a year at the conference.

These technologists, many of whom have a background in Artificial Intelligence, are solving some of the toughest problems in business and technology today. You don't need rule engines if all you have are a few simplistic rules that never change. But if you have lots of complex rules that change all the time and that you must follow or go out of business, then you can’t run your business without rule engines. Or rules management. Or knowledge engineering.

Yes, rules management and rulebase technology used to be a niche technology, but now that SAP, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle entered the playing field, rules are on the map and here to stay. (See BRE Family Tree)

With the sudden collapse of the global financial system, it has become crystal clear that business rules management is going to be the difference between beating competitors and going out of business. Breaking the rules can land you in jail and cause the entire company to collapse like a house of cards. Remember Lehman Brothers?

To begin to understand a company's business rules, you must also have knowledge about how that company works, and you have to uncover the critical knowledge that experts rely on to make fast, correct, complete, compliant, and profitable decisions. Basically, you can't manage rules unless you also manage knowledge.

With baby boomers now retiring at the rate of 10,000 a day, and a global workforce that is also rapidly retiring, it is also clear that knowledge management is the only way to retain what you know, and share what you know with others who need to know. Brain drain in countries, companies, and governments will be the difference between failing and growing economies, between winners and losers.

But it’s not just about managing rules and knowledge

What about business process management? Well, we need to manage that too. And CRM? You gotta have that if you want to get and keep customers. SCM? Can't live without it. Business event management? Huh?

The techies called that CEP until IBM came along a few days ago and coined the term BEM. Now we need to keep up with BEM. Yikes!

The Agility Alliance network can help. It’s a place to find blogs and links to “the best” blogs and articles on topics such as BPM, BRM, EA, and KM. It’s one way to not only keep up, but to get ahead of the curve and stay there.

Business is art. Technology is science

Clearly there is a gap between business and information technology. Business people speak dollars, and IT speaks data. We need to bridge the gap between business and technology. One way is to learn about the other:

“Principles for the development of a Complete Mind: Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses - especially learn how to see. Realise that everything connects to everything else.”- da Vinci

It’s time to talk

We need to bring IT and business to the table. We need to come together in one network that connects both sides. That is the main reason for creating the Agility Alliance network.

There are plenty of great blogs out there on technology and management. Do we really need one more blog or website about rules management or knowledge management? Yes! Start one!

Niche technology blogs, good ones, are read by peers and colleagues in that field. But realize that techies don't read CIO blogs. CIOs don't read geek blogs. Salesman and Marketeers don’t read knowledge management blogs… and so forth.

If you really want to share your ideas with others outside your group, then I invite you to share your thoughts on the Agility Alliance network. The network consists of interest groups like BPM, EDM, BRM, CRM, and KM.

Join one group. Or join all. You can join one group and just participate in those discussions and contribute to that community. There are even sub-groups, like KA, KR, and KE which are part of the larger KM group. And because the network is open and flexible, so you can create a group and add it to the network. It’s up to you.

The Agility Alliance network will bring together thought leaders from IT and the business community. So if, for example, you are in IT but you have ideas that business people should know, or if you are a developer and you have a thought that CIOs should hear… post it on the Agility Alliance blog or forum so others outside your specialty area can hear what you have to say.

Instead of creating a new network just for the rulebase and knowledge experts, like they asked for at ORF2008, and then another network of business leaders, I decided it was time to bring both sides together and create one network for both technology and management groups.

Connecting technology gurus and business masterminds to make things better

It's time to stop looking the other way… time to stop complaining about what “the business” side is doing wrong, or what the “IT” people are doing wrong… time to stop complaining about how others don’t get it. Of course they don’t: they’re on a different floor, in a different department, maybe even in a different country.

It’s time to talk.

So take your best ideas from your blog, for your niche technology that you are an expert in, that only others in your field read about, and post them on the Agility Alliance network. Or just post a link to your own blog. Either way, let others outside your field know what you discovered or learned.

It’s time to connect business people and IT people

I'd like to reach out and invite all the gurus and masterminds, all the leaders and inventors, all the doers, all the managers, all the students, and professors, and professionals, and amateurs to join this network. Learn from one another. Share your thoughts and best practices in your domain with others interested in learning from the best.

The Agility Alliance is one way to share “the best of” these important technologies and business areas. It’s also a great way for students to learn from the innovators and inventors of leading technologies!

Now is the time to help business people, managers, and executives learn about the advanced technologies that are mission-critical in global leaders, yet are still emerging technology in other companies. Now is the time to let engineers share their ideas with marketers. Now is the time to bring business and IT together.

The Agility Alliance network is the place, and now is the time.

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