Is Business Agility a Key Success Factor?

BCS Consultancy SG joint event with the new Business Change SG and other groups

Thursday 5 November 2009, 6.00pm for 6.15pm (ends  9.30pm).

BCS London Office, First Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London WC2E 7HA.


  • Jennifer Stapleton FBCS CITP CMC
  • Kevin Johns MBCS CITP

Consultants are often called 'Change Agents'. This evening our expert presenters will guide us through the relationship between business agility and change. Their aim is to help us increase our understanding of some of the key issues and thereby improve our service to clients and win more business.

Part 1

Title: Assessing Business Agility
Speaker: Jennifer Stapleton FBCS CITP CMC


Jennifer StapletonBusiness agility is a relatively new field. We have spent much of the last two centuries creating organisations as machines that run smoothly and autonomously along clearly defined paths. With the need to respond ever faster to the sometimes catastrophic changes that affect an organisation's external environment, the autonomous machine may no longer be viable. Projects and programmes create the required corporate changes. There are already several approaches to agile project management in the public domain. There is also certification in place of project managers who use such approaches. Several international conferences have agility as their core theme. Experiences and knowledge are growing in an ad hoc manner. There is clearly a desire to do things differently from the past.

This session will describe the background and activities of a recent European initiative to create the mechanisms, standards and a shared foundation for developing and facilitating best practices in business agility across the enterprise - not just in IT-based projects and programmes - through the creation of a body of knowledge and how to use it to assess agility in individuals and in organisations.

Bio: Jennifer Stapleton is recognised internationally as an expert in agile project management. She was featured in PMI's Network magazine as one of 25 influential women across the world for her work in the Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM): a founding agile PM method. She was the architect of DSDM and led its development for 11 years from its inception in 1994.

Part 2

Title: Business agility: beware what you ask for
Speaker: Kevin Johns MBCS CITP


Kevin JohnsAlthough widely used in practice, business agility remains a troublesome concept. Since the information age in the 1990s, attention has focused less on strategic planning and more on 'operating models'. Leaders of large organisations seem to face a dilemma between being efficient but inflexible on the one hand, or flexible but inefficient or unscalable on the other. Despite the alleged low success rate of organisational restructuring and process improvement initiatives, these remain most leaders' preferred methods for making their organisations both more effective and more agile. This century however, amid accelerating breadth and pace of concurrent change in organisations, some leaders are employing approaches to business change which do more than pay lip service to 'people change' and which some perceive to have a greater chance of balancing flexibility and effectiveness. These include strategies aimed at change governance, the development of strategic capabilities and the organisation of people into communities of practice.

The presentation will describe these concepts citing examples, draw conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches, and highlight both opportunities and threats afforded to organisations by the pursuit of business agility.

Bio: Kevin Johns is an experienced CIO and management consultant with considerable international experience of organisational development and transformation over a career spanning 30 years with BT, PA Consulting and LogicaCMG. He led the formation of the recently-approved BCS Business Change SG, which he Chairs, and is a Visiting Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire.

After the presentations there will be a Q&A Session with the opportunity to share your skills and experiences with us; and we shall end with informal discussions and networking over buffet and drinks.  So join us for an informative and enjoyable evening and why not bring some of your colleagues. All are welcome.  Pre-registration required.

Please book early to avoid disappointment

Cost including Buffet and Vat: £11.50 for Students, BCS  & JCF members: £17.25 for non-members.

Business Agility - Jennifer Stapleton (PDF)
Business Change - Kevin Johns (PDF)