Guidance for BAMs & Alliances

Purpose

BAMs are regional groups (generally by city), organised by local business agilists to support the local community. BAMs would generally run small outreach events such as the meet-ups, breakfasts or evening seminars to drive education in the topic and help organisations on their transformations.

Alliances are functional or industry groups which are global in nature. Alliances run symposiums and conferences dedicated to their community. They are also responsible for the relevant section of the Library.

Core Principles

As community leaders, we believe that we can create valuable connections & communities by bringing individuals together through high-value, educational, interactive and enjoyable events. As community leaders, to ensure a positive experience for fellow community leaders, members, and partners, we agree to follow these principles:

  1. Belief: We volunteer our time because we believe in the mission of the community
  2. Respect: We will respect the time & effort of our fellow leaders
  3. Commit: We will, to the best of our ability, commit to the time needed to create a strong community
  4. Quality: We will help ensure that community events flow smoothly and the programme is fair, interesting, valuable, diverse and unbiased
  5. Diversity: We will share insights and experiences from multiple industries, domains and functions
  6. Value: We will help our members to extract value from the community by encouraging interaction, networking, learning and sharing
  7. Independence: We will ensure that community events remain independent and neutral from all vendors, consultancies, tools, methods, and frameworks
  8. Collaborate: We will regularly communicate with our fellow leaders and share the workload wherever possible
  9. Innovate: We actively seek new ideas whether from member feedback or wider afield and have the honesty & courage to challenge old ideas
  10. Safety: We will abide by the Institute’s code of conduct and promote a safe and open environment for all members and leaders
  11. Integrity: We will build an environment where members act in good faith with each other and unsolicited sales & marketing is prohibited
  12. Make Each Other Awesome: We will strive to delight our members, have fun with our fellow leaders, and create value for our partners

Responsibilities

The responsibilities of each BAM and Alliance (collectively referred to as a group) mirrors the four pillars of the institute.

Pillar #1: Community

Ultimately each group is the primary representation of the community. Within the bounds of common restrictions, such is the code of conduct and this guidance, each group is run by the community for the community. It is the responsibility of each group to ensure fair representation and knowledge sharing occurs. This is not a forum for “framework wars” or company disputes and, while differences of opinion will occur, each group should treat disagreements collaboratively and respectfully.

Purpose

Each group will serve a different community or sub-community depending on the needs and demand of that community. That purpose will be set out in the initial application for the group, but is expected to evolve as the group evolves. Some examples;

  • The Bangalore BAM will serve the local coach community. They want a forum to educate and differentiate high quality coaches.
  • Other BAMSs will serve the more mature business leadership community.
  • The Marketing Agility Alliance will be an global membership community for anyone in the wider marketing industry to come together and share & learn about agile marketing.
  • The Business Agility Governance Group will be an informal global community to discuss all topics relating to governance, risk and compliance in a business agility context.

Membership

The formal expression of community is membership. That being said, it is not a global requirement to be a member of BAI to participate in any group (although we would encourage them to become members). However, any group may choose to require local membership to their group. To ensure continued independence, such membership will be administered by BAI.

Groups may choose to charge a nominal membership fee. However this fee should be generally affordable and designed to cover the operating costs of the group, not as supplemental income or revenue for any individual or company.

Companies are allowed to sponsor groups, in-cash or in-kind. For example; donating meeting space or catering. Recognition of that sponsorship is expected and allowed during the events and on the group webpage on the Institute’s website. Note however, that such sponsorship does not confer corporate membership unless otherwise agreed by the Institute.

Legal, Anti-trust, and Competition Implications

Depending on the context an Alliance or BAM may require members to comply with local NDA, anti-trust or competition rules. Attendees might be requested to sign legal paperwork (e.g. an NDA or MoU)  as appropriate for the event or group. Where needed, these rules need to be clearly defined and repeated at each meeting and for attendees to agree to them.

In addition, all meetups must be in compliance with local country laws. For example, where required, public meetings ought to be applied with appropriate local district offices. The contents of each meetup must focus on business agility and remain non-political and non-religious.

Pillar #2: Outreach

The primary purpose of each group is to provide a forum for community members to meet and share insights, learn new ways of working and form mutually beneficial connections. Depending on the context of the group, these may be face-to-face, online or larger conference events.

Short-Form Meetups

Especially relevant for local BAMs, short-form meetups are the regular heartbeat cadence of any group. The approach taken will be different depending on the local demand. For example;

  • A meetup.com style meet-up for members; which in itself could take a presentation format or a lean-coffee format
  • Knowledge sharing through site visits or open spaces
  • Invite-only leadership breakfasts (or lunches)
  • Online presentations or discussion groups (e.g. zoom.us)

Online Symposiums

Especially relevant for global Alliances, online symposiums provide knowledge sharing and guidance to all members, regardless of location. Care must be taken to ensure all members have a chance to be included (e.g. repeat symposiums for US and Asia timezones). Symposiums will generally take a similar format to the global conferences.

  1. 3×15 minute “art of the possible” presentations
  2. A 15 minute Q/A session
  3. A 30 minute deep dive where all members are invited to present and discuss

The Business Agility Institute will provide the webinar platform (currently zoom) to all groups who require it.

Conference

Finally, some groups will be able to put on a focused conference for their members. This, one or two day event, is designed to impart strong guidance and peer-based learning for all participants. Due to the investment in time and money, there are separate guidelines and requirement when running conferences. If you’re interested, contact the Institute for more details.

Pillar #3: Guidance

To ensure consistency in content and guidance, there needs to be a two-way contribution of ideas between the global Institute and the groups. Depending on the context of the group, we expect stories to be shared into the global Business Agility Library. As we are using a wiki for the Business Agility Library, it is open to all group members to collaborate and share the guidance and insights on business agility.

Each Alliance is accountable for the relevant industry and functional area within the Library. For example, the Marketing Agility Alliance “owns” the marketing section of the Library and its members will contribute specific guidance, case studies, book reviews, references, frameworks and helpful tools. While anyone may contribute to the Library, as the owner, the Alliance is accountable for ensuring that the submitted content passes review before it is published on the website.

Given their broader membership base, BAMs are best situated to provide insights; such as case studies and reference reading.

We request that before any group contributes to the Library, they start by reading our “getting started” guide. This outlines the intent of what we’re creating as well as the structure and approach. http://wiki.businessagility.institute/index.php?title=Getting_started

Pillar #4: Leadership

Finally, each Alliance or BAM is seen to be the leader in their space. It is expected that they remain impartial, independent and operate for the benefit of the community. This does not mean all voices are equal however. Each group needs to demonstrate, discuss and share what “good” looks like in their domain.

BAI Provides

It is the intent of the Institute to provide core platforms as required for the operation of each group. This includes;

  • Professional Zoom accounts for webinars and online symposiums
  • Meetup.com account for BAMs
  • Complimentary individual membership for BAM and Alliance leaders
  • Complimentary individual membership for primary contributors to the Library from any group
  • Promotion of Alliance or BAM events
  • Active interlinking with other Alliance or BAMs to take local discussions global and global discussions local
  • Common code of conduct
  • BAM or Alliance Logo

Application

Leading a BAM or Alliance is a committed process, requiring a dedicated team of volunteers. In many cases this commitment will run over several years. At this stage, BAMs and alliances are informal communities. At later stages, these may incorporate as independent entities.

Each proposed Alliance or BAM needs to provide some key information prior to setup.

  • Name of the group (e.g. Melbourne BAM, BAMgalore, Business Agility London)
  • Focus area (region/city, domain or industry)
  • Details of the nominated leaders (we require at least 5 organisers to ensure a successful group)
  • Your initial outreach approach (e.g. lean coffee, presentations, executive breakfasts, etc)
  • Your target audience (e.g. coaches, executives, transformation leaders, marketing division, etc)
  • Approximate cadence (e.g. weekly, monthly, ad-hoc)
  • Short description of the group
  • Indemnification: The parties agree to indemnify each other for any and all claims of loss or damage directly caused by: infringement of a third party’s intellectual property rights; or death, personal injury or damage to any property, except to the extent that the loss or damage has been caused by the other party. Neither party is liable to the other for any indirect or consequential loss or damage (including loss of profits, opportunity or production).

Leadership Council

The leaders of the BAM or Alliance form the relevant council. The role of the council is to guide and execute the work of the group.

Responsibilities

Within the context of the purpose, each individual council member carries several key responsibilities;

    1. Refine the mission and purpose of the Alliance/BAM as it relates to the global Institute: As the local and global business agility community evolves, it is the council’s responsibility to refine the stated mission and purpose to ensure ongoing alignment with the needs of their members.
    2. Recommend initiatives and activities to support local members: The council is responsible for identifying, prioritising (considering limited resources) and planning potential local business agility initiatives.
    3. Plan and run events: At regular intervals, the group will run events for their members (e.g. short-form meetups, online symposiums, or conferences) and it is the responsibility of the leaders to ensure these operate.
    4. Attend regular council meetings: It is expected that each council member attends a majority of scheduled council meetings and a representative is sent to the global Business Agility Conference.
    5. Enhance the public image of business agility: The council should clearly articulate the group’s mission, accomplishments, and goals to the public and garner support from the community.

Special Duties

From time to time, Industry Council members may be asked to take on special duties. These are optional, depending on time and availability, and may include activities such as:

  • Inviting new members to join the Institute
  • Speaking at community events, online Symposiums and global conferences
  • Holding seminars to share insights with other member organisations
  • Run site visit tours for other members of the Institute
  • Contributing to press release and speaking to media when appropriate
  • Contributing case studies & guidance to the Business Agility Library

Council Structure

The BAM or Alliance council will be composed of a minimum of 5 community leaders from within the region or industry that the group operates within.

All group members will be asked to nominate potential leaders from within their community. Where there are more than 5 nominees, an election process will be undertaken by all members to select the leadership council.

Council membership is for a 2 year term – starting from the formation date of the group. Council leaders may resign at any time and their role filled from the community by special nomination or election.

Governance

Key governance aspects of each council are;

  • Chair: The council will select a member to hold the role of chair
  • Quorum: Each meeting will require a quorum of 3 members to be present
  • Decision Making: Any decision made requires a majority decision. In the case of ties, the chair of the council will vote
  • Council members shall serve without compensation

FAQ

  • Can we have meet-ups discussing specific frameworks – in case, say they are relevant to the topic of the meet-up?
    Of course. But we don’t want every event to be focused on a single framework
  • Do BAMs need to register as a legal entity?
    It depends on the legal situation in your local region, however generally not unless you are charging a membership fee.
  • Powerful principles well described. The only query for me is on the Independence front, and how that might translate for us. Would this mean that I would need to initiate the BAM separate to the firm I work for?
    Good question – it means we can’t exclude another firm just because one firm is involved. SAFe might provide pizza but Scrum can provide drinks. Consultancy A and Consultancy B may both provide organisers. We can’t preference one organisation over another. We do take sides on what “good” looks like, but as a community organisation, we need to remain neutral on other matters.
  • Who does credit go to for content contributed to the Business Agility Library (the author or the Business Agility Institute?
    Credit always remains with the author or authors.
  • Can we have meet-ups discussing specific frameworks – in case, say they are relevant to the topic of the meet-up?
    Of course. But we don’t want every event to be focused on a single framework
  • When and how should I invite BAM members to join BAI?
    Now 🙂
  • Can you provide detailed guidelines
    I’d rather avoid “fine print”. I want to set the broad strokes and let the BAMs use their own judgement. If someone steps over a line, we’ll discover it together and adjust accordingly.
  • Can we use Google Hangouts instead of Zoom?
    You can use any system you prefer. However, the Institute will provide zoom accounts to support easy recording.
  • The requirement for 5 BAM leaders, is that a min or the max?
    Minimum
  • What support can be expected from BAI in maintaining and administering membership? What are the fees involved or do we have a fee structure available?
    Fees are set by the BAM. We would run it through the BAI membership platform (which you should all be members of).
  • So, do we have a signup page – where we say -“Starting a new BAM? Go here >>” page – which helps set up the entire process – and is automated so we can get the quirks and mistakes out of the way. Happy to work on something to that effect if we don’t yet. Makes life easier – and less prone to missing out on important stuff.
    Yep. This document will become part of it. There’s also an application form online

Keep up-to-date with the latest Business Agility news and information:

Your information will remain confidential and only used by Business Agility Institute and affilianted conferences. You may unsubscribe at any time.

STAY CONNECTED.