Institute News24

on Travel

Evan reflects on preparing for the 2019 Business Agility conference.

Evan Leybourn

March 8, 2019


Like a first-year university student before a big assignment, the rapidly approaching Business Agility Conference means many late nights and early mornings (sadly, some days at the same time). I'm certain my natural cynicism (not unlike a second-year student) will catch-up to me shortly, but today I remain excited and enthusiastic. At the risk of sounding hippy, I am in a place where I draw my energy from my work rather than let my work drain my energy.

My biggest work focus right now is redeveloping the Business Agility Library. When we started the library, I had a vision of hundreds of case studies and references to help organisations on their journey (we've carefully avoided any "body of knowledge" association as most peoples reaction at the start was "not another bloody Bok"). Wikipedia had been our guiding metaphor, so it was fairly logical for us to adopt Mediawiki, the platform behind Wikipedia. However, as is fairly obvious to anyone who's been online in the last 20 years, Wikipedia isn't the most user-friendly of interfaces. I may donate every year, but even I think that it looks like a typewriter fell in love with a dictionary.

It comes as no surprise that over the last year, we've had a number of "polite" comments about how we might improve the Library. The consensus is that if it were easier to navigate, it will reach more people and serve our mission better.

And so, I have turned to my past. A long time ago I was a web developer. I had thought (hoped) that I had left those days far behind. But over the last few days, those skills have been very helpful. In the course of a week, I have totally re-engineered the Library. Building on the new Domains of Business Agility, I developed a new Library interface on our main website. It uses all of the styles and structures of the website with the contents and depth of the wiki. This had also involved copying the content from the wiki to the website. Hundreds of articles and case studies; hence the late nights. Sadly, this is not something that I can easily outsource.

Let me explain why--there are two kinds of outsourcing: tasks and outcomes.

I can quickly outsource a task, as long as I can define it to be easily understood and replicated. A real example, we wanted to create printed versions of the 15 best case studies in our Library to give away at the conference. I selected the case studies, created a mockup in Word, and then engaged someone from Fiver to turn the vision into a reality for the rest.

Outsourcing outcomes is very different. The benefits are exponentially higher, but so is the investment of time and effort. The challenge with the Library is that, when moving each article, case study, or video to the other site, we have the opportunity to make small improvements to each one. This can only be delegated to an expert; someone with the time and expertise to truly" own" the library. And today, I don't have that person. Soon, but not today.

And so, it is two o'clock in the morning and I am painstakingly moving content between systems.

Evan’s status report

Feeling: Inspired to create
Where in the world: On my way to Denver
One big thing: Data migration (a fancy way of saying copy and paste)



Subscribe to “Emergence: the Journal of Business Agility”

Delivered to your mailbox four times a year, we bring together a curated selection of exclusive stories by great thinkers and practitioners from around the globe that you’ll only find in our publication.

These stories, research reports, and articles were selected to broaden your horizons and spark your creativity.

Subscribe now

BAI Individual Membership Benefits

  • Unrestricted access the business agility library

  • Download complete eBooks on the most pressing topics

  • Replay your favourite moments from any of the global Business Agility Conferences

  • Network with your peers from around the world

  • Member discount on your subscription to Emergence

Join now
1 / Infinity

November 8, 2021, 14 minutes read time

Business Agility is a Transmission

October 24, 2021, 29 minutes read time

Cash Generation and Mafia Offers

July 10, 2020, 15 minutes read time

From Ensemble to Orchestra

December 5, 2020, 32 seconds read time

Leaning Into Culture During Times of Crisis

July 29, 2020, 26 minutes read time

Structural Agility

You have NaN out of 5 free articles to read

Please subscribe and become a member to access the entire Business Agility Library without restriction.