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New Post 5/20/2008 3:52 AM
User is offline Nigelus
23 posts
www.altkon.com
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Business Rules and Business Processes 
Modified By Nigelus  on 5/20/2008 5:53:10 AM)

This forum is very informative and a great place to exchange ideas. I have not found too much content to do with business rules or Enterprise Decision Management and how these fit as integrated within an organisation's business processes, performing operational decisions.

There is an emerging role for Business Analysts in the discovery and collaborative working with business managers and stakeholders, to discover and map the rules or business context under which certain steps in a process are undertaken. e.g. If customer A has already spent > £x's this month, automatically apply the higher discount. or pass this lead to the Sales Manager and send a letter of thanks.

Any comments or BA interest  here in Business Rules and Decisioning within Business Processes?

 
New Post 5/20/2008 3:36 PM
User is offline Chris Adams
312 posts
5th Level Poster






Re: Business Rules and Business Processes 

 nigelus wrote

This forum is very informative and a great place to exchange ideas. I have not found too much content to do with business rules or Enterprise Decision Management and how these fit as integrated within an organisation's business processes, performing operational decisions.

There is an emerging role for Business Analysts in the discovery and collaborative working with business managers and stakeholders, to discover and map the rules or business context under which certain steps in a process are undertaken. e.g. If customer A has already spent > £x's this month, automatically apply the higher discount. or pass this lead to the Sales Manager and send a letter of thanks.

Any comments or BA interest  here in Business Rules and Decisioning within Business Processes?

Nigelus,

I believe there is certainly interest from what I've read and scene from the community.  However, I don't think many analysts or organizations have a very structured way of not only capturing, but categorizing, tracking/tracing, and re-using business rules for the benefit of their projects.  I've always wanted to have a good business rules repository available to me on my projects to capture rules that are system agnostic and capture the constraints and boundaries of the businss processes.

If you have experience in this area, I'm sure many would appreciate hearing from you.  How would you recommend:

  1. Identifying business rules
  2. Documenting/Writing business rules
  3. Identifying the appropriate level of granularity for a single rule so that the business rules are loosely coupled from one another
  4. Categorizing business rules
  5. Maintaining business rules
  6. Tracking business rules across projects and artifacts
  7. etc.

Chris Adams
Core Member – ModernAnalyst.com
LinkedIn Profile
 
New Post 5/20/2008 4:42 PM
User is offline David Wright
141 posts
www.iag.biz
7th Level Poster




Re: Business Rules and Business Processes 
Modified By Adrian M.  on 5/21/2008 12:24:18 AM)

Hi Nigelus,

I myself have spent a lot of time working with the Business Rules Approach. I have an article I can post here if people are interested (and I figure out how to post it,...Adrian?).

For overall direction, search out the the Business Rules Group and their Business Rules Manifesto, easy to find with google or yahoo. The thought leader is Ron Ross, but with some other major contributors. A Business Rules Conference is held annually in the fall, which I have attended  a few times and presented at once,

As for Enterprise Decision Management, you must be referring to the work  of James Taylor, author of "Smart (Enough) Systems", see www.smartenoughsystems.com 

The interesting thing at this point is, are Business Rules really Requirements? I would suggest its a Requirement of any and all systems that they be able to support the definition and maintenance of business rules by business people, i.e. no systems changes needed to change a rule,; that's because Rules are more like occurences of data in a database, as opposed to things that are implemented by system functionality, especially with Business Rule Management Systems and Engines.

I agree that right now it is Business Analysts working on projects that document Business Rules more than any role does in an average company, but that does not make rules Requirements. That's my opinion, shared by others I think, but would like to hear fresh thoughts or arguments on the topic... Dave W


David Wright
 
New Post 5/20/2008 10:41 PM
User is offline Adrian M.
726 posts
3rd Level Poster




Re: Business Rules and Business Processes 

 dwwright99 wrote

Hi Nigelus,

I myself have spent a lot of time working with the Business Rules Approach. I have an article I can post here if people are interested (and I figure out how to post it,...Adrian?).

For overall direction, search out the the Business Rules Group and their Business Rules Manifesto, easy to find with google or yahoo. The thought leader is Ron Ross, but with some other major contributors. A Business Rules Conference is held annually in the fall, which I have attended  a few times and presented at once,

As for Enterprise Decision Management, you must be referring to the work  of James Taylor, author of "Smart (Enough) Systems", see www.smartenoughsystems.com 

The interesting thing at this point is, are Business Rules really Requirements? I would suggest its a Requirement of any and all systems that they be able to support the definition and maintenance of business rules by business people, i.e. no systems changes needed to change a rule,; that's because Rules are more like occurences of data in a database, as opposed to things that are implemented by system functionality, especially with Business Rule Management Systems and Engines.

I agree that right now it is Business Analysts working on projects that document Business Rules more than any role does in an average company, but that does not make rules Requirements. That's my opinion, shared by others I think, but would like to hear fresh thoughts or arguments on the topic... Dave W

Hi David,

I share your view that business rules are not really system requirements (thought they probably are business requirements).   In an ideal scenario, the business units/stakeholders should have full control over the metadata managed by a system.  The reality is that once the business rules become complex it is very hard for business stakeholders to maintain these rules even given a robust rules engine.

Therefore, more often than not, it falls on the shoulders of the IT group or at least of a business/systems analyst type group to maintain the business rules. 

Remember, for the most part, from the business perspective there is an expectation that the system will support a given business requirement (business rule being one of them).  How the system implements that is often not the concern of the business.  The business usually just cares that the business requirement/rule is implemented by the system and that the system team can respond to changes in business rules in near real time.   Of course, it behooves the IT team to design a system which is as flexible and customizable as possible including using a business rules engine if needed.

- Adrian


Adrian Marchis
Business Analyst Community Blog - Post your thoughts!
 
New Post 5/21/2008 8:26 AM
User is offline Nigelus
23 posts
www.altkon.com
9th Level Poster


Re: Business Rules and Business Processes 

Hi All,

I do not profess to have superior knowledge in this space, but I have had some experience and have done a lot of research too and have some ideas to add. Adrian you seem to have the whole BA approach in the correct perspective. I think it is an emerging BA opportunity to further reduce the gap between business managers/owners and IT.

There is a fairly large following of the scenario that goes, if business processes which are operational in a  very complex  business area, the complexity and business rules/logic which might have to be executed within that process step can be included within the configuration of that process, however, a new way of thinking separates the business rules from the process. The business rules and decision models are stored within a business rules management system which is made available to the process/application as a service. This can be a tightly coupled service or a loosely coupled Web-service.

The benefits behind this are that business rules change often (why unsettle a process or application to make a small change to a business rule). Like-wise if a business process/application requires a configuration change, why unsettle the business rules/logic?  

Processes are the domain of Operational Management where business rules and decisions are the domain of Business managers/stakeholders. This is fairly controversial I guess. I feel that there is a new strain of BA emerging as SOA, BPM and business rules and decisions continue their proliferation. It is fairly difficult to quantify as BA roles are, but it is interesting to get all your views. In my mind the BA plays a bigger role in this new arena of busines and system architecture, but perhaps in a differing way to how it always has been done.

 
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