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New Post 7/4/2012 8:14 AM
User is offline Jarett Hailes
155 posts
6th Level Poster




Re: Business Policy vs Business Rule 

 Hi BA72,

The BABOK has a good set of definitions to differentiate between policies and rules. A BA policy is 'a non-actionable directive that supports a business goal', whereas a business rule is 'a specific, actionable, testable directive that is under the control of the business and supports a business policy'. The key to identifying policies is that in of itself you can't take any action with them. 

David's example of selling cars without breaking the law is a good example of a policy. Not breaking the law cannot be actioned, nor can you be sure that you have met the policy or not without knowing what the relevant laws are. The specific laws that determine whether the policy is being followed would be put into business rules.

 
New Post 7/4/2012 12:07 PM
User is offline BA72
7 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: Business Policy vs Business Rule 

 Thanks.

From a business point of view does it then make sense to have a list of policies if they aren't enforcable / testable ? Or would it make more sense just to have the list of business rules so an employee can refer to it and know what to do in any situation ? I guess I'm asking what value does it provide to list out policy and it's associated business rules if what the business will really use are the business rules ? 

For example the previous policy example of selling cars without breaking the law. If an employee read this statement it might not provide alot of value but if they read the related business rules which perhaps state the laws they would understand what action to take. 

I ask because we will be reviewing policies/rules ( alot of the policies are probably rules ) and I wonder if it's worth the effort to define them out as policies and rules. Or should we extract the rules into a formal document which can then be acted against and disregard the policies ?

 
New Post 7/4/2012 12:29 PM
User is offline David Wright
141 posts
www.iag.biz
7th Level Poster




Re: Business Policy vs Business Rule 

 

"From a business point of view does it then make sense to have a list of policies if they aren't enforcable / testable ?" Umm, yes; having the Policies  defined and accessible to employees is pretty crucial to the success of any organization.  This should will likely have happened before you even think about business rules. They will also change over time.

What are you reviewing, exactly? and to what purpose? What are you going to do with the results? If your goal is to document Business Rules, it does not mean the Policies cease to exist.

 

David Wright


David Wright
 
New Post 7/4/2012 2:31 PM
User is offline BA72
7 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: Business Policy vs Business Rule 

 We will be reviewing business policies to make sure they still apply , add any new/missing ones , and change existing ones as required. We will also review the existing policies to determine if they are really business rules and then move them into a business rule list and if they are really policies then define the business rules for those policies. 

 
New Post 7/4/2012 5:49 PM
User is offline David Wright
141 posts
www.iag.biz
7th Level Poster




Re: Business Policy vs Business Rule 

 

Do you have any examples of policies and rules you can share?

This set of policies, is it a gathering of  policies for your org that you have? When you say they are 'missing', is it existing policies that just aren't on your list? I just find that actually defining a new policy, or revising an existing policy, is an involved process that needs all sorts of review and approvals... they just don't appear in full and final shape.

And what are you gathering/defining business rules for? How will they be used? Just a list that people are supposed to read? are they going to be bulit into computer systems , automated in some way? I would also just suggest that defining new rules is an intensive process as well, you want to avoid rules that can't be enforced, or have rules thart conflict with each other, or duplicate each other.... a good business rules methodology can be helpful.


David Wright
 
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