Business Rules

Oct 15, 2023
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Our world of communities and groups of people is highly complex. Interactions are fraught with risks. Our technologies (including automobiles and AI) make it only more so. We need real-time, on-the-spot help to guide us through complex activity safely and productively for just about everything we do these days. Actually, we have no choice. Complexity is here to stay. Read how an altogether new view of rules makes a world of difference.

Jul 16, 2023
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During a recent open roundtable, industry experts gathered to discuss the advantages of integrating AI and citizen development during times of inflation. These discussions shed light on how AI-powered automation, in the hands of business analysts turned citizen developers, can revolutionize resource management, uncover cost-saving potentials, and foster operational efficiency. The panel also emphasized the significance of citizen development in fostering innovation, agility, and a sense of ownership within the workforce, empowering business analysts to spearhead transformative changes within their organizations.

Jul 09, 2023
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With policies and requirements, you’re always on a journey of discovery. The challenge (and the fun) for analysts is knowing the right questions to ask to get at the deep substance. How do you go about interpreting them correctly? What does their analysis involve? Your journey must probe into the very heart of business knowledge, its support, and its communication. Find out all about how-to of ‘pulling the threads’ in this article.

May 07, 2023
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In the new age of generative AI and its deeply statistical approach, it’s time for a major rethink of rules, and the many things they do for us. After all, we remain human, and we will always live and work in communities and groups of people. The first thing you find is that wrapped up in rules is important knowledge that can be passed on to others’ advantage, not least of which is to avoid risks. This discussion enumerates all the reasons for rules, not the least of which are fixing data quality and developing better requirements. Are rules front and center in your approach? They should be!

Mar 05, 2023
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Informed business analysts know that one of the secrets to producing a high-quality process model is to establish a clear mission for each model. To be successful, you should mindfully establish the mission of your next process model within the business process management, information technology, or regulatory compliance project that the model will serve.  You will then tailor your elicitations of the model’s content and configuration to meet project needs. Part of your process model mission-setting elicitation agenda will include asking and answering this important question: What is this model’s required degree of abstraction?

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Recent years have brought a stream of exciting developments in the field of Business Process Management (BPM). The maturation of advanced analytics and AI technology have given way to a new approach to BPM called Augmented BPM. This article explores the trends driving the emergence of Augmented BPM and how organizations can start benefitting from these trends.

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In this fun piece, Ron examines the connection between rules and counts, such as KPIs. Ever wonder why different people can count the very same things and come up with different answers? Fear the numbers you’re going by aren’t telling exactly the right stories? In viewing a measure, how far the truth might have been stretched? Come along on this short travel story and let’s explore the matter together.

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Despite significant investments of time and well-intended stakeholder effort, many business process models still end up being not very useful for their intended purposes. Too many do not reflect the business accurately enough to be useful, do not have sufficient key stakeholders’ buy-in for real decision making, or do not include the kinds of process information that the model’s readers are looking for. Some even confuse their readers with complex or incongruous graphical notation.

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There’s so much buzz and interest about concept models these days, we asked Ron to summarize what they are, who they’re for, and why you need them. Here’s his response, short and readable. He’ll also touches on how you can get started, and where to find more information.

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Master Data is a concept that most IT shops are familiar with; Master Rules is not.  Master Data cannot address the issue of data quality without pairing it with the rules that define and/or derive that data; that is, the Master Rules.  Sooner or later, all significant financial sector organisations (in particular) will confront an impending migration, regulatory pressure, M&A, commercial imperative, or other compelling need to improve the management of their business rules; then, it must be done – Master Rules must be implemented to provide the authoritive view of rules that their importance requires and deserves.

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Most of us have seen praise and recognition at work go to the people who react quickly when a problem occurs:

  • The IT person who takes care of technical issues at critical moments, like restoring access to a demo site right before a sales rep is scheduled to present to a hot prospect.
  • The salesperson who closes a deal on the last day of the quarter, preventing the sales department from facing the negative consequences of missing quota.
  • The business analyst who works extra hours to make sure late-breaking requirements are properly documented in time to prevent delays in the next development cycle.
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In the computer age, we’ve limped along literally for a human lifetime without blueprints for business knowledge and the vocabulary used to communicate it. How well is that working out?

If you have any doubt, do a quick internet search on all the problems associated with ‘data quality’ and their costs. Or look at the still dismal success rates of IT projects. Or consider how much sharper your decisions could be if the data were better.

A business knowledge blueprint, whose core component is a concept model, permits you to deeply analyze your concepts, your vocabulary, and your business knowledge. In this post, Ron explains all the critical reasons you need that blueprint.

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Business rules cover a very broad space. Across the entire space, however, you can be sure about one central idea – business logic should not be buried in procedural programming languages. Call it rule independence.  Why is rule independence important to you? Because rules entangled in procedural code won’t ever be agile. Rules change all the time – and in a digital world the pace of change is always accelerating. How you can stay on top of it is the central question in business agility.

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Unfortunately, business rules often are a mystery in business. Most of time they are undocumented and worst they are a figment of someone’s imagination - no basis. However, mystery or not, we need them in eliciting stakeholder requirements in order to understand how the business obligations are kept, constraints are enforced and how decisions are made. And just like news reporters, we need to confirm the business rules with a second (hopefully authoritative and documented) source. Furthermore we need business rules to ensure a quality product and/or process through testing.
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One of the Sidebars to the Business Agility Manifesto introduces the notion of Reconfiguration Agility. It’s a fundamental capability your organization needs in the Knowledge Age. What’s it about?  In the big scheme of things, you have two basic choices for conceiving, and ultimately implementing, business capabilities: procedural or declarative. They are fundamentally different.  Traditionally, the vast majority of business systems have been modeled and constructed on a largely procedural basis – virtually all things tied together step-by-step in processes. Unfortunately, that procedural approach simply doesn’t scale.

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