Operational business decisions happen every minute of every day in your organization. You’d like to think that business managers can truly manage them. You’d also like to think that the results of those decisions are comprehensively correct, consistent, traceable, and repeatable (high quality). But are they? Based on real-life evidence I strongly suspect they often are not.... When IT professionals talk about “decisions” they often mean branch points within the deep systemic logic executed by machines – classic decision points in data processing. I don’t mean that either.
To ensure the continuity of operational business knowledge, no organization should ever depend on absent brains – or even on brains that could (and eventually always will) become absent in the future. To say it differently, your operational business knowledge should be encoded explicitly in a form that workers you have never even met yet can understand.
A combination of process modeling (BPMN) and decision modeling (DMN) simplifies business processes by eliminating and replacing entire sections of the model with a decision model—the decision logic of the process model is precisely captured by decision modeling a separate yet linked model.
This column examines the three basic kinds of knowledge workers involved in business processes, and discusses how the distinctions among them are important for engineering smarter business solutions.
So, what’s new now? A shift is occurring. Not only are decision models sanctioned as a new kind of deliverable, but thousands of them already operate in production systems serving major corporations. What’s new now is the emergence of an important question: what kinds of decisions belong in decision models and why?
The emergence of decision analysis techniques is hugely important for both business rules in particular and business analysis in general. The same is true for decision tables, although current innovations are more of a re-invigoration than fresh invention. Every business analyst should be familiar with these decision analysis and decision table techniques.
Before we get carried away with decisions, however, we need to take a deep breath and do a reality check. This article discusses three major (and quite harmful) myths of the business decision space.
Decision requirements models allow business analyst, architects and decision designers to describe the decision-making they need. When these models are combined with business-friendly decision tables, non-technical domain experts can represent critical “know-how” accurately and precisely resulting in faster time to value and fewer errors...
Have you heard it said that ‘business rules define the operational boundaries of an organization’? Do they?... Something is being bounded by business rules, but what? Does scope need to be understood in some deeper, richer sense? And how do these issues relate to smart business processes?
Have you ever been confused about why you were not allowed to do what you tried to do? Been judged or evaluated in a way you didn’t expect? Stumped by the result or decision a business system produced? If so you are a ‘why victim’.
The goal of DMN is to provide a notation for decisions understandable to all audiences, including business and technical people. This is good news and is the very reason we introduced The Decision Model (TDM) to the public in 2009
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