Decision Management

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How do business rules relate to business processes? How do business rules support business agility and migration to new business platforms? What does re-use of business rules really mean? This column explains the deep insights offered by the Business Rules Manifesto on these questions. Already read it?

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How do business rules fit with requirements? What role should business rules play in business analysis? Do business rules offer something to agile projects? This column, the first in a series of three, explains the deep insights offered by the Business Rules Manifesto on these questions. Already read it? You may be surprised by what you find here!

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Today many business analysts are creating business-oriented decision models. These decision models contain business logic for operational decisions that operate within business processes. And, it is no surprise that data quality is critical to business-oriented decision models. After all, good decision models operating with bad data are no better than bad decision models operating with good data. The surprise is: not only are decision models a preferred way for managing true business logic but they are remarkably suitable for managing data quality logic!

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With the rapid adoption of The Decision Model, the most frequently asked question is: “How do I convince my organization to try it and eventually adopt it as a standard?” Two related questions from two different perspectives are:  Do I have to find a way to introduce The Decision Model from the top down? Can I introduce The Decision Model from the ground up?
 

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The purpose of this article is to provide project managers and business analysts an example of choosing a hybrid solution development life cycle (i.e., combination of agile and waterfall). Much discussion has transpired on the virtues of agile and waterfall approaches.  

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There is an exciting paradigm shift happening within the information systems (IS) field. This means a new breed of information systems is emerging as are new approaches for developing them. The good news is that business analysts may be more critical to the new paradigm than to past ones. 

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Business process models are intuitive. That’s why people like them. They provide management blueprints for coordinating repetitive work. But are they sufficient for creating an optimal business solution for a business challenge? No. This discussion brings into focus some of their blind spots and what you can do to address them successfully.
 

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While many organizations have already adopted The Decision Model, others are actively exploring how it may improve or totally replace their current business rules approaches. The latter are asking the critical question:  How is The Decision Model different from what we are doing and why are these differences important?
 

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Does your requirements approach allow you to reliably identify blind alleys and showstoppers before your company invests large sums in modeling and software development? What’s missing? Most organizations do follow some project management approach. Do you find yours really helps in answering big-picture business questions?

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The project involved updating a quote process and the technologies underpinning that process, this included dealing with an underwriting calculation, which was embedded partly in the legacy systems and, partly, in heavily manual processes. The project team could not determine how to unpick this calculation and provide a detailed specification to a 3rd party software house.

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Agile development is an approach that evolves requirements and software through iterative deliverables. One of its principles is to deliver working software frequently, often through a series of two to three week iterations.  The Decision Model (TDM) is a model for the full and rigorous specification of logic.

 

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A business model should include behavioral rules, decision rules, operational business decisions, and operational business events — all as first-class citizens. Understanding their intertwined roles is key to creating top-notch business solutions and business operation systems unmatched in their support for business agility and knowledge retention. This article explains how such true-to-life business models can be created.

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Before harvesting business rules, you should be aware of some basic principles and absorb them into your practices. First, all business rules are subject to change, including (and perhaps especially) business rules derived directly from business policies. The ability to change and redeploy business rules is essential to business agility.

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RuleGuide is a tool that accelerates and improves the quality of business decision and rule capture, analysis and management. By providing an enterprise repository for business decisions, rules, and associated metadata, RuleGuide fosters ongoing collaboration and alignment ofthe business and IT teams.

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In this article we focus, not so much on the similarities among decision models, but on their differences. More than that, we explore the idea of classifying decision model structures based on differences in their logic. The decision model diagram is the first place to look for visible differences among decision models.
 

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