Business Rules

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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?

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The emergence of decision analysis techniques[1] is hugely important for both business rules in particular and business analysis in general. The same is true for decision tables, although current innovations[2] are more of a re-invigoration than fresh invention. [3]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.

 
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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...

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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?

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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’.
 

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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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This article examines how to use tabulation to write better business rules. If you’re not writing business rules, well, you should be. Fortunately, the very same guidelines apply to writing requirements in general, so there is much to be gained on all fronts.

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...As hands-on business ownership of decision automation gains ground it is becoming apparent that fully automating a decision-making process requires an expanded concept of business rules that includes the ability to transform and/or derive data within the rules process itself, in order to align the input data with the policy statements that are driving the decisions; and to produce a wider range of outcomes.

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The world of business rules and business rule management has grown up. It has evolved into the world of business decisions – a much more compelling discipline by which companies can master their business logic.

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The Decision Model (TDM) is a methodology and framework for modelling the business logic behind business decisions. Its popularity, adoption, and number of ground-breaking success stories are increasing significantly. TDM, as a powerful but simple graphical notation, is easy for both business people to understand and IT professionals to implement. As such, it puts business people in control of their business rules and logic and it accelerates IT’s ability to automate them quickly and without errors.

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An operational business decision has structure that you can’t capture using business process models, use cases, or similar techniques. If you fail to delineate that structure, you completely miss a core part of what makes business processes smart. The structure of a decision can be diagrammed in top-down, business-friendly fashion using a Question Chart (Q-Chart™ for short).

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Unlike decision rules, behavioral rules do not pertain directly to determining the best or most appropriate answer (outcome) among alternatives... Three simple but typical examples in article illustrate. Avoid force-fitting a decision-oriented approach to every business rule problem. It simply doesn’t work!

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As a business analyst you are the all-important glue between the business and technology. Your skills range from various kinds of modeling to gathering of high-level as well as detailed robust requirements. Sometimes you operate in traditional systems development and sometimes within agile approaches. A business analyst’s responsibilities are wide and deep... What Are the New Opportunities for Business Analysts?

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Would organizations use such a model? What kinds of organizations? Who in those organizations would introduce it and create them? What would organizations use it for? How successful would these decision models be? After seven years, we have answers.They tell an interesting story about the birth and usage of this new kind of model.

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A missing ingredient in most current approaches to IT requirements and business rules is developing a standard business vocabulary, a concept model. Every business analyst should be familiar with the technique – it’s simply about clear thinking and unambiguous communication. What are basic constructs in developing a concept model? This article discusses four prefabricated elements of structure, ones that will enable you to build a complete and robust business vocabulary.

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