Business Rules

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Three questions regarding breaches of business rules should be addressed by Business Analysts: enforcement level, guidance message, and breach response. The goal is context-dependent, pinpoint reaction to breaches in real-time. Addressing breaches intelligently is key to creating friendly, agile, secure business solutions, ones that can evolve rapidly in day-to-day operation.

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 It is wise to use whatever techniques we can to discover the 'real' requirements and business rules before embarking on development. We all seem to know that it is cheaper to fix problems earlier rather than later in an IT project. So why do so many of our projects exhibit the same mistakes?

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What role should business rules play in procedural languages and enterprise architecture? How do they relate to platform independence and compliance? What about knowledge retention? This column, the last 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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This means that The Decision Model is at the center of a serious shift in the way we perceive and manage the business rule and logic dimension. So, this month’s column highlights the shift, starting with 2009 and ending with 2012. At its core are the seven observations indicating that a shift is happening. More important, each observation contains corresponding article links to related Modern Analyst articles.

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There are capabilities necessary to implement Smart Systems, where business people manage business logic in a business-like and agile fashion, with highest integrity, and deployable to any and many targets. These are the requirements satisfied by a BDMS, not by a BRMS 

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There is a direct link between business rules and business events – one not fully understood by many Business Analysts. What is that link and why is it so important? This discussion raises a very big question about how your current requirements approach addresses business rules. Can you answer that question confidently? Here is what every Business Analyst should know about business rules and business events.

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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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This month’s column is not a debate about decision table theory versus decision model theory. Instead, it focuses on current practices for decision tables and those of The Decision Model. It covers (1) Four Benefits of Decision Tables (2) Decision Tables in Practice (3) The Decision Model in Practice (4) The Science Behind the Transformation Steps and (5) Wrap Up: A Leap in Maturity.

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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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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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Ron Ross and Gladys Lam have written an important book for the business analyst community. It aims to get business analysts out of the technology ghetto that many of us get stuck in. Regardless of the type of analyst you are, I think it would be worth your time to get your hands on and read this book. I’ll explain why below.

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