Business Analysis with Business Rules (2nd Edition)

By Ronald G. Ross with Gladys S.W. Lam

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Building Business Solutions: Business Analysis with Business Rules (2nd Edition)

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How can you put the ‘business’ into business analysis? How do you deliver true business value? What should you be doing before requirements?

Building Business Solutions: Business Analysis with Business Rules provides a practical, proven, innovative guide to building great business solutions.

Highly readable, very pragmatic. A must-read for anyone seeking better results with requirements.

Business Analysis: Over the past fifteen years, a vibrant community of Business Analysts has emerged world-wide. Many Business Analysts have yet to live up to the ‘business’ part of their title though. For many the twin challenges of business alignment and business agility remain unresolved. Is there a proven way forward?

This book provides detailed answers and the requisite tools. It shows you how to develop business solutions working directly with business leads, create blueprints of the solutions, and then use those blueprints for developing system requirements. The techniques described in this book have been applied successfully in hundreds of companies worldwide. Now you can put them to work for you!

Business Rules: Learn how harvesting business rules can fit seamlessly with requirements development. Apply the pragmatic pattern questions presented in this book, fined-tuned during 15+ years of real-life experience, to identify business rules. Find out how by externalizing those rules, you can sharpen and simplify business process models by an order of magnitude or more.

The book also presents the very latest techniques for analysis of operational business decisions, a new must-know area for Business Analysts. Get started on the right foot in capturing and encoding decision logic separately from other parts of your business solution.

Business Architecture: What is true business architecture? How can it help you on your project? This book provides definitive answers. It steps you through each model element one by one, starting with business strategy for the business solution and then through business process models with business rules externalized. It shows how well-grounded business metrics ensure continuing alignment with business goals.

To engage business people successfully and meet today’s business challenges, your models should be true-to-life. Increasingly that means organizing, applying, managing, and retaining operational business knowledge as an integral part of the solution. Here’s how you can move beyond requirements-taker and system designer.

The authors speak out about current practices …

“Let us warn you, this is not a book about fixing software engineering practices. It’s about changing them fundamentally. Current practices probably miss as much as 90% of everything important in running the business!”

“Business Analysts should not be focused on requirements for information systems, but on creating winning business solutions. That has very little to do with use cases and GUIs.”


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Special Features …

55-page thoroughly annotated glossary … “We don’t just preach standard vocabulary, we practice it too!”

Dozens of pattern questions for harvesting business rules … Complete with how-to explanation and examples.

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  • About the Annotated Glossary
  • About the Tips
  • About the Pattern Questions
  • About the Book’s Scope
  • About “See the Elephant!”

CHAPTER 1: Introduction
Business Analysis with Business Rules

  • Alignment
  • Basic Principles for Business Analysis
  • Change Deployment Hell
  • Business Rules vs Requirements
  • Real Life Begins at Deployment
  • Order-of-Magnitude Improvement in Business Agility

CHAPTER 2: Alignment
What’s Really Needed to Align Business and IT

  • A Cautionary Tale
  • Isn’t There a Better Way?
  • Enter the Policy Charter

CHAPTER 3: Architectural Scope
The Scope Lists

  • Getting Started
  • Architectural Scope vs Project Definition
  • About the Scope Lists
  • About the Scope Items
  • Sizing the Project
  • Managing Architectural Scope

CHAPTER 4: Strategy for the Business Solution
The Policy Charter

  • About Strategy
  • Creating the Strategy
  • Adjusting and Fine-Tuning the Strategy
  • Conflicts, Trade-Offs, and Risk Brackets
  • Remedies
  • Risk Brackets
  • Best Practices for Policy Charters
  • More on the Role of Business Policies in Strategy
  • Gob-Smacked: A Case Study
  • How Long Does It Take to Create a Policy Charter?
  • When is the Strategy ‘Done’?
  • Sample of a Real-Life Strategy Drill-Down


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CHAPTER 5: Business Rules
Basic Principles and Pattern Questions

  • Basic Principles for Business Rules
  • Expressing Business Rules
  • Turning Business Policies into Core Business Rules
  • General Pattern Questions for Harvesting Business Rules
  • How the Policy Charter and Business Rules Support Each Other

CHAPTER 6: Business Processes
Better with Business Rules

  • What a Business Process Is
  • The Elements of a Business Process Model
  • Some FAQs about Business Process Models
  • How Does the Policy Charter Help?
  • When is the Business Process Model ‘Done’?

CHAPTER 7: Business Rules From Business Process Models
Pattern Questions

  • Conditional Flows
  • Production and Use of Outputs
  • Inter-Task Timing
  • Timing and Iteration for Loops
  • Events Initiating a Process

CHAPTER 8: Structured Business Vocabulary
The Concept Model

  • About Structured Business Vocabularies (Concept Models)
  • About Operational Business Things
  • About Structure: Verb Concepts
  • Special-Purpose Elements of Structure
  • Using Graphical Concept Models
  • When is the Concept Model ‘Done’?

CHAPTER 9: Business Rules from the Concept Model
Pattern Questions

  • Categories
  • Connection Counts
  • Conditional Connection Counts and Restrictions on Facts
  • Specific Instances
  • Mutually-Exclusive Connections and Connection Cycles
  • Volume Limits


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CHAPTER 10:Business Milestones
The Life of Operational Business Things

  • The Happy Life
  • Using Verb Concepts and Roles to Represent States
  • Unhappy Business Milestones
  • Expressing Business Rules for States
  • When are Business Milestone Models ‘Done’?

CHAPTER 11: Business Rules from Business Milestone Models
Pattern Questions

CHAPTER 12:Decision Analysis
Capturing Decision Logic

  • What Decision Analysis Is
  • The Basic Elements of Operational Business Decisions
  • Naming Operational Business Decisions
  • Defining the Scope of Decision Analysis
  • Considerations and Exceptions
  • Divide and Conquer

CHAPTER 13: Modeling Decisions

  • Decision Dependency
  • Q-Charts vs Business Process Models

CHAPTER 14: Modeling Know-How
True-to-Life Business Models

  • Behavioral Rules vs Decision Rules
  • Flash Points
  • How to Assemble Know-How: Case Study
  • Business Rules in Real Life
  • Back to Decision Analysis
  • When Operational Business Decisions Should Be Made


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CHAPTER 15: More on Business Rules and Their

  • Final Areas of Analysis
  • Business Rules about Business Organization
  • Business Rules about Business Geography
  • Enforcement Specifications for Behavioral Rules
  • When Is Your Working Set of Business Rules ‘Done’?

CHAPTER 16: Metrics
Measuring Business Performance

  • Strategy-Based Performance Metrics
  • Performance Metrics for Business Processes
  • When Are Metrics ‘Done’?

CHAPTER 17: Understanding Business Requirements Business Architecture vs System Design

  • What Business Requirements Are About
  • What Business Requirements and Ability Statements Should Cover
  • Requirements are Rules: True or False?
  • When Are Business Requirements ‘Done’?

CHAPTER 18: Developing Business Requirements
Ability Statements

  • Ability Statements from the Basic Engineering Question How
  • Ability Statements from the Basic Engineering Question Who
  • Ability Statements from Analysis of Business Rule Enforcement
  • Ability Statements from the Basic Engineering Question Where
  • Ability Statements from the Basic Engineering Question When
  • Ability Statements from the Basic Engineering Question What

CHAPTER 19: Smart Systems
Ability Statements for Know-How

  • Ability Statements from Decision Analysis
  • Ability Statements from Analysis of Flash Points
  • Decision Logic Based on Flash Points

CHAPTER 20: Rulebook Management
Now the Life Cycle of Business Rules Begins

  • Why Rulebook Management
  • Best Practices for Rulebook Management
  • When Is Rulebook Management ‘Done’?

Annotated Glossary





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1st Edition In Japanese

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“… readable, well-organized… totally analysis, not notation guide.”

Hiroshi Miyazaki, Fujitsu …